Commonwealth Policy Center

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was asked at a CNN townhall forum, “Do you think religious institutions, like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?” He said “yes.” This was a shot across the bow of institutions that teach a religious perspective on social issues like the definition of marriage. Unfortunately, anti-religious bias is becoming more common in our politics. Freedom of religion is the first freedom protected in our Bill of Rights, and it extends to religious institutions like private schools and other nonprofits. This means they can hold and teach values they believe honor the Creator. When political candidates are hostile to churches and Christian schools, we should question their tolerance and their ability to respect others’ religious views.