Opinion: Will Tax Bill Open Church Doors Wider Still for Politics?

A place of worship has never been completely clear of politics in America. But that physical and spiritual space for contemplation and reflection may grow smaller still, and moments without intrusion from the bitterness and division in the world could grow shorter.

Tucked into the House version of the tax plan that Republicans dearly crave as “a win” is a provision that would remove a check on places of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — and some nonprofits. The in-danger Johnson Amendment of 1954, one with more intent than teeth, supposedly prohibits pastors and other faith leaders from endorsing or opposing political candidates from their perches of religious authority or risk losing their tax-exempt status.

A Tax Bill, a Budget and a Deadline

CHARLOTTE, NC– It’s been a busy week, with the Senate taking a big step forward toward passing a Republican $1.5 trillion tax package when the Budget Committee, on a party-line vote, cleared the way for the full Senate to vote on the bill this week. But a meeting to pass a budget and avoid a government shutdown hit a snag when a presidential tweet caused top Democratic leaders to be no-shows for a White House meeting. (Mary C. Curtis)

Opinion: When Holiday Values Meet Policy, It May Be Awkward

Just as the generosity of Angel Tree donations and turkey giveaways clash with the kill-or-be-killed stampede of folks looking for a Black Friday bargain, the warm holiday greetings lawmakers disseminate this time of year might strike a dissonant cord when compared to the current policies and politics coming out of Washington.