Jump directly to the Content

Pastors Defy the IRS

They've endorsed presidential candidates from the pulpit. Will the IRS respond?

This election season, a group of about 30 pastors plans to challenge the IRS law that prohibits churches from endorsing a political candidate from the pulpit. As part of the "Pulpit Initiative," organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, many of these pastors chose to explicitly endorse one of the presidential candidates as part of his Sunday sermon yesterday.

The pastors say that the IRS regulation violates their First Amendment rights by permitting the government to restrict the free expression of religion. The government should have no authority to restrict what a pastor says from the pulpit to his or her congregation, they argue.

Minnesota pastor Gus Booth, who encouraged his congregation to vote for John McCain yesterday, says, "If we [pastors] can tell you what to do in the bedroom, we can certainly tell you what to do in the voting booth."

On the other side, supporters of the IRS code also appeal to the First Amendment saying the church should stay out of political affairs, and those ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Before You Preach
Before You Preach
From the Magazine
I Plant Secret House Churches Because I Was Saved into One
I Plant Secret House Churches Because I Was Saved into One
How an Iranian teenager found Christ and launched a mission to equip persecuted believers.
Editor's Pick
How the Early Church Dealt with Racial and Cultural Division
How the Early Church Dealt with Racial and Cultural Division
They saw that their ability to truly be the church was at stake.
close