Repealing Johnson Amendment will politicize the pulpit | Letter

Money donated and deducted for charitable purposes shouldn’t be diverted to political causes/candidates

Things constantly get slipped into legislative packages. This time, the newest GOP tax bill repeals the Johnson Amendment, the 1954 tax code provision that prohibits nonprofit organizations (officially designated 501(c)(3)) from endorsing/opposing candidates or attempting to influence legislation.

That seems fair. Churches — by far the most numerous among 501(c)(3)s — don’t pay taxes. For that generous concession, they can encourage voter registration, but otherwise can’t play in the political arena. Senate Republicans want to change that.

It’s a change we should all oppose. Money donated and deducted for charitable purposes shouldn’t be diverted to political causes/candidates. In our secular democracy — where people of all and no faiths live and work together — no law should make it easier for any religious organization to impose its doctrine on the whole of society. Repealing the Johnson Amendment will politicize the pulpit. Legislation affecting people’s very lives — like outlawing abortion or excluding contraception from insurance policies — grows more likely.

I remember attending Catholic school and joking about the Pope’s position on the use of contraception — all contraception is forbidden to Catholics — and popes and priests are celibate. So we’d dismiss the papal prohibition with a single irreverent comment. “If you don’t play the game, your Holiness, you don’t make the rules.”

That should go for taxes, too. If you want to play the political game, then ante up with taxes. Quid pro quo. If you want the quo, you’ve got to pay the quid.

Better yet, don’t repeal the Johnson Amendment.

John R. Scannell,

Sammamish

More in Letters to the Editor

Vote yes on Initiative 1639 | Letter

Vote yes on Initiative 1639 On Sept. 28, the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter published… Continue reading

Trump should stand up for public lands / Letter

When Donald Trump was elected president, sportsmen had high hopes that the… Continue reading

Kavanaugh should be rejected / Letters

I find Republican caviling at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings baffling. For just… Continue reading

The complexities of the abortion debate | Letter to the editor

A Bothell resident believes the abortion debate can be resolved by meeting in the middle.

Vote them out | Letter to the editor

A letter about state lawmakers and gun violence.

Not everyone wants the Bothell/Kenmore Reporter | Letter to the editor

A majority of Reporter subscribers have neither asked for the paper delivery nor have they ever been contacted to see if they desire it.

I urge my fellow citizens to vote yes on all three upcoming Northshore School District measures

On Feb. 13, the Northshore School District will have two renewal levies… Continue reading

Why didn’t our Legislature fully fund education? | Letter

A letter in support of the upcoming Northshore School District measures.

Deputy Zornes will be difficult to replace | Letter

Zornes’ calm demeanor and easy attitude was comforting to the many kids that he interacted with throughout the years