During a markup of the GOP tax reform bill, Rep. Ron Kind said repealing the Johnson Amendment would make the Middle East’s Sunni-Shia conflict “look like a picnic.”
The current version of the House’s tax bill includes a provision to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which prevents tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging political activity.
Rep. Kind, a Democrat from Wisconsin, argued passionately in favor of keeping the Johnson Amendment, asserting that repealing it could “rip apart the very fabric of our communities.”
“Repealing the Johnson Amendment will politicize the pulpit. It will create civil war in the pews,” he said angrily. “It will establish Republican and Democratic churches, and synagogues, and mosques overnight.”
He took his rhetoric to a whole other level, though, when he suggested that repealing the Johnson Amendment could lead to the type of conflict seen in the Middle East, where religious infighting has led to genocide, coups, and civil wars.
“You politicize the pulpit, it’s going to make the Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East look like a picnic,” he declared.