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

Churches should pay if they want to play | Maureen McDermott Gill at Journal Tribune

    Maureen McDermott Gill at Journal Tribune: This Sunday, Oct. 7, is “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a nationwide event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization providing legal services to churches and individuals who want “greater religious freedom,” as they say. What these churches really want, however, is the unbridled freedom to influence American politics. Unlike the rest of us, who are allowed to express opinions about American politics, work for certain candidates, and attempt to influence others to our way of thinking, churches want to do it without making any monetary contributions to actually run the government that protects their freedoms. Pursuant to the IRS, churches are exempted from taxation – provided they stay the hell out of politics. The churches don’t like that . . . As far as I’m concerned, the clergy of any denomination can say whatever they want, but I don’t want to subsidize them to do so.


  • Posted: 10/03/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.journaltribune.com

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Pastors Preparing To Defy The IRS | One News Now

Pastors Will Challenge Politics From The Pulpit Law | One News Now

1,000 Pastors to Challenge IRS, Talk Politics From The Pulpit | LifeNews

    LifeNews: “Pastors should decide what they preach from the pulpit, not the IRS,” said Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley of ADF. “It’s outrageous for pastors and churches to be threatened or punished by the government for applying biblical teachings to all areas of life, including candidates and elections. The question is, ‘Who should decide the content of sermons: pastors or the IRS?’” “No government-recognized status can be conditioned upon the surrender of a constitutionally protected right,” Stanley explained. “No one would suggest a pastor give up his church’s tax-exempt status if he wants to keep his constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment. Likewise, no one should be asking him to give up his church’s tax-exempt status to be able to keep his constitutionally protected right to free speech.”


  • Posted: 09/27/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: www.lifenews.com

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Pastors Prepare to Defy IRS With “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”

Engaging the Issues: Are America’s Pulpits Free? | Erik Stanley Audio with the FPC of WV

Pastors Preaching Politics From Pulpit | WSET ABC 13 – Virginia

Bid to gag US churches for White House race | Christian Institute

1,000 Pastors Plan to Defy U.S. Law, Endorse Presidential Candidate on ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Preachers Defend Free Speech and Religious Freedom With ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ (VIDEO)

Pastors Across America are Preparing Political Sermons | Engage Family Blog

Pastors Will Unite Against IRS To Deliver ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ Political Sermons (poll) | The Blaze

Pastors pledge to defy IRS, preach politics from pulpit ahead of election | Fox News

Freedom in the Pulpit

Ohio City Determines To Block Development Of A Christian School | Alan Sears at ADF Blog

Christian School Won’t Be Zoned Out, If ADF Can Help It

“Pastors Get Ready to Preach Politics, Challenge IRS Restriction”

ADF: Christian school zoned out by Ohio city

Judge sides with city in Tree of Life lawsuit

Injunction Allows Georgian Church to Temporarily Meet at Building

Federal injunction allows Georgia church to meet

ADF: Ga. church no longer meeting underground for now

Claiming that churches are victim to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, Alliance Defending Freedom urges pastors to participate in ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Zoning laws ‘targeting’ small ministries | One News Now

Erik Stanley: IRS Official Warns Pastors to Keep Silent During Elections

Pastor speaks biblical truth, gets legal attention | One News Now

Erik Stanley: Biblical Truth Equals Voter Intimidation?

New target for atheists: Rhode Island cross

KS: “Churches May Be Forced to Rent Their Facilities to Gay Couples”

Erik Stanley: IRS Remains Mum on Pulpit Initiative

IRS allows churches to endorse marriage initiatives, attorney says | Baptist Press

NJ spycam case stirs debate over hate crime laws

Why Churches Don’t Pay Taxes | Acton Institute

Erik Stanley: Why should churches be tax-exempt? | Baptist Press

Erik Stanley: Church’s Outreach Ministry to the Poor Leads to Large Tax Bill

Erik Stanley: Should Churches Be Tax Exempt?