Trump previously declared he would “totally destroy” what is known as the Johnson Amendment, the long-standing ban on churches and other tax-exempt organizations supporting political candidates The order was unveiled on a National Day of Prayer celebrated with religious leaders. “For too long the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs,” Trump said. He also would direct the Justice Department to develop rules to guide that ¬process.
The new executive order has its critics. “After careful review of the order’s text we have determined that the order does not meaningfully alter the ability of religious institutions or individuals to intervene in the political process,” American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement. Rabbi David Saperstein, former ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said that as crafted, Trump’s order isn’t likely to make a significant difference in enforcement practices.