President Trump marked the National Day of Prayer by signing an executive order aimed at boosting religious freedom by easing IRS restrictions against political activities by tax-exempt religious organizations, including churches.
Declaring "no one should be censoring sermons," Trump announced the order, which fulfilled a campaign pledge, during a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday attended by religious leaders, activists and Vice President Pence.
“We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced again and we will never stand for religious discrimination,” Trump said before signing the order, which states it is now administration policy is “to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty.”
The ban on political speech from the pulpit is rooted in an amendment introduced in 1954 by then-Democratic Sen. Lyndon Johnson that gave the IRS authority to punish tax-exempt charitable organizations, including churches, for making political endorsements or getting involved in political campaigns.
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