Roe v. Wade: Forever is Longer than Forty Years | Eric Stanley at Speak Up Movement

Atheists sue IRS for not Enforcing the Johnson Amendment against Pastors | Erik Stanley

Nigeria: Should Religious Organisations Pay Taxes?

Ninety Days After Speaking Out on Politics, IRS Ignores Pastors | Erik Stanley at LifeNews

Preachers under fire: politics from the pulpit breaks the law, some say | Mercury News

Rendering unto Caesar? | Alliance Defending Freedom

Atheist Group Sues IRS Over Church Involvement in Political Campaigns

Atheist group sues IRS over churches endorsing politics | World

Case Surrounds Whether Tenn. Gov’t Can Define a ‘Ministry’

How Churches Have Brought the IRS to Its Knees: If God plays politics, then God should pay taxes.

Atheist Group Sues IRS Over Church Endorsements | Tennessean

Freedom From Religion Foundation sues IRS for failure to enforce ban on church politicking | God Discussion Blog

Atheists sue IRS for ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ | Washington Times

Tennessee Church Fights for Tax Exemption | Citizen Link

Will Tenn. gov’t be allowed to decide what ‘ministry’ is? | Alliance Defending Freedom

Complaint to IRS Against Catholic Bishops is Bogus ‘Scare Tactic,’ Religious Rights Attorneys Say | CNSNews

Pulpit politics: Pastors endorse candidates, thumbing noses at the IRS | NBS (includes videos)

    NBC (includes several videos of pastors): About 1,600 pastors across the country violated a 58-year-old ban on political endorsements by churches in October by explicitly backing political candidates in their Sunday sermons, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom of Scottsdale, Ariz., a conservative Christian legal organization behind a campaign called Pulpit Freedom Sunday . . . The Alliance Defending Freedom asserts that it’s working to further the rights of all religious groups, but it’s an explicitly Christian organization, with a heavy representation of evangelical members and leaders. One clue to its philosophy is that it made it Pulpit Freedom “Sunday” — choosing the Christian Sabbath, instead of more broadly embracing the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) and the Muslim day of worship (Friday) . . . But Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said it’s clear that the agency is sidestepping the issue. “We surmise the IRS has shut down all its church audits,” Stanley said. As time goes on, he added, “It may become clear that the IRS has taken the position that it will not censor a pastor.”


  • Posted: 11/05/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: usnews.nbcnews.com

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Has the IRS given up on auditing churches? | Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement Church Blog

Pastors Call Left’s Bluff: No IRS Penalties for Preaching Politics | Matt Barber at LifeNews

Should Pastors, Religious Leaders Endorse Political Candidates and Is It Legal? | Christian Post

’2016: Obama’s America’ to Screen at Churches Before DVD Release

In the Spirit: Political pastor plans to provoke IRS | Wis. State J.

Pastors Preach Politics, Risking Tax-Exempt Status | ProCon.org

Pastors Fight IRS On ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Do We Need to Protect Religious Freedom in the Pulpit? | Karen Gushta at the Christian Post

    Karen Gushta at the Christian Post: But Erik Stanley, Senior ADF Legal Counsel, says “the AU is using an unconstitutional law to try and intimidate and scare churches.” The problem, says Stanley, is that the Johnson Amendment “is blatantly unconstitutional.” As he wrote at Townhall.com (10/8/2012) those who argue that this is a “taxation issue” are missing the point that this is in truth a free speech issue. “Pastors have been applying scriptural teaching to circumstances facing their congregations for centuries,” writes Stanley. “This is not ‘political’ speech. Rather, it’s core religious expression from a spiritual leader to his congregants. That kind of expression is at the very center of the freedom of speech and religion protections in the First Amendment.” According to Stanley, “The real question is this: When has the government ever been allowed to condition any government-recognized status (such as tax-exempt status) on the surrender of a constitutionally protected freedom?”


  • Posted: 10/10/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.christianpost.com

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Project 21′s Nedd Prefers Politics Away from the Pulpit | Amy Ridenour’s National Center Blog

Pastor heralds success of endorsing from the pulpit, challenging IRS | CNN (includes video)

Will churches hear from the IRS? | One News Now

1,586 pastors challenge IRS intimidation on Pulpit Freedom Sunday | LifeSiteNews

Almost 1,600 Pastors Defy IRS, Preach Politics From Pulpit | LifeNews

Freedom (and Prudence) in the Pulpit | Joe Carter at Acton Institute Power Blog

Can Churches Endorse Political Candidates? | Article 3 Blog

Should Preachers Be Practicing Politics? | Accounting Web

1,600 Pastors To IRS: Stay Out Of Our Pulpits! | WorldNetDaily

Pastor endorses from pulpit, challenging IRS | KCRA (CNN)

