In Our View: Charitable, This Isn’t

In Our View: Charitable, This Isn’t

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Abolishing the Johnson Amendment would be problematic for several reasons. It would turn charitable organizations into political bodies, inducing benefactors to target donations based upon a group’s political activity rather than its social services. It would increase the amount of “dark money” flowing into politics, with donors exchanging cash for influence without accountability. It would allow what are essentially campaign donations to be funneled through churches and other nonprofits. And it would harm nonprofits that prefer to remain true to their mission rather than becoming engaged in politics.

As Tim Delaney, head of the National Council of Nonprofits, said: “It’s now impossible for Congress and the White House to deny their objective: to politicize the trusted charitable nonprofit community by authorizing unlimited, unfettered and untraceable political money to flow through the nonprofit sector to benefit partisan special interests.

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In truth, the Johnson Amendment does nothing to limit speech; advocates are free to donate to any number of political organizations, and pastors are free to weigh in on the issues of the day from the pulpit. Attempts to undermine the law amount to straw man arguments designed to politicize nonprofits.

Source Name: 
The Columbian
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