Nearly 80% oppose GOP maneuver to let churches endorse candidates

November 29, 2017

The GOP-led Congress is chipping away at the separation of church and state that has long been viewed as a linchpin of U.S. democracy—and, according to findings of a poll released on September 28 by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland, 79% of Americans oppose this effort.

For years, a group of largely evangelical Christian conservatives has pushed the U.S. regulators to abolish the so-called Johnson Amendment, a provision of the IRS tax code created in 1954 that bars non-profits and churches from endorsing political candidates, according to a report by Think Progress.

Now, the Congressional Religious Right has stealthily included a provision in their embattled tax bills, the online news source reports, that would pare down restrictions prohibiting houses of

However, resistance to the idea is bipartisan: 88% of Democrats, 7% of Independents, and 71% of Republicans all disapproved of the idea—and 55% have stated that it is “very important” to keep current law intact.

Interestingly enough,  56% of respondents to the survey who said that they identify as Evangelical still oppose the proposal, while 43% were in favor. However among Republican Evangelicals a slight majority—52%–favored the idea.

“Americans are frustrated with the degree of partisan polarization in this country. The idea of churches and universities becoming channels for partisan political activity makes this proposal a non-starter with Republican and Democratic voters alike,” states Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation.

The survey was conducted online from September 7 through October 3 among 2,482 registered voters, provided by Nielsen Scarborough.

Research contact: info@publicconsultation.org

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