On March 29 the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists released a statement against the proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

The 1954 amendment, so named because of its sponsorship by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson–who had been targeted by a nonprofit during an election, prohibits any 501(c)(3) organization from endorsing or opposing candidates for office.

The church reaffirms its opposition to legislative efforts to eliminate or weaken rules that prohibit nonprofits, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates.

The statement comes, in part, as a response to President Trump’s recent promise to “get rid of and totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, comments he made during the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2.

A 2015 survey by Lifeway Research found nearly 80% of Americans don’t want their pastors making political endorsements from the pulpit. Whether or not the Johnson Amendment is repealed, the NAD’s official position will continue to be not intervening in elections.

Should the law be changed, the church will not modify its practice of remaining neutral in elections. While church members are free to support candidates or even run for office themselves, it is not the role of the church to become involved in the electoral sphere.

Read the NAD’s complete statement.

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