The list of pastors willing to challenge the Internal Revenue
Service's rules for maintaining tax-exempt status is growing in
advance of Pulpit Freedom Sunday this weekend.
Most pastors keep silent on election issues for fear of
violating the so-called Johnson Amendment, passed in 1954, when
then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D) wanted to silence churches and
conservative non-profit groups who opposed his candidacy.
Attorney Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defending Freedom tells OneNewsNow
that means pastors are the only ones who do not have
constitutionally protected freedom of speech.
"It's outrageous for pastors and churches to be threatened or
punished by the government for applying biblical teaching to all
areas of life, including candidates and elections," Stanley
contends. "The real question is who should decide the content of
sermons: pastors or the IRS?"
The attorney asserts that no one should have to surrender a
constitutional right to be a pastor.
Well over 1,000 pastors -- nearly double last year -- have
signed up to defy the IRS this Sunday by preaching about the moral
issues of the campaign and the candidates' stances. If the IRS
takes action against any of them, Alliance Defending Freedom will
provide representation in order to overturn the amendment, which
Stanley says is clearly unconstitutional.