Why Churches Cannot Endorse or Oppose Political Candidates

Churches cannot favor or oppose particular candidates for political office. The ban on electioneering has nothing to do with the First Amendment or Jeffersonian principles of separation of church and state. Instead, the ban is based on a provision in the 1954 tax reform act prohibiting all tax-exemp...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Davidson, James D. (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer 1998
In: Review of religious research
Year: 1998, Volume: 40, Issue: 1, Pages: 16-34
Online Access: Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
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Parallel Edition:Non-electronic
Description
Summary:Churches cannot favor or oppose particular candidates for political office. The ban on electioneering has nothing to do with the First Amendment or Jeffersonian principles of separation of church and state. Instead, the ban is based on a provision in the 1954 tax reform act prohibiting all tax-exempt organizations from supporting or opposing political candidates. I show that the provision grew out of the anti-communist frenzy of the 1950s and was directed at right-wing organizations such as Facts Forum and the Committee for Constitutional Government. It was introduced by Lyndon Johnson as part of his effort to end McCarthyism, protect the loyalist wing of the Texas Democratic Party, and win reelection to the Senate in 1954. I also discuss the implications these findings have for contemporary church policy.
ISSN:2211-4866
Contains:Enthalten in: Review of religious research
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.2307/3512457