February 2, 2017

Trump intends to give rightwing religions political power

Independent, UK - President Donald Trump has announced he will "get rid of and totally destroy" a 60-year-old rule that blocks tax-exempt religious groups from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

The so-called Johnson amendment was introduced by then-Senator Lyndon B Johnson in 1954. It threatens churches and other religious institutions with the loss of their tax-exempt status should they overstep the mark.

The declaration came as an apparent leaked draft of a new executive order set out how specific religious beliefs—reflecting conservative Christian social tenets—could become enshrined as executive policy.

They include "the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life".

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