Pastors in the USA going to defy laws against preaching politics from the pulpit.

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remind remind's picture
Pastors in the USA going to defy laws against preaching politics from the pulpit.


remind remind's picture


On Sunday, 33 ministers will take part in a nationwide effort to violate the 54-year-old ban on political preaching and endorse or oppose a candidate from the pulpit. The effort is called the Pulpit Initiative.

Two weeks ago, more than 100 pastors squeezed into a hotel meeting room in Washington, D.C., to learn about the Pulpit Initiative, a brain child of the conservative legal group, Alliance Defense Fund. Attorney Erik Stanley walked them through it.

"If the IRS chooses to come after these churches, we will sue the IRS in federal court," Stanley said.

Stanley says pastors are fed up. In the past four years, the IRS has stepped up its investigations of clergy. It sent letters to 47 churches, including some liberal ones — not just for explicit endorsements, but also for using code words like pro-choice or pro-life in relation to candidates.

"What's been happening is that the government has been able to go into the pulpits of America, look over the pastor's shoulder, and parse the content of their sermon. And that's unconstitutional," Stanley said. "No government official should entangle itself with religion in that way."

Oh, so no government should entangle itself in religion that way, but the hyprocrits think that religion should tangle itself into politics and still receive tax exemption.

The fundfamentalist Christians are getting more whacked than ever before it seems.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Last Sunday's sermon at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena included an explicit condemnation of the idea that Churches should endorse specific candidates. The relevant bit is here:

For two years, the IRS harassed All Saints, Pasadena over a sermon entitled [i]If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush.[/i]

The sermon, preached the Sunday before the 2004 presidential election, endorsed no candidate, but it did raise challenging issues about war and about poverty.

From June 2005 to September 2007, the IRS investigated All Saints, Pasadena for daring to say:


On November 2nd vote all your values.

I somehow doubt that the far right clerics who abuse their pulpits and preach a false, Republican Jesus will face any criticism.

The irony is that it is Republican hacks crying that their religious freedom is threatened.

The entire history of the IRS campaign of intimidation against All Saints, Pasadena can be found [url=]he...

[ 29 September 2008: Message edited by: Malcolm French, APR ]


Methinks it's about time we started taxing "congregations" of all denominations - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever.

Just tax them until they can't afford to stay afloat anymore and the tolerance level in the country would go up about 800% in a generation.

That, and the government would have all that otherwise-wasted money to put towards something even remotely productive.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Personally, I'd be perfectly fine in ending the tax exemption and charitable status of churches (while possibly maintaining it for specific ministries of a social service nature).

However, for now, the tax exemption exists. If a church can be harrassed by the government for speaking for peace and against poverty, then surely other churches should face investigation for blatant partisan endorsements.

But somehow, I suspect that the 30+ Christian Right pastors will not even get a look.