ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “I am scheduled to speak Friday, September 10, at the ‘Politics According to the Bible’ Conference hosted by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia. The topic is self-explanatory from the name of the event, but the message is long overdue. Many Christians seem to lack any coherent theology for political involvement or have a mixed-up view of how a Christian should affect the political realm.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “A story from Asia News relates that the Indonesian Police recently demolished a house for no other reason than that it contained a home church that met regularly. The Narogong Pentecostal Church in the village of Limusnunggal, Cileungsi sub-district, regularly met in the house for worship. The report also stated that ten people were detained, questioned and released.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “A new Gallup poll shows how much confidence Americans have in their institutions. The big news from the poll is the very low confidence rating Americans have in Congress – only a shocking 11% of those polled have great confidence in Congress as an institution. But among the major institutions in American life, Americans ranked their confidence in the ‘church or organized religion’ as fourth behind only the military, small business, and the police. … Archbishop Caput and DeTocqueville are right. The church must be free for freedom to flourish, but the church also has responsibilities to shape the virtue of the citizens for freedom to continue to flourish. The Gallup poll is good news for the church in America, but it should also serve as a sobering reminder of the Church’s responsiblity in American life.”
David French, Erik Stanley, Joe Infranco, and Jim Campbell on the Hugh Hewitt Show: ADF cases, initiatives, and projects
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision recently that demonstrates why churches should be updating their by-laws to protect against potential litigation that can threaten the constitutional right of the church to select its ministers free from government interference. The case was called Skrzypczak v. Diocese of Tulsa. In the case, the Diocese hired Ms. Skrzypczak to work as the Director of the Department of Religious Formation for the Diocese. … The Tenth Circuit described that the ministerial exception ‘preserves a church’s “essential” right to choose the people who will “preach its values, teach its message, and interpret its doctrines[,] both to its own membership and to the world at large,” free from the interference of civil employment laws.’ The Court explained that, ‘Although the doctrine usually comes into play in employment suits between an ordained minister and her church, it extends to any employee who serves in a position that “is important to the spiritual and pastoral mission of the church.”‘”
The court issued the stay after the state pharmacy board agreed to propose revisions to its rules to allow what the pharmacists have sought from the beginning: to be allowed to refer patients seeking drugs that risk taking human life to other pharmacies.
“The story is about Bridgeport, Connecticut Bishop William Lori, whom some have dubbed the ‘Blogging Bishop of Bridgeport.’ His story of how he motivated his congregation to action under a very real and ominous threat from the state legislature is amazing . . . ”
Erik Stanley on the Jody Hice Show: IRS investigates SD Baptist pastor for speaking out on political candidate
ADF attorney Erik Stanley appeared on the Jody Hice Show to discuss the IRS’ investigation of a South Dakota Baptist pastor. | MP3 17:19 mins | ADF Media: ADF agrees to represent SD church reported to IRS | IRS Should Investigate South Dakota Church That Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate, Says Americans United | ADF Pulpit Initiative
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “I recently recorded a podcast on the Pulpit Initiative with professor Anthony Gill who is professor of political science at the University of Washington and non-resident scholar at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religon. … The podcast discusses the Pulpit Initiative in-depth and Professor Gill did a great job of discussing many of the important issues surrounding the Pulpit Initiative. The podcast runs just under an hour and you can listen to it here.”
Jason Bland writing at SEO Law Firm: ‘Pastors and churches have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. They can encourage their congregations to take a stand for marriage and can directly support legislative issues like Question 1 without running afoul of IRS rules,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Erik Stanley].” | ADF Pulpit Initiative
Erik Stanley: “No tax exemption can ever be contingent upon someone giving up a constitutional right.”
Dakota Voice: “‘IRS rules don’t trump the Constitution, and the First Amendment certainly trumps the Johnson Amendment,’ [Erik Stanley] explained. ‘No tax exemption can ever be contingent upon someone giving up a constitutional right. We will continue to monitor this situation and take appropriate steps to defend the church, if necessary.’” | ADF News Release
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / University: “You can read Mr. Johnson’s actual letter to James Madison online here. I have a couple of thoughts in response to this. First, I find it interesting to note that it was pastors who provided the impetus, at least in part, for the First Amendment, and specifically the protection of religious freedom. Pastors have always been at the forefront of the great social and moral issues facing America and this is just one more example. Second, as [former Judge Mike McConnell] notes, it was only after pastors pressured Madison that he switched his position to support a provision that would later become the First Amendment. This little vignette from American history demonstrates just how much of an impact pastors can have on American life. And this is just one story in a mountain of historical evidence of the positive impact pastors have had on American history.”