    KCRA (CNN): Johnson’s anti-Obama sermonizing likely violated the so-called Johnson Amendment, an Internal Revenue Service rule that forbids churches that receive tax-exempt status from the federal government to intervene in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” But Johnson appears comfortable with defying the IRS. His sermon was part of a national campaign by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organization that has organized Pulpit Freedom Sunday since 2008, encouraging pastors to flout the Johnson Amendment with political endorsements from the pulpit. The IRS has the ability and the authority to regulate their sermons. We are giving them the opportunity to do that, and if they challenge that, we will challenge that in court,” said Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior legal counsel. “It is all about creating a test case to find the Johnson Amendment as unconstitutional.”


  • Posted: 10/09/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.kcra.com

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Churches Risk Tax-Exempt Status to Endorse Candidates | Non Profit Quarterly

    Non Profit Quarterly: The ADF plans to “actively represent any church or pastor who has been threatened or punished for actively speaking from the pulpit.” This event is intended to provoke the IRS into taking action so that the ADF can challenge and try to overturn the Johnson Amendment (the 1954 change in the U.S. tax code which prohibited tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates). Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for ADF, told Fox News, “The purpose is to make sure that the pastor — and not the IRS — decides what is said from the pulpit. It is a head-on constitutional challenge. We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened. We have to wait for it to be applied to a particular church or pastor so that we can challenge it in court. We don’t think it’s going to take long for a judge to strike this down as unconstitutional.” . . . The final list of churches that participated in this year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday action will soon be released by ADF.


  • Posted: 10/09/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.nonprofitquarterly.org

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Pastors Take Politics to the Pulpit, Defy IRS | CBN (videos)

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Pastors Defy Tax Rules, Back Political Candidates | Huffington Post

UPDATE: Nearly 1,600 pastors participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Government Can’t Require Churches to Abandon Constitutional Freedoms | Erik Stanley

    Erik Stanley at Townhall: In other words, the arguments against Pulpit Freedom Sunday fail because the premise for those arguments is all wrong . . . But pastors who participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday are not engaging in a “political crusade.” Instead, they are simply applying Scripture and theological doctrine to the positions held by the candidates running for office. Pastors have been applying scriptural teaching to circumstances facing their congregations for centuries. This is not “political” speech. Rather, it’s core religious expression from a spiritual leader to his congregants. That kind of expression is at the very center of the freedom of speech and religion protections in the First Amendment.
    The real question is this: When has the government ever been allowed to condition any government-recognized status (such as tax-exempt status) on the surrender of a constitutionally protected freedom?


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: Featured
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  • Source: townhall.com

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Americans United for Separation of Church and State Subject Church to State | Erik Stanley at the Christian Post

The business casual brigade | World Magazine

More than 1,000 pastors were deliberately defiant on ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ | Examiner.com

    Examiner.com: Pastors took this move to prompt the IRS to enforce a 1954 tax code known as the Johnson Amendment proposed by the then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, charities and churches from making political endorsements. “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” was organized by the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. The organization wants the IRS to press the matter so it can be decided in court. It believes the law violates the First Amendment by banning preachers from preaching politics from the pulpit. According to Fox News , Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group said: “The purpose is to make sure that the pastor and not the IRS decides what is said from the pulpit. It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.examiner.com

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Pastors to challenge IRS over political endorsements, and they’re likely to get away with it | Lilly Fowler at the Christian Century

    Lilly Fowler at the Christian Century (Religion News Service) (Oct. 7): New procedures for conducting church audits have been pending since 2009, which has left the IRS virtually impotent in conducting any kind of new investigations. The IRS did not respond to questions seeking comment. Despite the lack of manpower, organizations such as Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal ministry that first launched “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” in 2008, say they take the IRS restriction seriously — even as they disagree with it. “Every pastor and every church has the right to decide what their pastor preaches from the pulpit and to not have that dictated to them by the IRS,” said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly the Alliance Defense Fund. | Report also at the Washington Post


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News

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By politicking, clerics risk their churches’ tax-exempt status | Randall Lord at The Town Talk

Pastors prepare to take on IRS over political endorsement ban | WTVR.com

    WTVR.com: When Ron Johnson takes take his pulpit on Sunday, he will willfully break the law. After presenting his views on President Barack Obama’s handling of religious issues — like abortion, gay marriage, and religious freedom – Johnson will ask his congregation a question. “In light of what I have presented,” Johnson says he will say, “How can you go into that election booth and vote for Barack Obama as president of the United States?” . . . “The IRS has the ability and the authority to regulate their sermons. We are giving them the opportunity to do that and if they challenge that, we will challenge that in court,” said Eric Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior legal counsel. “It is all about creating a test case to find the Johnson amendment as unconstitutional.”


