President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday that will instruct the Treasury Department not to enforce aspects to the Johnson Amendment. The order will come on the National Day of Prayer and the details are still “very fluid” laid out in several drafts.
However, it is believed to allow non-profit organizations to at least deny certain health coverage for religious reasons.
The Johnson Amendment was enacted into law in 1954 and is named after then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson. Faced with what could be a reelection defeat in Texas at the hands of a conservative faith-based candidate, he proposed and got through the amendment that bans churches and non-profit organizations from engaging in political activity.
If they do not comply, they lose their tax-exempt status that enables them to organize and operate.
The Committee for Constitutional Government had favored limiting the treaty making power of the President of the United States, which was a winning issue in Texas in the 1950s. The conservative group printed up material on the issue along with an endorsement of conservative Dudley Dougherty.
Johnson, who would later become President of the United States, used his unique position of power and influence for political self-preservation.
President Trump campaigned on repealing, or “destroying” the Johnson Amendment, which would give the faithful their biggest political victory since the amendment was adopted. The President received the largest share of the evangelical Christian vote ever for a Republican presidential candidate.