The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event held since 1953. While it usually features a speaker who either holds a position within the faith community or is recognized as a strong figure within the faith community, the Prayer Breakfast is more aptly described as a forum where business and political elites can meet, socialize, and build relationships.
And while we weren’t surprised that Trump showed up and feigned a deep personal faith and respect for all faiths, we were stunned by one of his topics – repealing the Johnson Amendment, which makes it unlawful for a non-profit 501(c)(3) to endorse or campaign for a political candidate. The law explained in layman terms, “It is…a federal law that impedes a religious majority, in this case Christians, from promoting those who will advance their ideology while under the special protection that this country affords those under the rubric of “Religions.’ ” In essence, it recognizes that in a Democratic Republic such as ours, those in the minority must not be allowed to have their rights infringed upon by majority idealism. And it is an important, beautiful law which we should celebrate.
Trump disagrees. Duh. Just check out the news on any given day, read an article on the Muslim ban or abortion and you can figure that out fairly quickly. But his attack on the Republic continues as he has now promised to “destroy” the Johnson amendment, giving religious non-profits the ability to campaign from the pulpit.
Translated: Trump wants to do away with the first amendment.
It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, the God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Jefferson asked, can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God. Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that, remember.
Ummm…can anyone actually explain what the first part of that paragraph has to do with the second? Exactly. NOTHING. Legislating one’s own ideology is NOT the same thing as worshiping according to our own beliefs. I’m fairly certain Jesus would agree.
The irony in all this? (Let’s be honest – the hypocrisy in all of this…) Republicans, while lauding the Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment, don’t care about the 1st Amendment. Because they simply don’t care that the United States of America are a Democratic Republic. Does the majority rule? Yes…but not really. Because everyone matters. That’s why we are the land of the free. That’s why we are a beacon of light for refugees and tired immigrants. Because one person’s rights are not more important than another’s, just because one is Christian.
Watch the segment from the Prayer Breakfast here.