The record-setting 1,500 pastors that deliberately broke the law last October by preaching politics from the pulpit may have failed to provoke the IRS, but they now have an unexpected ally.
The final report from a national commission of religious and nonprofit leaders argues that the IRS should drop its ban on churches' abilities to endorse political candidates. Labeling the current "government regulation of political speech" by religious organizations as "untenable," the 60-page document submitted to Sen. Charles Grassley—who has been investigating televangelists' finances since 2007—is the work of the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations (CAPRO). (Baptist Press notes the many evangelical leaders on the commission.)
According to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), which oversees CAPRO, the report recommends that:
Members of the clergy should be able to say whatever they believe is appropriate ...1