Suggested letter in support of retaining the “Johnson Amendment”
I am strongly opposed to any effort to repeal or weaken the “Johnson Amendment” that protects houses of worship from becoming centers of partisan politics.
The current law strikes the right balance: houses of worship that enjoy favored tax-exempt status may engage in advocacy to address moral and political issues, but they cannot tell people who to vote for or against. Changing the law to repeal or weaken the “Johnson Amendment” – the section of the tax code that prevents tax-exempt nonprofit organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates – would harm houses of worship. Particularly in today’s political climate, engaging in partisan politics and issuing endorsements would be highly divisive and have a detrimental impact
I therefore urge you to oppose any repeal or weakening of the Johnson Amendment, thereby protecting the independence and integrity of houses of worship and other religious organizations in the charitable sector.
Johnson Amendment Recess Literature Drop-Off’s
The following is based on suggestions developed by the United Methodist Church Board of Church and Society.
The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates. This provision protects the integrity of houses of worship and non-profit organizations and prevents them from being used as tools of political candidates and those seeking political power.
Even so, President Trump has vowed to “get rid of and totally destroy the “Johnson Amendment,” and some Members of Congress have introduced legislation to do just that. There is a tremendous need to educate Members of Congress and their staff about what the Johnson Amendment is and why it is important to keep it. Therefore, communities across the United States are visiting the offices of their elected Representatives and Senators to drop-off literature that will educate the office staff and to send the message to elected members of Congress that their constituents care about this issue and do not want to see any repeal or weakening of the current law.
Here is how it works:
1)Select a day during the July 4 recess (July 3-7)that works with your schedule.
2) Invite a friend or two to go with you. Groups of two or more always convey a greater sense of strength.
3) Look up the office locations of your Representative and both of your Senators. It is important to visit all three if at all possible.
4) Print the letter for each office you visit – it will help educate your elected officials.
5) Call the office before you arrive to make sure staff members are there.
6) When you arrive be sure to let staff members know that you are a constituent and why you’re there.
Here is a sample script you can use:
“Hi my name is ______ and I am a member of (list group or the community you are with, and then allow your friends to introduce themselves and share what groups they are affiliated with). As constituents, we wanted to drop off some important educational materials on the Johnson Amendment for Representative/Senator and his/her staff. The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates. This provision protects the integrity of houses of worship and non-profit organizations and prevents them from being used as tools of political candidates and those seeking If Representative/Senator _____or his/her staff have any questions they can contact me at (give all your pertinent information or simply leave a card).
Thank you for your time. “
Contact your representatives:
REP Dana Rohrabacher, 2300 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2415
Or, in Huntington Beach: 101 Main Street, #380, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Senator Dianne Feinstein, US Senate, 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-3841
Or, in L.A: 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., #915, Los Angeles, CA 90025 Phone: (310) 914-7300
Senator Kamala Harria, 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-3553
Or, in L.A., 312 N. Spring St., Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Phone: (213) 894-5000