Trump Voices Support for Churches’ Tax-Exempt Status

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

In an interview with CBN’s “Brody File” yesterday, Donald Trump said that he believes churches should not lose their tax exempt status for engaging in political activity.

Trump claimed that more faith leaders would endorse him if they didn’t fear backlash:

I know people who want to endorse me, but they’re afraid to endorse anybody because they don’t want to get political. So essentially, they’ve taken a lot of the power away from the church.

Then, alluding to the growing threat to religious liberty, Trump spoke of the waning clout churches hold at the expense of the federal government:

I see churches where they’re afraid to be outspoken because they don’t want to lose their tax-exempt status, and I realize that is one of the problems. I want to give power back to the church because the church has to have more power. Christianity is really being chopped; little by little it’s being taken away.

These comments come at a time when Trump has been heavily courting social conservatives and Christian evangelical voters. Working to capitalize on his victory in New Hampshire, Trump is surely looking to avoid an Iowa repeat and another loss to Ted Cruz (who recent polling shows is closing in fast) in tomorrow’s South Carolina primary.

Stephen Brown works for the American Principles Project.