Pastors Encouraged To Violate IRS Ban On Partisan Politics

NEW YORK (AP) -- Conservative legal advocates are recruiting pastors across the U.S. to defy an Internal Revenue Service ban on preaching about politicians.

It's a challenge that they hope will abolish the restriction.

The Alliance Defense Fund will ask the clergy to deliver a sermon about specific candidates on September 28th. If the action triggers an IRS investigation, the legal group will sue to overturn the federal rules, which were enacted in 1954.

Under the IRS code, churches can distribute voter guides, run voter registration drives, hold forums on public policy and invite politicians to speak to their congregations. But they can not endorse a candidate or take sides.

The Alliance Defense Fund says the regulations amount to an unconstitutional limit on free speech and government intrusion into religion.

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