Pastors, biblical principles silenced in Michigan

Monday, October 29, 2012
Charlie Butts (

Attorneys head to court Tuesday to challenge a Michigan law that prevents pastors from influencing voters.

Muise, Robert (AFLC) 2Robert Muise, co-founder of the American Freedom Law Center, has filed suit against the Michigan attorney general and a local prosecutor, "seeking to enjoin a provision of the Michigan election law that actually makes it a crime for a Christian, a priest, a pastor to attempt to influence a voter at an election by advising them 'under pain of religious disapproval,' as the statute says."

It is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment, fines, or both. Muise sees that to mean religious leaders are denied the free speech rights others enjoy.

"Certainly in this election cycle we see a lot of persons, a lot of groups who are trying to influence voters to vote a certain way based on whatever their particular cause celeb might be," the attorney recognizes.

"But for a religious person to try to influence a voter to vote in accord with God's Word, in accord with biblical principles, that would put the priest, pastor, or minister subject to criminal prosecution under this Michigan election law."

Muise adds the law is unconstitutional on its face, so he will ask a federal judge to issue a temporary injunction to ensure that it is not used to silence people of faith as the election approaches.

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