In a recent Letter to the Editor (Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle), CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle wrote:

“Cal Thomas missed the point entirely when it comes to the Johnson Amendment and Donald Trump’s boast about having it repealed. The main focus of the 1954 Johnson Amendment to the IRS code was to prevent religious leaders from endorsing political candidates from their pulpits. It does no in any way prohibit religious leaders from commenting on political issues in general. The tax exempt status of a religious group would not be endangered if the leader of that group spoke openly about the Affordable Care Act, the Iran nuclear treaty, or the current immigration ban issued by Trump and halted by the courts. If, however, a pastor, rabbi, imam, or priest were to openly endorse any political candidate then seeking office at any level of government that would be a violation of the Johnson Amendment, and that group’s tax exempt status would be at risk. I was the leader of a local religious community for 34 years, and I regularly commented on political issues. Some in the congregation may not have agreed with me, but I was never at odds with the Johnson Amendment or the IRS codes. This information is not hard to find. Perhaps Cal Thomas should do some basic research before he starts offering the wrong interpretation on a current event.”