This Sunday, October 5th, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday will take place. They claim it’s about religious freedom when in fact it’s about creating a lawsuit they can use to try and get tax regulations against electioneering by churches tossed out as unconstitutional. Finally, this year they might get their lawsuit.
4. The Johnson Amendment is blatantly unconstitutional. Pulpit Freedom Sunday is a head-on constitutional challenge to the Johnson Amendment, which is blatantly unconstitutional. This unjust law, which never should have been applied to churches and pastors, has had a devastating effect on their constitutionally protected rights. Pulpit Freedom Sunday is a strategic initiative to remove this unjust law and restore a pastor’s right to speak freely from the pulpit.
In previous years, Pulpit Freedom Sunday failed because the IRS had stopped investigating electioneering complaints but this year Alliance Defending Freedom might get its wish because the IRS has now said it may start investigating complaints.
The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations. While the IRS retains “prosecutorial” discretion with regard to any individual case, the IRS no longer has a blanket policy or practice of non-enforcement of political activity restrictions as to churches.
Contrary to ADF’s contention, pastors endorsing specific candidates or electioneering for specific candidates violates IRS tax regulations. Those regulations don’t step on religious freedom as the regulations have nothing to do with religious content.
If pastors want to tell their church members that Jesus wants them to vote for Republicans or Democrats then they can do it without taxpayer support.
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