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Pastors Preach Politics in Pulpit Campaign

10/08/10

The USA Today reported on an Alliance Defense Fund “Pulpit Freedom” campaign taking place last Sunday, when nearly 100 pastors across the nation used their pulpits to endorse political candidates. The story said the ADF hopes the campaign will prompt a legal battle with the Internal Revenue Service which will result in overturning statutes prohibiting political candidate endorsements from tax-exempt organizations like churches. A spokesperson for the ADF said the goal was to “empower pastors to speak freely from the pulpit without government censorship or control.” The campaign prompted the Americans United for Separation of Church and State to file an IRS complaint against a participating Baptist church in Oklahoma. A representative from the opposition group told The Wall Street Journal that churches who endorse political candidates from the pulpit “want all the benefits of the tax-exempt status with none of the burdens,” adding that churches who do so should lose their tax exemption. The IRS has not commented on the campaign.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including ChurchLeaders.com and SermonCentral.com.