Pulpit freedoms

Churches and the IRS
People looking for signs of theological sanity in this land can take heart from the fact that only 33 pastors endorsed a presidential candidate as part of a “pulpit freedom” demonstration on September 28. The event was conceived by the Alliance Defense Fund to challenge Internal Revenue Service guidelines that prohibit tax-exempt religious organizations from engaging in direct political campaigning.

The ADF aims to foster outrage at IRS rules by claiming that they take away pastors’ right to speak freely from the pulpit without fear of punishment. “It’s a First Amendment issue,” Jody Hice, a Southern Baptist pastor in Georgia, told the Associated Press. The ADF is virtually begging the IRS to penalize these pastors so it has a chance to challenge the IRS rules in court—perhaps even the Supreme Court.


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