Protect Yer Johnson! Why Churches Should Support the Johnson Amendment

The Republican party’s hegemony in American Christianity never ceases to astound and befuddle me. Jesus had tons to say about eschewing wealth and providing for the poor, yet the GOP, the de facto Christian party, consistently rewards the rich while turning its back on the needy and destitute. Conversely, Jesus never broaches the subjects of abortion or homosexuality, yet somehow these are among the most pressing issues in Christian political circles.

The fact is, neither of our two major political parties is 100% representative of Christ’s teachings. Politics is a nasty, sinful business, and the church cannot ally itself with one or the other without getting blood on its hands. That said, the GOP is so cartoonishly opposed to Christian values that the church would do well to speak out against them, rather than support them unthinkingly.

You can’t “Love thy neighbor” when your party’s president emboldens white supremacists. You can’t really support “the least of these brothers” when your party consistently cuts programs that benefit the poor and destitute. You can’t preach that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” when your party of choice is entirely in the service of their wealthy benefactors.

This is why I think churches should support the Johnson Amendment, even though recent legislation proposes an exemption for churches. I see no reason why the church shouldn’t elucidate the Christian view on issues of the day (even though I question which issues they emphasize), but when you enter the realm of specific candidates and parties, you are now inextricably associated with their actions, Biblical or not. The church is losing enough members these days without formalizing their involvement in our political quagmire.

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