Legal-Courts Atheist group gets green light to sue IRS over ‘politicking’ churches | One News Now

Reformers want Congress to end ban on pulpit politicking | RNS at District Chronicles

Atheists, government square off over clergy tax break | The Journal News

Feds Offer Tax Breaks to Influential Atheist Who Fights Against Benefits for Clergy | Christian News Network

Feds say OK to atheists on religion tax break | USA Today via

Atheists May Qualify for Same Tax Breaks as Pastors | Christian Post

Feds offer atheists a clergy tax break that they don’t want | Religion News Service

Feds say OK to atheists on religion tax break | WBIR

Christian Commission Seeks Congressional Intervention in Keeping the IRS Out of the Pulpit | Christian News Network

    Christian News Network: “The report shows that black churches have, for lack of a better word, gotten away with it for many years,” said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), who helped to advise the Commission in the compilation of the report. “Simply put, this gets the IRS out of the pulpit.” ADF says that it would like to see the Johnson Amendment struck down in the courts. The amendment, passed in 1954 and introduced by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson, states that churches may not “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”

  • Posted: 08/19/2013
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Fixing the 501(c)(3) Political Campaign Prohibition Mess | Christian Post

    Christian Post: Some churches deliberately engage in activities that violate the prohibition, but rarely face consequences. Since 2008, pastors across the United States (approximately 1,600 last year) have participated annually in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an initiative orchestrated by Alliance Defending Freedom in which pastors deliver sermons evaluating candidates for public office in light of Scripture. Some support or oppose candidates by name and send transcripts of their sermons to the IRS with a request to be audited. They hope to spark litigation on the constitutionality of the law, but the IRS has not taken up the challenge.

  • Posted: 08/19/2013
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Should politics return to the pulpit? | Orlando Sentinel

Reformers urge Congress to end ban on pulpit politicking | Religion News Service on Daily Times

Faith Reformers Work to Get IRS Out of the Pulpit | Charisma News

Christian churches warned of Boy Scout legal risks | Washington Times

Churches take steps to protect marriage

“Churches Fear Lawsuits for Refusing Gay Weddings” | Todd Starnes at Townhall

Recorded: IRS Agent Telling Non-Profit To Keep Faith To Themselves | Erik Stanley at Christian Post

IRS Caught on Tape Telling Nonprofit: ‘Keep Your Faith to Yourself’ | Fox News

IRS to pro-life group: ‘You have to know your limits’ | One News Now

Recorded: IRS Agent Telling Non-Profit To Keep Faith To Themselves

Why This Pulpit Freedom Sunday Is More Critical Than Ever

    Charisma News: “Pastors should be able to speak truth into every area of life without fear or intimidation,” says ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley. “Pulpit Freedom Sunday has always encouraged pastors to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom to do just that from their pulpits. This year, marriage is at the forefront of public debate. There’s no better time for pastors to equip their congregations with the truth about marriage and why it matters for children, families, society, civil government and the church.”

  • Posted: 06/10/2013
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We double-dare you, IRS: pastors sign up, preach politics on ‘Freedom Sunday’ | One News Now

Pulpit Freedom Sunday takes on controversial issues | Florida Today

Biblical Definition of Marriage, Same-Sex Unions to Top Sermon Notes This Sunday | Christian Post

Vote could ‘gut’ famed Boy Scout program | WND

Eagle Scout urges BSA: Don’t abandon your values | One News Now

Franklin Graham vs. the IRS | Barry Lynn of AU at Washington Post

2 “Pulpits and Patriots” conferences set for Oklahoma | Edmond Sun

IRS antics are nothing new, churches have been bullied for years | Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement

Taxing the Third Space | Forbes

Megachurch Denied Property Tax Exemption For Gym And Bookstore/Cafe | Forbes

    Peter J. Reilly at Forbes: The church was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. Erik Stanley of ADF had commented earlier in the litigation: “Tax exemptions for churches are vitally important because it doesn’t make sense to penalize organizations that help serve the community and don’t exist for profit–and that’s certainly true with this church,” Stanley explained. “The taxing authorities in this case determined that the facilities were not integral to a religious purpose of the church, but the government is ill-equipped to determine what is and what isn’t a legitimate religious use. That’s why it shouldn’t be delving into church affairs. Doing so violates the constitutionally protected rights of the church.”

  • Posted: 04/11/2013
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  • Category: Featured
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Will your church be forced to evict its Boy Scout Troop? | Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement

The Institution God Created – Pastors Joining Forces on Marriage | Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement

Attorney: Church bylaws should define marriage | Baptist Press

    Michael Foust at Baptist Press: Bylaw language defining marriage in the biblical sense doesn’t mean a church won’t face a suit or a complaint, but it does mean the church would be in a much better situation legally, said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for ADF. “I think we’re in a day where every church needs to have a statement in its bylaws of its doctrinal beliefs on marriage and sexuality,” Stanley told Baptist Press. “This is a proactive approach that churches can take to head off any claims of discrimination in the future, should they occur. There’s no magic language for such a bylaw statement, but it should be some form of a statement of the church’s religious beliefs.

  • Posted: 02/12/2013
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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Disabled Kids Not A Danger, Says ADF | One News Now

The Crumbling Wall of Separation |

Disabled children a threat? Fredericksburg thinks so | Faith That Inspires Action

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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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 |

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