Pastor saw ‘calm’ and ‘collected’ Trump in FL
Donald Trump spent some time with evangelical leaders in Florida last week.
In a 35-minute speech at a “Pastors and Pews” event in Orlando, Trump noted that evangelicals have been silenced by threats from the IRS to take away their churches’ tax exempt status – something he said he’d change.
“We’re going to get your voice back. We’re going to get it back,” he told the crowd.
The GOP candidate said the reason churches are afraid to politic is a 1954 law backed by then-U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. That restriction is commonly known as the Johnson Amendment.
“If I get elected president,” the GOP nominee said, “one of the early things, one of the absolute first things I’m going to do, is work on totally knocking out the Johnson Amendment.”
Pastor Bryan Schwartz attended the event and says he was impressed by Trump’s poise.
“His demeanor was calm. It was collected,” the pastor says. “And what he was sharing was important to the faith community, really trying to encourage them to have the courage to lead in our community, in our congregations, and not be silenced.”
Schwartz says he also embraced Trump’s message of political involvement from the pulpit.
“Hey, let’s not be afraid, especially when it comes to the political process,” he tells OneNewsNow. “Let’s actually lead from the front and not stay in the back.”
Incidentally, the Johnson Amendment is considered to be unconstitutional by groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom, which challenges it yearly by enlisting pastors to endorse candidates from their pulpits.
Hundreds of pastors have taken up the challenge but the IRS has yet to take the bait.
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