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Pastors and Politics: 6 Misconceptions About the Johnson Amendment

Pastors and Politics: 6 Misconceptions About the Johnson Amendment

4. White evangelical pulpits are the most politicized
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Foundry United Methodist Church's bicentennial service in Washington, September 13, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

Many view the efforts to overturn the Johnson Amendment as a way of advancing political agendas through conservative white evangelical pulpits.

In response to Trump's past remarks vowing to "destroy" the Johnson Amendment, Americans United for Separation of Church and State's Executive Director, the Rev. Barry Lynn, echoed this sentiment.

"President Donald Trump and his allies in the religious right seek to turn America's houses of worship into miniature political action committees," stated Lynn.

However, evidence suggests that the more likely source of politics from the pulpit would not be from white evangelicals supporting Republicans, but rather black clergy supporting Democrats.

Last year, Pew Research Center released a report which found that African-American churches had far more political rhetoric during worship than white evangelical congregations.

"Compared with other groups, black Protestant churchgoers report hearing more direct talk about candidates from church leaders," noted Pew.

"They have heard much more support for Clinton (28 percent) than for Trump (2 percent) and have heard clergy speak out against Trump (20 percent) more often than against Clinton (7 percent). Smaller shares of white evangelical Protestant churchgoers report hearing their clergy speak out in support of (4 percent) or against (7 percent) specific candidates, and the message is more mixed ..."

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