Results of a new poll suggest that 47 percent of evangelical Christians want churches involved in politics, while 34 percent oppose it.
The Morning Consult/POLITICO survey also found that 54 percent of Catholics and 69 percent of Jewish people do not support religious institutions getting involved in the political realm.
Forty percent of evangelicals want churches to be able to endorse political candidates, while 41 percent would be opposed.
In order to keep their tax-exempt 501(c)3 status, churches and other non-profit organizations are not supposed to endorse candidates per the so-called Johnson Amendment, a provision in the U.S. Tax Code enacted into law in 1954.
The Morning Consult/POLITICO poll found that 28 percent of the general public would like that rule removed. Fifty-three percent do not approve of churches endorsing candidates for elected office, and 54 percent don't want churches involved in political activity.
If the Johnson Amendment were repealed, it would likely help the Republicans, as evangelical Christians normally vote for the GOP's candidates.
President Donald Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment during his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2:
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.
Chelsen Vicari, director of the Evangelical Program at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, expressed her reservations about removing the Johnson Amendment to The Christian Post:
I don't want to ignore the real friction between pastors and bureaucrats or secular organizations who might hoist the Johnson Amendment to intimidate churches. But I worry this debate is a distraction from the pressing threats to religious liberty happening abroad, as well as at home. Because what exactly will eliminating the Johnson Amendment gain for the Church? I don't want my pastor or church endorsing political candidates and furthering the politicization of American Christianity.