Nearly 1,500 pastors were deliberately defiant on ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’
The movement of pastors is against an Internal Revenue Service rule, the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which activist groups often use to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status. It states that tax-exempt organizations cannot “participate in, or intervene in … any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”
Last year, 539 pastors participated in the event. The growing movement is associated with the Pulpit Initiative, a legal effort designed to secure the free speech rights of pastors in the pulpit.
However, October 7, 2012 was set aside as “Pulpit Freedom Day” where more than 1,000 pastors agreed to deliberately defy the federal ban and preach politics. Those pastors agreed to preach politics and endorse one of the candidates in upcoming presidential election between the Democratic candidate President Barack Obama and the Republican candidate Governor Mitt Romney.
Pastors took this move to prompt the IRS to enforce a 1954 tax code known as the Johnson Amendment proposed by the then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, charities and churches from making political endorsements.
“Pulpit Freedom Sunday” was organized by the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. The organization wants the IRS to press the matter so it can be decided in court. It believes the law violates the First Amendment by banning preachers from preaching politics from the pulpit.
According to Fox News , Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group said:
“The purpose is to make sure that the pastor and not the IRS decides what is said from the pulpit. It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”
Pastors involved in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” deliberately preached sermons about the candidates running for office and then made a specific recommendation to their congregations. The sermons were recorded and are being sent to the IRS.
View another story on this topic at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/08/us-usa-tax-pulpit-idUSBRE89700E20121008
Encourage YOUR pastor to join in and support independence between the two-party system, and correct principles of governing!