Donald Trump Vows, “I am going to get you your voice back”
Donald Trump made his strongest pitch yet to the evangelical community in a speech Friday vowing to defend “our Christian heritage like you have never seen before” and condemning politicians who “have really abandoned you to a large extent.”
Addressing the 11th Annual gathering of the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, the GOP nominee said the 1st thing he would do “is give our churches their voice back.”
“Our media culture often mocks and demeans people of faith,” he said. “Your values of love, charity and faith built this nation. So how can it be that our media treats people of faith so poorly? One of the reasons is that our politicians have really abandoned you to a large extent.”
On Thursday, Donald Trump told a gathering of evangelicals Thursday that he was surprised to learn they are afraid to endorse him because they worry about their churches losing their non-profit status.
“Your power has been totally taken away. I mean, I do not want to insult anybody, but your power has been totally taken away,” Trump told the gathering in Orlando, FL.
“So, we’re going to get your voice back. We are going to get it back,” he promised.
Donald Trump explained that he recently learned about the “Johnson Amendment,” proposed and championed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in Y 1954. The amendment changed the tax code to bar tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates or otherwise preaching politics from the pulpit.
“So I didn’t know this, and I didn’t know about the — I know 501(c)(3), but I didn’t know that it played such a big role. And I looked into it. I said, I want to check this out,” Donald Trump told the Pastors.
Donald Trump said he learned that the then Senator Lyndon B Johnson (D-TX), by getting his amendment passed, was able to “silence people who didn’t feel so good about him.”
“And I said, Wow, that’s incredible! And for some reason, the churches, the Pastors, the evangelicals, they did not do anything about it. It’s very strange, because I know how tough you are.”
Given the size of their congregations, Pastors “should be far more powerful,” Donald Trump said.
“And if you look what’s happened to religion, if you look at what’s happening to Christianity, and you look at the number of people going to churches, and evangelicals know this also it’s not on this kind of a climb, it’s on this kind of a climb of slow and steady in the wrong direction.
“And a lot of it has to do with the fact that you’ve been silenced. You’ve been silenced like a child. You’ve been silenced, you’ve been silenced. Strong, brilliant, great people that want to do the right thing. We’re not talking about bad people, we’re talking about great people.”
Donald Trump said Pastors should be able to air their political views in church without fear of losing their federal tax exempt status. “And I’m going to figure a way that we can get you back your freedom of speech that was taken away,” he said.
Donald Trump noted that as he got closer to receiving the GOP Presidential nomination, he told his people to add repeal of the Johnson Act into the Republican Party Platform.
And he said he intends to follow through with repeal efforts,”I was with a couple of Pastors 2 weeks ago and they were not really sure. They had heard we’re going to get rid of it, but they weren’t really sure.
“I hope you can spread the word,” Donald Trump said. “This will be so great for religion, but it will be so great for the evangelicals, for the Pastors, for the Ministers, for the Priests, for America, for America. You know, they took away your voice. They took away the voice of great people.
“They took away the voice of people that want to see good things happen. They took away a voice.”
“So, if I get elected President, one of the early things, one of the absolute 1st things I’m going to do is work on totally knocking out the Johnson Amendment. Now, it’s not going to be that hard, because even the Democrats, the power you have is so enormous. It’s not like you have, you represent 2% of the country and, you know, it’s going to be difficult. You probably have 75, 80%.
“And if you want to put your full weight, I mean, can you imagine if all of your people start calling up the local congressman and the local senator, and you — I mean, they don’t have a chance of winning that one.”
Donald Trump also told the Pastors he “may not perfect,” but he knows how to win. He admitted to being “not perfect on the Bible — but I did go to Sunday school for many years, I want to tell you that.”
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