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All content copyright Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition. All rights reserved.

Our Freedom Statement on Johnson Amendment Repeal

Release Date: February 28, 2017

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
SageWoman, Witches&Pagans, PaganSquare.com

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

David Pollard
Executive Director
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans

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