Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty,
Washington, DC, November 6, 2017.
Hon. Kevin Brady, Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee, Washington, DC.
Hon. Richard Neal, Ranking Member, House Ways and Means Committee, Washington, DC.
Dear Chairman Brady and Ranking Member Neal:
On behalf of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC), an 81-year-old agency serving 15 Baptist bodies on legal and policy matters relating to religious liberty and the separation of church and state, I write to express strong opposition to Section 5201 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This provision seriously undermines the independence and integrity of our houses of worship and denominations by creating an exemption to the partisan campaign prohibition that applies equally to all 501(c)(3) organizations. This attempt to encourage certain religious organizations to engage in partisan campaigning is constitutionally problematic following the Supreme Court’s application of the Establishment Clause in Texas Monthly v. Bullock.