Wilkes-Barre Religious Leaders React to Pres. Trump’s Promise To Repeal Johnson Amendment

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WILKES-BARRE -- Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., President Donald Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment, "and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution, I will do that, remember!" he said.

Repealing the Johnson Amendment would allow pastors to endorse candidates from the pulpit.

"Is that how we really want to encourage people to vote?" asked Pastor Michael Brewster of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Wilkes-Barre. He added that his role as a leader is to layout issues and for people decide what's important to them.

"I think it's important that we challenge them to go out and study and find the facts themselves," he said.

Currently, tax-exempt churches and charities such as King's College can't endorse a candidate.

"When you say, well, churches can, therefore, endorse candidates, that goes over the line, in my opinion," said Fr. Thomas Looney.

He also pointed out there's no one candidate who embodies everything there is to be Catholic. Instead, he believes in instilling faith and values in his congregation.

"People in their conscience and the freedom I think to think those things through for themselves," he said.

President Trump did not say how he plans to repeal the rule or when it would happen.


  • Concerned

    The Catholic church doesn’t want to endorse a candidate who represents pro-choice. It’s easier to stay out of the conversation.

  • Donna

    The priest don’t say anything about a canidate but the church fliers do. The people that put out the fliers for their church,push their own candidates. Look towards the bottom of the church fliers. . . .

  • Writer Girl

    Glad to see the clergy is more concerned with religious instruction than with politics. That is what they are there for, not to endorse political candidates.

  • WarningFakeNews

    Churches of the flocks of the political left have been doing this for years and years. Remove the law and allow all churches to do it, not just the ones on the left.

  • Givemeabreak

    Church and state needs to remain separate. Government has no place in the church and the church has no place in government.

    • DUH

      What is wrong with a church endorsing a candidate? Why should it be against the law? Most people are uninformed or misinformed voters as it is. Most major corporations have PACs that further the cause of the candidates that will do their business the most good. Why should it be any different for a church? They are both private entities – and churches receive no tax dollars or government subsidies.

      • Drew1789

        Really, no government subsidies? Most churches are 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations. Unlike you and I they don’t have to pay taxes. Granted, it is not a government subsidy per se, but it does save them thousands of dollars a year. Churches are eligible to receive government subsidies for programs that they operate like daycares and other social services. The catch is that to receive the government subsidy, they can’t proselytize or limit access to the services based on religious beliefs.

    • Writer Girl

      Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. That phrase was in a letter of Thomas Jefferson I think. The Constitution means only that a theocracy can’t be set up, i.e. like in the Middle Ages or like the Taliban. It has nothing to do with religious ornaments in public places and all the other BS the left has spewed over the years.

      • Drew1789

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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