Friday, October 03, 2014

Pulpit Freedom Sunday calls on pastors to fight IRS censorship and preach politics on Oct. 5

Political figures fighting for their First Amendment rights are celebrating Pulpit Freedom Sunday on Oct. 5. The event, which was initiated in 2008 by the Alliance Defending Freedom is in response to the Internal Revenue Service code that says: "An organization’s activities in furtherance of a religious belief must serve exclusively exempt purposes . . . Generally, exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) is precluded for those organizations which are substantially engaged in attempting to influence legislation or those which participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office."

The IRS says that churches “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to all campaigns, including campaigns at the federal, state and local level.”

Alliance Seeking Freedom says the annual event "seeks to restore the right of each pastor to speak scriptural Truth from the pulpit about moral, social and governmental issues—as well as other topics concerning his congregation—without fear of losing his church’s tax-exempt status." (Read more)

In 1954 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Johnson Amendment allowing the IRS "to tell pastors what they can and cannot preach," says the Pulpit Freedom Sunday website. The group says that 2,032 pastors have preached election sermons since 2008. (Read more)

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