Freedom in the pulpit

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is warning churches and pastors that they must abide by federal law as Election Day approaches, but one attorney says the 60,000 churches and religious organizations that have received the letter shouldn't be afraid.

Stanley, Erik (ADF)Erik Stanley of Alliance Defending Freedom says Americans United is trying to frighten churches into silence about elections and "moral and biblical issues confronting the candidates."

"But the reality is that no pastor should ever fear the IRS or Americans United for that matter when they stand in their pulpit to preach biblical truth," Stanley asserts. "That's our message, and … no church or pastor should be afraid of these letters that are being sent out by Americans United."

The letter cites the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches or pastors from endorsing candidates from the pulpit. If they do so, under that amendment they risk the threat of losing their tax-exempt status.

"It's very ironic that a group with 'separation of church and state' in its name is arguing for more governmental monitoring and control of churches. That's not the separation of church and state. These letters are nothing more than intimidation tactics," Stanley contends. "But churches must not be afraid. They need to stand and proclaim biblical truth during this election season, and there's nothing wrong with doing so."

The ADF attorney goes on to argue that the Johnson Amendment is "blatantly unconstitutional," and he notes the upcoming Pulpit Freedom Sunday -- a day in which pastors are encouraged to speak out for biblical principles. Any pastor challenged for doing so will be offered the legal representation of Alliance Defending Freedom.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

As a conservative voter, which of these issues matter most to you?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

San Diego police officer killed, another wounded in shooting
AP fact check: Misfires in Hillary's DNC nomination speech
Manafort: "Midnight" due to "Obama-Clinton"
Appeals court: North Carolina voter ID law is discriminatory
Computers hacked at Democrats' House campaign committee
6 Michigan state workers charged in Flint water crisis

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Clinton running mate Tim Kaine won't help with Jewish voters
5 shocking things I learned this summer about liberal Christianity
Report: Obama school-transgender policy child abuse
Black Lives Matter thugs interrupt DNC moment of silence for fallen police officers
Lefties deflect blame from #TraitorHillary by stirring up false fears about Trump

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Pastors will challenge politics from the pulpit law

Pastors are lining up to defy Internal Revenue Service rules against their speaking out on elections as October 7, Pulpit Freedom Sunday, approaches.