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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  • by Raptor Location: NC on May 10, 2008 at 09:40 PM
    The Clintons and Obama have used the pulpit as their launch into political life. The Clintons were famous for this, as well as Jimmy Carter. The Democrates berated Bush for his religous belifes, but use the pulpit to expound and extend their political belifes.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabanen NC on May 10, 2008 at 09:27 PM
    Remember seperation of church and state?
  • by Michael on May 10, 2008 at 04:06 AM
    "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." This alone is tantamount to endorsing a candidate (the unspoken endorsement). It seems to be a fine line that the conservatives have not crossed. The liberals have been crossing it as long as I can remember.... and I'm a senior citizen.
  • by Rick Location: Washington on May 10, 2008 at 03:52 AM
    They can do it now. They just have to give up their very lucrative tax status. Greed and self-interest always want it both ways. Sad when some political groups are so greed driven and desperate for the riches of political office that they will encourage supporters to break the law, and then claim some moral high ground.
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