President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal the so-called “Johnson Amendment” sponsored in the Senate and passed in 1954. That law is the single most damaging, perhaps, ever passed in this country. That law is the reason why the IRS can threaten churches with loss of tax-exempt status if they preach politics from the pulpit. How did this come about that a law so damaging to our nation was passed and how could it have been completely against the goals of the founding fathers at the same time?
First and foremost, the reader must understand that the phrase “Separation of Church and State” does not occur anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, nor in the U.S. Constitution, nor even among any of the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Where did it come from?
“[The phrase ‘Separation of Church and State’] can be traced back to a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote back in 1802. In October 1801, the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut wrote to President Jefferson, and in their letter they voiced some concerns about Religious Freedom. On January 1, 1802 Jefferson wrote a letter to them in which he added the phrase “Separation of Church and State.” When you read the full letter, you will understand that Jefferson was simply underscoring the First Amendment as a guardian of the peoples religious freedom from government interference. ” 1
Did you get that? What President Jefferson wrote was to protect the church from government intrusion, and not the other way around! The Johnson Amendment gets that exactly backwards, as it forcefully intrudes into the church in order to put a muzzle on Pastors who may be inclined to preach politics from the pulpit. The direct results of that law was a ramping up in the activity of the courts towards making laws, or interpreting law in such a way that they were in essence “Legislating from the bench”. Such awful judgements handed down as a result include Roe v. Wade and the subsequent Doe v. Bolton decision that essentially allowed for abortion on demand for any reason in this country.
Those decisions alone have spelled the death of over 55 MILLION babies in the womb in this country, and well over 1.5 BILLION babies worldwide! It should be apparent that “Legislating from the bench” is a very dangerous thing to allow!
How did liberalism take hold in this country and how was it so successful in changing laws and twisting and distorting of the U.S. Constitution to make it seem like killing unborn babies was a “Right”? They worked for years in order to effect change down the road. One can argue that liberalism took root in our higher education system about the same time as the rise of Socialism. Socialism was spread through union organizers and others who preached class warfare and announced a new day of rights for workers.
Granted, not all that has been accomplished for rights of workers, and Civil Rights and so on is a bad thing, in fact much of it is good and necessary. However, the spread of liberalism and the tendency to imply rights which do not really exist has corrupted our country greatly and done tremendous harm (55 Million babies is a lot of moral damage to a people or a country).
Former President Ronald Reagan wrote, in the first book ever published by a sitting President while in office, the following in his work
- Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation
“Malcolm Muggeridge, the English writer, goes right to the heart of the matter: “Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other.” The sanctity of innocent human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity.” 2
The main reason to repeal the Johnson Amendment, however, has nothing to do with protecting human life, but rather stems from the fact that the founders of our country intended that members of the church should be intimately involved in government, in our armed forces and so on. “The signers of the Declaration of Independence were a profoundly intelligent, religious and ethically-minded group. Four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were current or former full-time preachers, and many more were the sons of clergymen.”3
In fact, the founders of this country intended that the government being formed should work and would work only with people who belonged to churches! As John Adams wrote: “[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 4
A government “Of the people” and “By the people” and “For the people” does not work it seems, if those people are only interested in asserting their own “Rights” over the needs of others. The foundation of Christianity it would seem, is the only basis on which our country works. That means that we must subjugate our needs to the needs of others, esteeming self-sacrifice as the main virtue by which government can truly govern, as that is the central virtue in Christianity that distinguishes it from any other “Religion” out there (“…love your neighbor as yourself”, Matthew 22:39).
In this light, if Christian teaching had prevailed in the Supreme Court at the time of the abortion decisions, then nobody would have ever doubted that life begins at conception, because surely anybody with a thinking mind can see that we all started out as a fertilized egg inside our mother’s bodies! And if there were any doubt as to when we started being “Living human beings” then the law (the LAW!) should have conservatively ruled that when there are doubts, then nobody can say that a living human inside their mother’s body should be killed for any and every reason.
This is the basis for which we must repeal the Johnson Amendment. It has allowed the law to run amok, and has actually allowed it to set itself free from the bonds of reality, logic and morality. I cannot say for certain how many other “Laws” in this country have now been passed as a result of the lack of moral restraint. It is certain, however, that there is no more moral basis for many of the decisions coming from our Supreme Court, and that they simply rule at the whim of the prevailing current of public opinion at the time.