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Trump Signs The Johnson Amendment Religious-Liberty Executive Order

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President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that loosens the restrictions on political activity for religious groups. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore, and we will never ever stand for religious discrimination,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. “No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith.” The Johnson Amendment prevents religious leaders from engaging in politics, and punishes them for doing so by revoking their tax-exempt status with the IRS. Trump called the amendment “very, very unfair” and said it constitutes a “crippling financial punishment.” The executive order directs the IRS to use its discretion in enforcing the Johnson Amendment, effectively loosening the regulations to give religious leaders more freedom to speak their mind.

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