President Donald Trump is set to sign a new executive order today that is expected to reduce the enforcement of laws and regulations limiting political activity by tax-exempt churches and other religious groups. The order will also limit enforcement of mandated contraceptive coverage in employer-sponsored insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act for organizations who object to the mandate on religious grounds.
Most Americans oppose churches being exempt from the Johnson Amendment. More than seven in ten (71 percent) Americans oppose allowing churches and places of worship to endorse political candidates while retaining their tax-exempt status, compared to only 22 percent who favor such a policy. All major religious groups in the country oppose allowing churches to endorse candidates while retaining their tax-exempt status. Only about one-third (36 percent) of white evangelical Protestants favor allowing churches to endorse candidates, compared to a majority (56 percent) who oppose it. Even fewer white mainline Protestants (23 percent), Catholics (25 percent), black Protestants (19 percent), and religiously unaffiliated Americans (12 percent) support churches endorsing political candidates.
Most Americans favor a contraception mandate. Two-thirds (67 percent) of the public favor requiring employers to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost. This includes majorities of all major religious groups: white evangelical Protestants (54 percent), nonwhite Protestants (58 percent), Catholics (60 percent), white mainline Protestants (75 percent), and the religiously unaffiliated (81 percent).
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