Our Freedom Statement on Johnson Amendment Repeal

On Thursday, February 2, 2017, at the National Prayer Breakfast, newly elected President Donald J. Trump stated that he would “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment. This amendment, authored by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, was an amendment to H.R. 8300 which was a bill in the 83rd Congress. It became part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 without discussion or debate. During the Ronald Reagan administration, it was included in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The Johnson Amendment affects all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in that it prohibits those organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Such organizations include churches, universities, and charitable foundations. Immediately after the President’s statement, legislators in the House of Representatives Jody Hice (R) and Steve Scalise (R) put forth bills which would allow these organizations to remain tax-exempt and to express political views under two provisions: first, the political views expressed would have to be made during regular activities and second, associated spending would have to be minimal.

Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition consists of leaders and liaisons of national Pagan organizations and publications in America. As a Constitutionally protected group of minority religions, we are particularly concerned with issues of church and state.

The leaders herein undersigned oppose any effort to rescind, reverse, and/or repeal the Johnson Amendment. Since 1954 it has been a bulwark in the tax code where it has reinforced both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Should this amendment be, as expressed by President Trump, “totally destroyed,” it is the belief of Our Freedom that this nation will begin traversing a path toward the establishment of Christianity as the official and preferred religion of the state. This would be in express contravention to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and over two centuries of established Constitutional law

Therefore, we, the undersigned, express and affirm our support for the Johnson Amendment.

SIGNATURES

Cairril Adaire
Founder
Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition

Aisling ni Bhrigide
Clann Mistress, Four Dragons Clann, 1734 Witchcraft
Tribal Doyenne, Toteg Tribe

Rev. Angie Buchanan
Executive Director
Earth Traditions

Rona Coomer-Russell
Priestess
Isis Invicta

Phyllis Curott, Esq.
President, Temple of Ara
Vice Chair Emerita, Parliament of the World’s Religions

Drema Deòraich
Co-moderator
Our Freedom Coalition

Dianne C. Duggan
Assistant Director
Legal Affairs Coordinator
Lady Liberty League

Dana D. Eilers
Attorney and Author
Pagans and the Law: Understand Your Rights

Holli S. Emore
Executive Director
Cherry Hill Seminary

Susan Granquist
Gyðia
Irminsul Ættir

Jerrie Hildebrand
Vice President of Communications
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans

Ellen Evert Hopman
ArchDruid
Tribe of the Oak

H.E. Rev. Patrick McCollum
President
The Patrick McCollum Foundation For Peace

M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien)
National Interfaith Officer
Covenant of the Goddess

Anne Newkirk Niven
Editor & Publisher
SageWomanWitches&Pagans, PaganSquare.com

Rev. David L. Oringderff, PhD
Executive Director
Sacred Well Congregation

David Pollard
Executive Director
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans

Posted by Zaheer in Freedom Statement

Pagan Coalition Stands Against Victimization

We the undersigned are adherents of Pagan and Neo-Pagan Religions, including Wicca, Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, Druidism, Asatru and other indigenous Earth Religions, who practice a variety of positive, life-affirming faiths that are dedicated to healing, both of ourselves and of the Earth. We do not advocate or condone any acts that victimize others, including those proscribed by law.

We absolutely condemn the practices of child abuse, sexual abuse, and any other form of abuse that does harm to the bodies, minds or spirits of individuals. We offer prayers, therapy, and support for the healing of the victims of such abuses.

In recent years the victimization of children has been brought to light in a manner not seen in the past. Efforts are underway in schools and other youth organizations to teach children and adults to be aware of and respond proactively to violence against others.

Examples of victimization have also come to light in religious circles and many victims’ rights groups have emerged to advocate for and support those who were abused as children.

We stand strongly against the victimization of children, students, women and men. We call for persons who have witnessed such atrocities to speak up and actively seek to protect the powerless and prevent further abuse.

Signed: Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition

Rev. Patrick McCollum
The Patrick McCollum Foundation

Rev. Kathryn Fuller
The Circle of the Wildewood

M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien), Witch at Large

Cairril Adaire
Founder, Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition

Holli S. Emore
Executive Director, Cherry Hill Seminary 

Carol Barner-Barry (Raven of SpiralHeart)

Rev. David L. Oringderff, PhD
Executive Director
Sacred Well Congregation

Dianne C. Duggan (Minerva Thalia)
Lady Liberty League
Circle Sanctuary

Posted by Zaheer in Project Letter