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: wtvr.com

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RPT-Hundreds of US pastors back political candidates, defy tax rules | Reuters

    Reuters: “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” has been staged annually since 2008 by a group called the Alliance Defending Freedom. Its aim is to provoke a challenge from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in order to file a lawsuit and have its argument out in court. The event has grown steadily in size, but the IRS has yet to respond – even though the pastors tape their sermons and mail them to the agency . . . Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the group was not pushing any particular political agenda and participants came from both conservative and liberal churches . . . Stanley said that if the IRS continued to ignore the speeches, it could become clear it was not enforcing the ban and hand preachers the de facto right to do as they wish from the pulpit . . . But experts who spoke to Reuters said they do not expect the agency to move against Pulpit Freedom Sunday this year, chiefly because of the absence of a new audit procedure for churches.
    “If the IRS wanted to get serious about this, there are already plenty of blatant violations they could pursue,” said Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington-based group that monitors and informs the IRS about tax-code violations


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.reuters.com

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Hundreds of Pastors Back Political Candidates, Defy Tax Rules | NewsMax

Religious Leaders Nationwide Defy The IRS To Endorse Political Candidates On ‘pulpit Freedom Sunday’ | The Blaze

Pastors to take on IRS in plan to preach politics from the pulpit | Fox News (Oct. 7)

Churches’ misplaced outrage | Journal Gazette (Bloomberg View Editorial)

Central La. clerics will share spiritual messages on Pulpit Freedom Sunday | The Town Talk (Oct. 7)

Pastors To Challenge IRS On Political Endorsement Ban | International Business Times

    IBTimes.com: The Alliance Defending Freedom, formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, began organizing its “Pulpit Free Sunday” in 2008 in response to the IRS regulation. The ADF is a Christian legal ministry that specializes in taking cases where they believe “religious liberty” is at stake, most notably in defense of businesses or organizations that discriminate against gays and lesbians . . . “The IRS has the ability and authority to regulate their sermons. We are giving them the opportunity to do that and if they challenge that, we will challenge that in court,” Stanley told CNN. “It is all about creating a test case to find the Johnson amendment as unconstitutional.” . . . CNN reports ADF, which some critics have accused of being a Republican front group, was unable to put them in touch with a church that plans to endorse President Barack Obama this Sunday.


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.ibtimes.com

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WWJD*? Pulpit Freedom Sunday Likely to Bring Slams Against Obama, Romney | Kelly Phillips Erb at Forbes

Central La. clerics will share spiritual messages on Pulpit Freedom Sunday | TheTownTalk.com

Pastors’ sermons will defy IRS rules | St. Louis Today

Pastoral group aims to overturn political speech amendment | KJRH.com

    KJRH.com: When Ron Johnson takes take his pulpit on Sunday, he will willfully break the law. After presenting his views on President Barack Obama’s handling of religious issues — like abortion, gay marriage, and religious freedom – Johnson will ask his congregation a question.
    “In light of what I have presented,” Johnson says he will say, “How can you go into that election booth and vote for Barack Obama as president of the United States?” . . . The goal: Force the IRS to come down on these churches so that the Alliance Defending Freedom, whose network includes 2,200 attorneys, can test the Johnson Amendment’s constitutionality. “The IRS has the ability and the authority to regulate their sermons. We are giving them the opportunity to do that and if they challenge that, we will challenge that in court,” said Eric Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior legal counsel. “It is all about creating a test case to find the Johnson amendment as unconstitutional.”


  • Posted: 10/08/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.kjrh.com

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Pew Forum Releases Guide Regarding Politics and the Pulpit | Michael Gryboski at Christian Post

Clergy Challenge IRS Ban on Church Political Endorsements | Philanthropy Today

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Pastors Challenge IRS Ban On Political Endorsements | Huffington Post

Pastors to Challenge IRS on Pulpit Freedom Sunday | CBN

October 7 – Pulpit Freedom Sunday | One News Now

1,500 Pastors to Challenge IRS Restriction on ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Pastors preach politics: take on IRS | WBRZ.com

1,500 Ministers To Preach On Politics | WorldNetDaily

Political Pastors’ Speech Is Free but Not Tax-Exempt | Bloomberg Editors