Tomorrow January 31, 2017, the American Humanist Association will host briefings in both the US House and Senate to educate legislators and their staff about the importance of protecting the Johnson Amendment, a piece of legislation that prevents religious organizations from violating the separation of church and state by endorsing political candidates. The US House briefing will be held at 11:30am, and the US Senate briefing will be held at1:30pm.
WHERE: The US House briefing will be held at Cannon 340, and the US Senate briefing will be held at Russell 485, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
The briefing will feature experts on the topics of religious freedom and campaign finance, including: Policy Counsel Jennifer Ahearn of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Executive Director Amanda Tyler of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and Political Action Committee Coordinator Ron Millar of the Freethought Equality Fund. American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt and American Humanist Association Development and Communications Director Maggie Ardiente will also be in attendance.
A repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which was passed in 1954 to protect the separation of church and state by prohibiting religious and other non-profit organizations from engaging in political activity, including endorsing and funding political candidates would be devastating. Already, a bill has been introduced in this session of Congress, HR 172, which would overturn the Johnson Amendment. The American Humanist Association, as well as other church-state separation groups and organizations for campaign finance reform, are concerned that without the Johnson Amendment, churches and other religious organizations could funnel anonymous, tax-deductible donations to candidates who promise to carry out their religious practices into policy.
About the American Humanist Association
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
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