Over 400 Pastors Sign On to Preach Politics and Challenge the IRS

Posted on September 30, 2011


September 30, 2011 7:30 AM
This Sunday, more than 400 pastors will be using their pulpits to preach politics and challenge the Internal Revenue Service’s regulations that restrict religious leaders from endorsing candidates and discussing policies with their congregations.

Oct. 2 is Pulpit Freedom Sunday, and this year Alliance Defense Fund and its supporters have quadrupled its participation from last year. Last year, 100 pastors committed to the event, but this year, registration lists are exploding, with 475 pastors who will participate in the event.
ADF created Pulpit Freedom Day project through its Pulpit Initiative to protect the church’s religious freedom, said ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley, the event’s spokesperson. Stanley told The Christian Post that ADF has purposely kept the event small for the past three years to gauge the IRS’ reaction.
On Pulpit Freedom Day, registered pastors are encouraged to videotape themselves speaking to their congregations about the Scripture, politics and political candidates, and mail those videos to the IRS. ADF then stands ready to evaluate IRS complaints and legally represent those churches or ministries whose 501(c)(3) nontaxable status has been threatened in court.
“Our goal has always been … to have the Johnson amendment declared unconstitutional,” Stanley said.
Since the project began in 2008 with 33 pastors, no churches have been investigated or had their tax-exempt status revoked due to their participation, Stanley said.
Source: Christian Post | Stephanie Samuel
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