Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill on a narrow vote of 217 to 199. Tucked inside that bill is legislation that effectively guts the Johnson Amendment, thereby allowing pastors to speak freely from the pulpit about public policy without fear of the IRS.
To give you some idea of why this legislation is necessary, just consider what happened recently to Catholic bishops in Texas.
They were sued by abortionists challenging a state law requiring that abortionists respectfully dispose of the bodies of aborted babies. The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops had offered to provide “free or low-cost burials.”
In their legal challenge to the law, the abortionists demanded all the bishops’ documents and communications regarding abortion, miscarriages, the law and any communications with Texas officials and legislators in the past two years. Incredibly, a left-wing judge ordered the bishops to comply.
Thankfully, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 that the lower court judge had violated the First Amendment rights of the Texas bishops. Judge Jim Ho wrote, “It is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case.”
This isn’t the first time religious leaders in Texas have been threatened by leftist politicians and activists for speaking out on matters of faith and public policy.
My friends, there is no question that religious freedom is under fire from the left.
Thankfully, President Trump and his Senate allies are making tremendous progress appointing conservative judges to the courts. In fact, they have set a record. But there are still many more vacancies to fill.
We must expand our majority in the Senate this year in order to confirm Trump’s judges and defend religious liberty!
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