Dictionary.com waded into a political debate and seemingly in a way that opposes President Trump on the matter of tax-exempt statuses for churches that get political in the pulpit.
Seemingly reacting Thursday to a statement made by Mr. Trump earlier in the day, the free online dictionary weighed in on a controversial issue where federal tax policy and religious freedom meet.
“We’re just going to leave this here: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/separation-of-church-and-state … #JohnsonAmendment,” tweeted Dictionary.com shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern.
The link tweeted directs to a Dictionary.com entry for “separation of church and state,” which it defines as “The principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality toward religion.”
“Many view separation of church and state as required by the First Amendment,” continues the definition. “The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion.”
Speaking Thursday morning at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Mr. Trump assured attendees he was on board to repeal the Johnson Amendment, legislation dating back to the Eisenhower era that forbids houses of worship from endorsing candidates or legislation on pain of having their tax-exempt status revoked.
“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,” Mr. Trump said.