Free speech has continued to be in the news as of late. Most recently we have addressed digital free speech and the left’s persistent attacks focused on regulating the last bastion of truly free speech available to citizens of this country. For free speech advocates who were listening to Republican Nominee Donald J. Trump’s speech on July 21, 2016, we heard something out of this candidate that should make everyone celebrate. Trump vowed to repeal the IRS restriction on churches’ free speech.
He told GOP delegates on Thursday night that “the evangelical and religious community” has “so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views.”
“Their voice has been taken away,” Mr. Trump said. “I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans.”
President Johnson pushed Congress to pass the Johnson Amendment during his fierce primary battle against Dudley Dougherty. The IRS explains that the rule means that religious institutions that receive a tax-exempt status may not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."
As the DNC convention moves forward with Hillary and several speakers continuing their unjust assault on the Citizens United decision seeking to silence those who would otherwise voice opposition to her vision of America. This is a “solution” she proposes to fix our country. Limiting speech and ideas is clearly a step down the wrong path. Still she proposes to do just that either through judicial appointments or constitutional amendments. It is extremely refreshing to see a nominee seeking to expand freedom of speech in our country, not squash it.