Earlier this week, Donald Trump was interviewed by the Charisma Podcast Network’s Steve Strang on a number of important election topics, including religious liberty. During their discussion, Trump reiterated his strong support for religious liberty as well as his promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment, a law which has had a chilling effect on religious leaders’ ability to speak out politically:
STRANG: Evangelicals and Catholics have been under attack from the Obama administration for their pro-life convictions and their desire to be left alone [inaudible] that which violates their biblical views on marriage. How can you reassure them that you will respect religious liberty?
TRUMP: Well, I think that — I even mentioned it in my speech — that religious liberty is the foundation. Without religious liberty you don’t have liberty. And I feel that so strong. And so many other people do, except they don’t express it. And plenty of politicians do, but they don’t express it. So religious liberty is something I find that I cherish, and you will never be disappointed.
STRANG: When you met with evangelical leaders, you said that you would support repealing the Johnson Amendment, so that churches and ministries could maintain tax exemption. [Crosstalk] How will you do it?
TRUMP: Well, it all started very early on. Well, no, actually starting — if you want to know the truth, I started it already because I put it in the platform. It’s in the platform. A lot of people didn’t even know what it was. And I put it in the platform. And now a lot of the pastors and ministers have seen it, and they can’t even believe it. Because how this happened in the first place is shocking, how they were able to [inaudible]. So it’s not something that was written from the beginning — this is something that was put in by a very strong politician. That’s all it is.
But it silences great people. It silences people that we want to hear. Afraid to open their — they’re afraid to talk about it, because they could lose everything. You know, they lose everything with this. And we will — I will do — if I win, one of the first things I will do is lobby very strongly to have this terminated. And I will tell you something — it won’t be hard. Because your lobby is so powerful. So even Democrats are going to approve it. Because this is bigger than men, bigger than women, in terms of numbers of people. So I’ll be able to get it done. I have absolute confidence that I’ll be able to get it done.
You can listen to Trump’s full interview here.
Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com.