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On Wednesday's edition of "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) joins Tony to discuss today’s introduction of the Free Speech Fairness Act. Bishop Harry Jackson joins Tony to discuss the Free Speech Fairness Act and Pulpit Freedom Sunday this Sunday, October 2.

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Free Speech Should Be Fair for All

Every election cycle makes one thing abundantly clear: the Johnson Amendment is chilling the speech of churches, tax-exempt organizations, and their leaders. The Johnson Amendment was introduced by Lyndon Johnson in 1954, after he was elected to the Senate despite a tax-exempt organization urging his defeat. This amendment was passed without any debate and was hidden in a larger tax package. The Johnson Amendment prohibits tax-exempt organizations from participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

The IRS enforces the Johnson Amendment, but has been inconsistent in its application of the law. It has imposed fines and penalties against exempt organizations only to later refund the fines. The IRS has even neglected to provide guidelines to help tax-exempt organizations better understand when they would run afoul of the Johnson Amendment. Because of the inconsistent approach in enforcing the Johnson Amendment, it has had the unconstitutional effect of chilling speech, particularly the speech of pastors.

That is why one Sunday a year -- Pulpit Freedom Sunday -- pastors across the country preach directly and scripturally about candidates and encourage their church members to exercise their stewardship responsibility to be salt and light in the election process. This year, Pulpit Freedom ... (more)

Life »

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Q&A on the Abortion Facility Regulations Decision

by Family Research Council

What does Texas’ H.B. 2 law say? This basic, commonsense law required that 1) abortion facilities be held to the same standard as ambulatory surgical centers and that 2) abortionists must have admitting privileges at a local hospital not further than thirty miles from the abortion facility. These regulations protected women from lax abortion industry safety standards by requiring that abortion centers meet necessary health and safety standards, including the presence of trained staff, corridors that could accommodate stretchers in ... (more)

Family »

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Families, Churches, and Crime Prevention

by Mr. J. Kenneth Blackwell

Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Heritage Foundation's 2016 Index of Culture and Opportunity. Politicians often argue that the solution to reducing crime is more government programs or building bigger jails. Yet government cannot adequately address the underlying problems of criminal behavior or fill the holes in people’s lives. What families need more than government programs are married fathers and mothers together in the home ... (more)

Liberty »

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How to Amend the Johnson Amendment

by Mr. Travis Weber

In 1954, to help stop his political opponents, then Senator Lyndon Johnson introduced an amendment to the tax code to bar tax-exempt entities from involvement in political campaigns. The "Johnson Amendment" was passed and became part of federal law: "Corporations . . . organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes . . . [can]not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of ... (more)