For decades secularists and the courts have convinced many Americans to compartmentalize their faith and only acknowledge God in their church or home, but not in the civil arena. This compartmentalization of our faith began with the 1947 Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education, where the Court took Thomas Jefferson’s “separation” phrase out of context. The Court then redefined the religious clause of the First Amendment to mean freedom from religion instead of freedom of religion.
Then in 1954 the Courts began secularizing the pulpits when then Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson passed a law restricting churches’ political involvement. The “Johnson Amendment” meant that, for the first time, nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations and churches must stay out of the political arena or face losing their tax exempt status. This law violates Biblical and historical precedents, it violates the “Free Exercise Clause” and the “Free Speech Clause” of the First Amendment – and must be repealed.
At the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2, 2017, President Trump said, “I will totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.” This was great news for people of faith, with the repeal of the “Johnson Amendment” it would allow pastors to speak Biblically from the pulpits, as they once did, on the political and cultural issues we face as a nation today.
Sadly, more than 4,000 religious leaders and roughly 100 religious groups have written to Congress urging them to maintain the Johnson Amendment. Their support of the “Johnson Amendment” allows a precedent to be set approving of government intrusion on the function of the church. From a historical perspective, this creates the same form of tyrannical government that once controlled the church in Great Britain and America and that Jefferson and our Founders risked everything to deliver us from.
I have written this letter and given you a copy of my book “The Bible is the Higher Law in America” because we, as pastors and Christians, have forgotten about being stewards of the government God has entrusted us with. As a result, the state controlled church has now, once again, manifested itself in current times.
Tom Hughes, President
“In all your ways, acknowledge Him…” Proverbs 3:6