“Something clearly indicated by his reopening of the church’s influence in both state and education.”
I think any American who understands the Constitution *should* approve.
To a Constitutionalist, the tax-free status of churches is not a gift from the government; it is an acknowledgement that the power to tax is the power to control. Thus, if the government taxes the Church, it can then control the Church, and you no longer have separation of church and state.
The Johnson Amendment finesses the issue by ostensibly insuring that the Church keep its mouth shut by implying that there could be a government takeover of the Churches (financially speaking) if they don’t toe the government line.
Simply put, the JA exists to remove free speech rights from Churches and their pastors. Period. It is anticonstitutional, prima facie. It is probably not UNconstitutional, but it certainly flies in opposition to the Framers intent when it comes to keeping the Churches independent of the state.
One other point: if the people who think the Johnson Amendment is a good idea would ask themselves what they really think the churches would suddenly do that they’re not doing already through their 503 organizations, they’d realize that there’s really not much to worry about. Yes, the Joel Osteens of the world, instead of saying “vote for the candidates to stand for Life” would suddenly say “vote for [politician name here]”
No big deal. Everyone knew who he was endorsing, anyway.