Freedom of Religion
Protecting your beliefs
Religion comes in many forms, but for the vast majority of people who profess a belief in a religion, it is a source of comfort and peace. The pilgrims fled to The New World, which would later become The United States of America, to flee from religious persecution. As a result, our Founding Fathers felt an obligation to protect this very basic human right and enshrined this right in the very First Amendment to our Constitution. This shows the great importance of this right.
It is our duty to protect this fundamental right and ensure that it is not hindered in any way. Many Americans feel as though their freedom of religion has been under attack in recent decades. I will always fight for religious freedom, which is so precious to those of us who believe.
I have some bills that protect this freedom, while also ensuring that the exercise of one's religious freedom does not hinder any rights of others. There must always be a balance when the rights of different individuals conflict. But, we are up to that challenge. One such balance of rights is when a religion promotes or encourages violence against another person. We cannot let the practice of religious rights turn into criminal acts.
I am ready to introduce these bills in the U.S. House of Representatives on Day One!
The Bible in One Year (Chronologically): If you would like to follow along with me, I read a little of the Bible each day, so that in 1 year (January 1st through December 31st) I read the entire Bible. This is something I started on January 1, 2018 and have continued to this day.
(Click on policy name to view full policy)
Johnson Amendment Repeal: Basically, the Johnson Amendment bars all 501(c)(3) organizations (including churches and charitable organizations) from making statements relating to political campaigns (endorsing or opposing). If the churches and charitable organizations do make such statements, they risk losing their tax exempt status.
This is meant to muzzle our ministers to not take political stands. Many people look up to their religious leaders for guidance in spiritual growth, finances, parenting, grief, turbulent times, moral dilemmas, and so much more. Why wouldn't we want our religious leaders to guide us politically? Why would we silence our religious leaders when it comes to issues that affect our nation as a whole? The Johnson Amendment forces our religious leaders to choose between the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion by barring them from exercising both freedoms guaranteed to us, and them, by the FIRST AMENDMENT.
On May 4, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order titled "Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty". This executive order limits the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, allowing individuals, houses of worship, and religious organizations to speak on political topics without the threat of losing their tax-exempt status. Although this is a step in the right direction to protect religious rights and speech rights, we need to formally repeal the Johnson Amendment. This needs to be done by Congress.
I will do everything I can to get it this amendment repealed so our religious leaders no longer have their First Amendment rights hindered in order to enjoy their tax exempt status.
Protecting Religion and Speech Amendment: However, I am considering a Constitutional Amendment to make this protection of speech and religion a permanent protection, not a choice between two freedoms. The Amendment would read, "Congress shall make no law that limits the free speech of churches, religious leaders, and/or places of worship in the United States; and churches, religious leaders, and places of worship shall be exempt from taxes because of their inherent, extensive benefit that they provide to the public."
I welcome your input in helping me decide whether repealing the Johnson Amendment is sufficient or whether we need a Constitutional Amendment to protect religion and speech simultaneously.
Investigations of Abuse by Religious Institutions: Protecting society from abusive and/or criminal groups masquerading as religious groups.