Pastors are lining up to defy Internal Revenue Service rules
against their speaking out on elections as October 7, Pulpit
Freedom Sunday, approaches.
The purpose is to make sure the pastor, not the IRS, decides
what is said from the pulpit. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Erik
Stanley tells OneNewsNow that this more of a problem than people
"A lot of people may not
realize it, but since 1954, the IRS has inserted itself into the
process of what is said from the pulpit and has punished and
threatened to punish churches for something the pastor says that
may issue support or opposition for one candidate or another," he
That stems from the Johnson Amendment attached to legislation by
then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D) of Texas to silence conservative
pastors and non-profit groups that would oppose him.
"That's blatantly unconstitutional, and Pulpit Freedom Sunday is
all about returning the right of the pastor to decide what is said
from the pulpit and to kick the government out of the
decision-making process," Stanley remarks.
So far, more than 1,000 pastors have signed up for this
year, during which time they will speak out on issues of the day
with the Bible as the foundation. Many will also make comments
on candidates for various offices. If the IRS challenges them,
Alliance Defending Freedom will defend them.