Pulpit Freedom Sunday drew a record number of pastors to speak
out on candidates and issues with a biblical perspective.
Over the weekend, 1,586 churches in all 50 states, the District
of Columbia, and Puerto Rico participated. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Erik
Stanley tells OneNewsNow it was the largest Pulpit Freedom Sunday
"We're excited and encouraged to see
that many pastors standing together, united to proclaim that they
have a constitutional right to speak freely from their pulpit," he
tells OneNewsNow. "That's what it's all about ... getting the
government out of the pulpits of America once and for all."
The problem, he explains, is the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which
restricts what pastors can say from the pulpit, including
endorsement of political candidates at the risk of losing
Stanley says that as in previous years, ADF is in a wait-and-see
"... We're still waiting to see whether the IRS is going to
react, and we'll continue to wait," he comments. "So if they do, we
will be prepared to represent these pastors and churches and to
seek to have the Johnson Amendment declared unconstitutional and
removed from the books once and for all."
At present every American has a constitutionally protected right
to free speech -- except for pastors, who are subject to the
This year's event was the fourth Pulpit Freedom Sunday. One of
the pastors who spoke out this year was
Pastor Jim Garlow of San Diego, who told his congregation he
would be voting for Mitt Romney - and explained why.
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.