Donald Trump Tells Brody File: “I want to give power back to the church”

In an exclusive interview with CBN’s The Brody File, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that he wants Christian pastors to be able to speak more boldly from the pulpit because, “the church has to have more power.” Trump told Brody that the Johnson Amendment never should have been passed, which altered the U.S. tax code and prohibited speech in churches. He said:

They’ve taken a lot of the power away from the church. I want to give power back to the church…Christianity is really being chopped; little by little it’s being taken away. “Trump continues: “I want pastors and ministers to be able and get up and speak on behalf of Christianity and they’re afraid to do it right now because they don’t want to lose their tax exempt status. We will take care of that.”

This is the first time Trump has mentioned the Johnson Amendment in the many times he’s been interviewed by the Brody File. According to some polls, Trump leads with evangelicals in South Carolina.

MANDATORY COURTESY: CBN NEWS/ THE BRODY FILE:

David Brody: “Tell me about your core because you say a lot of good stuff up there but people want to make sure that you’re going to be able to deliver.”

Donald Trump: “I’m a Christian. I’m Protestant. I’m Presbyterian. I think that Christianity frankly, I think Christians in our country are not treated properly. The bill that was passed during the Lyndon Johnson era is horrible because 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 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. 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.”

David Brody: “So you just invoked Lyndon Johnson there in 1952, the tax-exempt status so just so I understand you’re basically saying that you want pastors to be more involved and speak more boldly from the pulpit like they did in Revolutionary War times, is that it?”

Donald Trump: “I want pastors to be able to speak. They’re afraid to speak now, they’re afraid to get involved in politics because of tax-exempt status and I want pastors to be able to speak…I want pastors and ministers to be able and get up and speak on behalf of Christianity and they’re afraid to do it right now because they don’t want to lose their tax exempt status. We will take care of that.”

This article was first published on February 18, 2016.