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1,000 Pastors to Challenge IRS, Talk Politics From The Pulpit
Life News ^ | September 26, 2012 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 09/26/2012 2:04:47 PM PDT by NYer

More than 1,000 pastors will challenge the IRS on October 7 by preaching sermons that present biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates.

In so doing, they will exercise their constitutionally protected freedom to engage in religious expression from the pulpit despite an Internal Revenue Service rule known as the Johnson Amendment that activist groups often use to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status.

Groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State have taken advantage of the vagueness of the tax law and have reported churches to the IRS in an attempt to remove their tax-exempt status. The organization has also sent threatening letters to church warning them not to allow election literature from pro-life groups to be distributed on their property.

The pastors are participating in Alliance Defending Freedom’s fifth annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday and the figure of 1,000 pastors doubles doubling last year’s participation. Registration continues until October 7, so the number continues to rise.

“Pastors should decide what they preach from the pulpit, not the IRS,” said Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley of ADF. “It’s outrageous for pastors and churches to be threatened or punished by the government for applying biblical teachings to all areas of life, including candidates and elections. The question is, ‘Who should decide the content of sermons: pastors or the IRS?’”

“No government-recognized status can be conditioned upon the surrender of a constitutionally protected right,” Stanley explained. “No one would suggest a pastor give up his church’s tax-exempt status if he wants to keep his constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment. Likewise, no one should be asking him to give up his church’s tax-exempt status to be able to keep his constitutionally protected right to free speech.”

Pulpit Freedom Sunday is an event associated with the Pulpit Initiative, a legal effort designed to secure the free speech rights of pastors in the pulpit. Alliance Defending Freedom hopes to eventually go to court to have the Johnson Amendment struck down as unconstitutional for its regulation of sermons, which are protected by the First Amendment.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday began in 2008 with 33 participating pastors. Participation increased each year, with last year’s participation blossoming to 539. This year’s registered participation is currently 1,050 and growing.

A national phone survey conducted by Alliance Defending Freedom and LifeWay Research with 1,000 randomly drawn senior pastors prior to last year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday found that nearly nine out of 10 Protestant pastors believe that the government should not regulate their sermons. http://www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/5076

Pastor Luke Emrich of New Life Church in West Bend, Wisconsin participated in 2008 and told his congregation on Sunday that he supported McCain as did Rev. Ron Johnson Jr., the senior associate pastor at Living Stones Church in Crown Point, Indiana.

“If a candidate supports something that is evil and wicked from a biblical perspective,” Johnson said, “then I have the right to call out the wickedness, and I have the right to say this is what this person stands for — this is wrong.”

The Rev. Jody Hice of Bethlehem First Baptist Church outside of Atlanta also endorsed McCain in 2008 and said he based his recommendations on McCain’s opposition to abortion compared to Obama’s strongly pro-abortion position.

“These are not political issues,” Hice said. “There are moral issues.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1stamendment; churches; freespeech; irs

1 posted on 09/26/2012 2:04:49 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

 

2 posted on 09/26/2012 2:06:00 PM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: NYer

It’s ok if they’re in black churches.


3 posted on 09/26/2012 2:14:31 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: NYer

1001...I just sent to my favorite Pastor. I can guarantee he’ll join in.


4 posted on 09/26/2012 2:19:28 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (PRAY for this country like your life depends on it......because it DOES!)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

The IRS rule is an end run around the Constitution and should be abolished.

Churches have Constitutionally protected free speech, BUT if they choose to exercise that free speech in a manner the government disapproves of, the government penalizes them by raising their tax rate.


5 posted on 09/26/2012 2:19:57 PM PDT by Brookhaven (The Democratic Party has become the Beclowning Party)
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To: NYer
The IRS is the best weapon that politicians have for destroying anyone who gets in their way. An army of nameless, faceless, bureaucrats can ruin and imprison anyone at the stroke of a pen, and the victims have no recourse. The power of taxation is the power to destroy, and there's plenty of interests who use it for just that purpose. That's why you see so much blowback from people who suggest we change the tax code to something more neutral. The ones who complain the most are the ones who stand to lose the most control.
6 posted on 09/26/2012 2:26:39 PM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: NYer

If the government is going to force churches to fund abortions then f the governments rules about politics from the pulpit.


7 posted on 09/26/2012 2:29:55 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny ("Allah" isn't a god. It's a mental disorder.)
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To: NYer

Let the insurrection begin. This is as good a place as any. If they prosecute dissolve and reform. A name doesn’t mean much.

