The Unconstitutional 1954 Law That’s Threatened and Silenced Churches For Over 60 Years

Since 1954, anti-Christian organizations have relied on an unconstitutional law to keep Christians from speaking on the topic of politics. Pres. Trump has issued an Executive Order to dampen the effects of the 1954 law. His order does not actually nullify the law since it became law by an act of Congress. Congress or the Supreme Court will have to act to overturn the unconstitutional law.

An Executive Order is not law. A new President could reverse Trump’s order with his or her own order.

Presently, a great deal of authority resides with the Attorney General on implementation. Attorney General will most likely do what is within his authority to accomplish to reverse some of the devastating anti-freedom regulations put into place by former Pres. Obama. At best, this is a stop-gap measure since a new President with a new Attorney General could reverse the order.

The First Amendment does not restrict churches or its pastors from addressing political issues from a religious point of view. We got into this mess when in 1954 a law was rammed through Congress by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson to restrict nonprofit tax-exempt organizations from speaking freely on political issues. There is a long history in the America of churches addressing the issues of the day.

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When the pastor delivered his message, the community at large was impacted by it. “On Sundays, ministers would be gospel heralds proclaiming the way of personal salvation through faith in Christ.” These same ministers would use weekdays, as the occasion required, to become “social guardians telling the nation who they were and what they must do to retain God’s special covenant interest.” There was duty involved in the Christian life. Preaching on the reality of sin and the promise of redemption had a broader relevance.

“Since all of society fell under the mastery of God’s Word, it was necessary that there be a provision for formal presentation of the Word at every significant event in the life of the community. More than any other custom or institution, the occasional sermon symbolized New England’s claim to peculiar peoplehood and proclaimed that in all events bearing on public life, God’s Word would be preeminent.”

Election Day Sermons were often preached with elected officials present.

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