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)

    Fox News (Oct. 7): “The purpose is to make sure that the pastor — and not the IRS — decides what is said from the pulpit,” Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group, told FoxNews.com. “It is a head-on constitutional challenge.” Stanley said pastors attending “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” will “preach sermons that will talk about the candidates running for office” and then “make a specific recommendation.” The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS. “We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened,” he said. “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.”


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

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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

    The Christian Post: The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has released a guide for religious bodies regarding the extent to which politics can be propagated from the pulpit. Entitled “Preaching Politics From the Pulpit” and released on Tuesday, it is the third guide on the topic that Pew has released . . . “The First Amendment prohibits the government from enacting laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. A pastor preaching a sermon from the pulpit is one of the core activities of the free exercise of religion,” wrote Erik Stanley of ADF on a blog. “Pulpit Freedom Sunday is a head-on constitutional challenge to the Johnson Amendment, which is blatantly unconstitutional. This unjust law, which never should have been applied to churches and pastors, has had a devastating effect on their constitutionally protected rights.”


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

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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?

Erik Stanley: Are Churches Subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the Tax Code?

    ADF Attorney Erik Stanley at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: The upshot of these cases is that even though churches are not required to apply for a tax exemption from the IRS, churches are still subject to the restrictions in section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. That means all churches are required to abide by 501(c)(3). And if you think about this logically, it makes sense. The way the federal tax code works is to begin from the assumption that all organizations are taxable unless they meet an exemption from taxation specified in the tax code. Thus, for a church to be considered exempt from taxation, it must meet a specific exemption under section 501(c) of the tax code. The specific exemption that churches fall under is section 501(c)(3). And this is where the problem arises because the restrictions on churches in 501(c)(3) are unconstitutional. The passage of the Johnson Amendment in 1954 added a restriction to 501(c)(3) that allows the IRS to censor a pastor’s sermon from the pulpit


  • Posted: 02/29/2012
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  • Category: ADF in the News
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  • Source: blog.speakupmovement.org

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Erik Stanley: Washington Same-Sex “Marriage” Bill Is A Threat To Churches

Jarrett’s Partisan Rant Should Put IRS Rule in Spotlight