|Sent on:||Sunday, October 7, 2012 12:07 PM|
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.
"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.