Apparently this was not an issue at all until 1954:

http://www.speakupmovement.org/church/LearnMore/details/5252

The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress in 1954 as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. The Johnson Amendment states that entities who are exempt from federal income tax cannot:

Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.

http://www.firebuilders.org/JAmCEC.htm

In 1954, Johnson was facing re-election to the Senate and was being aggressively opposed by two non-profit anti-Communist groups that were attacking Johnson’s liberal agenda. In retaliation, Johnson inserted language into the IRS code that prohibited non-profits, including churches, from endorsing or opposing candidates for political office. In effect, Senator Johnson used the power of the go-along Congress and the IRS to silence his opposition. Unfortunately, it worked. Some in Johnson’s staff claimed that Johnson never intended to go after churches, only the two “nonprofits” in Texas. Nevertheless, his sly amendment to the tax code affected every church in America, and it is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Barak obastard ... the four most evil presidents in the history of the country.


8 posted on 09/26/2012 2:34:14 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Sequoyah101

In the 58 years since this was added, seems strange that I have never heard of an attempt to amend the amendment and get rid of it.


9 posted on 09/26/2012 2:45:35 PM PDT by Abby4116
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To: NYer

`


10 posted on 09/26/2012 2:47:14 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church must not abandon the poor --- to Holy Mother the State." - Servant of God Dorothy Day)
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To: Brookhaven
The IRS rule is an end run around the Constitution and should be abolished.

Fixed!

See tagline.

11 posted on 09/26/2012 3:02:18 PM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: NYer

Come and get me, Copper!


12 posted on 09/26/2012 3:14:47 PM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
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To: NYer
Pastors: Join The Black Robed Regiment
13 posted on 09/26/2012 3:38:04 PM PDT by madison10
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

This has been going on in “Democrat” churches for ever. Black churches are the worse. They should have had their tax status stripped eons ago.


14 posted on 09/26/2012 3:50:22 PM PDT by FreeAtlanta (christian.bahits.com)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
"It’s ok if they’re in black churches."

You beat me the the punchline.

Eric Witholder is our nation's the "top cop" [barf] and is committed to his New Black Panthers, Black Caucus communists, and his law firm Covington & Burling who handled Blago and pro bono - Gitmo detainees.

Private practice

In March 2004, Holder and Covington & Burling were hired by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to act as a special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board. The investigation was subsequently canceled on May 18, 2004.

Representation of Guantanamo Bay inmates

According to The American Lawyer's annual pro bono survey, Covington lawyers spent 3,022 hours on Guantánamo litigation in 2007, "the firm's largest pro bono project that year".Lawyers from the firm who have become administration officials have been advised by ethics officials to recuse themselves in matters involving detainees represented by their former firms, but not from policy issues where they were not personally and substantially involved. Lanny Breuer is one of those who has had to recuse on from some [sic] matters since leaving the firm for a government position.Covington also co-authored one of three petitioners' briefs filed in Boumediene v. Bush, "and was responsible for several detainee victories" in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. "At least one high-ranking appointee played a key role in advancing detainees' rights," but they did not participate in litigation over the Guantanamo Bay prison itself.

P.S. sorry for the Wikipedia references, but the source is respected by progressives, so it's unassailable /sarc

15 posted on 09/26/2012 5:24:27 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: NYer
Paging Revs. Sharpdung, and Jackstoned.

The IRS has overlooked the Dhim slave quarters for too long to pretend to care anymore.

16 posted on 09/26/2012 5:27:07 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a Barack 0b0tt0my!)
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To: Sequoyah101
"Senator Johnson used the power of the go-along Congress and the IRS to silence his opposition. Unfortunately, it worked"

Excellent post.

The statists are in hypergallactic global turbo mode to "control freedom in order to preserve it".

17 posted on 09/26/2012 5:36:49 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: NYer

bttt


18 posted on 09/26/2012 6:08:14 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: NYer

Religious freedom? Separation of Church and State? ObamaCare forces employers to provide abortions to their employees. Romney forced Catholic Charities to stop providing adoptions in Mass. because they would have been required to do same sex adoptions. He tried to force Catholic Hospitals to perform abortions. San Francisco City Council and Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the Catholic Church. These are examples of what is happening to religious freedoms.


19 posted on 09/26/2012 7:05:34 PM PDT by brightright
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer

Donations to your church are always tax deductible. Even if they are not 501C3...


21 posted on 09/26/2012 9:20:24 PM PDT by ColdSteelTalon (Light is fading to shadow, and casting its shroud over all we have known...)
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