“(Democrats and Republicans) are describing the problem in very different ways,” said Galen Carey, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals. “One side is saying ‘this is an oversight,’ the other is calling it Republicans’ war on religion … overheated rhetoric probably won’t help us get a solution.”

Short of legislative action, a public relations nightmare could be awaiting lawmakers who voted for the tax bill back home.

“This is an issue that will not go away,” said Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Fiscal Accountability. “When you stir up 100,000 houses of worship, and then hundreds of thousands of nonprofits on top of that, you have a pretty mighty force that is going to get attention on this issue.”