The Republic (AP): “The Alliance Defense Fund will represent Liberty Baptist Tabernacle of Rapid City and its pastor, the Rev. H. Wayne Williams. … ADF lawyer [Erik Stanley] says free-speech rights take precedence over tax rules.” | ADF News Release
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have agreed to represent a South Dakota church reported to the Internal Revenue Service by Americans United for Separation of Church and State because the church’s pastor engaged in free speech from the pulpit.
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “Pastor Paul Blair recently spoke at an ADF event about his participation in ADF’s Pulpit Initiative. We have posted video of his remarks on our website. Pastor Blair is pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, and was one of the 33 courageous pastors who stood boldly and spoke Biblical truth from his pulpit about the 2008 elections and the candidates running for office during that election.”
Washington Times: “The Rev. H. Wayne Williams, pastor of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City, last month endorsed GOP state Sen. Gordon Howie in the South Dakota governor’s race . . . in hopes of producing a landmark constitutional test case. . . . The Rapid City pastor is working with the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative-leaning group that defends religious freedom. . . . ‘This is your bread-and-butter civil rights case,’ [Erik Stanley] said.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “[At a recent CLE presentation] I spoke on the history of the Johnson Amendment and how Lyndon Johnson got his amendment to the tax code passed with no legislative analysis, no committee hearings, and no debate. After the presentation, a professor at a local university told me that in West Virginia, what Johnson did with his amendment to the tax code would have been called a ‘fat opossum’ because it snuck through under cover of darkness. That’s a perfect tag line for the Johnson Amendment . . . It was a bill that got inserted into the tax code through back-room deals made by a powerful Senator who wanted to be able to seek reelection at any cost and, in the process, trampling freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. We have grown up with a generation of chuch-goers that believe it is illegal for their pastor to address candidates and elections in light of Scripture or church doctrine when there is no valid justification for believing that.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “Over at Dakota Voice, Bob Ellis has an interesting post that details the history of politics from the pulpit in America. Bob does a good job of detailing many of the stories where pastors in American history spoke forcefully and with great conviction from their pulpits about political matters . . . History is replete with examples of churches and pastors speaking freely from their pulpits about the great social and moral issues of our day – including the selection of our national leaders. That all stopped with the passage of the Johnson Amendment through clearly illegitimate means. It is time to turn back the page of history to restore the constitutional rights of pastors and churches as active participants in our culture.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “I had the distinct pleasure to recently hear Dr. Ajai Lall from Central India Christian Mission speak. Dr. Lall started CICM many years ago as a church-planting and evangelistic outreach to India and the surrounding countries. His mission has been to spread the Gospel of Christ throughout India and, through God’s blessings, CICM has been wildly successful . . . Let Emmanuel’s story stand not just as an amazing page in church history, but let it stand as a witness to all Americans not to take religious freedom for granted. Let us exercise the religious freedom we do have and thank God that we live in a country where we don’t have to fear death or physical harm for holding and sharing our faith.”
International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, Diocese of the Mid-South: “[A]n Arizona court Tuesday overturned the conviction of Bishop Painter in the wake of a federal court’s determination last month that the city noise ordinance under which he was convicted is unconstitutional when enforced against sounds generated in the course of religious expression, such as church bells. ‘Pastors and churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government,’ said [Erik Stanley]. ‘Certainly, no pastor should have to fear jail time for engaging in peaceful religious expression.’”
West Virginia Record: “On May 21 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Law Offices of Robinson and McElwee in Charleston, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia (FPCWV) will host ‘Church and State AND Tax Exempt? Religious Freedom and Nonprofit Organizations in Light of Citizens United,’ a CLE designed to provide practitioners with the answers to many of the questions raised by the Supreme Court’s decision in this only-one-of-its-kind CLE in the State of West Virginia . . . Also, David Langdon, a national expert on the law of nonprofit organizations and campaign finance, and [Erik Stanley], senior legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and lead attorney for ADF’s innovative project, ‘the Pulpit Initiative’ will speak.”
Human Events: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called on the Catholic Church to speak out from the pulpit to promote immigration reform, reversing herself on whether the church should take political stands . . . ‘Politicians usually send mixed messages to pastors about what they can and can’t do,’ [Erik Stanley] said. ‘When it’s convenient, they tell pastors that you should speak out in favor of a particular proposal or politician, but then when the pastor does, the IRS comes knocking on the door.’”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at speakupmovement.org/church: “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke last week at the Catholic Community Conference and urged Catholic priests and bishops to talk up immigration reform from their pulpits. Pelosi reportedy stated, ‘The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me … say, “We want you to pass immigration reform,” and I said, I want you to speak about it from the pulpit.’ . . . The point is that the government has been sending mixed messages for too long to our nation’s pastors. On the one hand, politicians encourage pastors to speak from their pulpits when it is convenient, but on the other, the IRS comes knocking on the church’s door when a pastor speaks in a way that is not favored by those in power or crosses the IRS’ imaginary line between what is permitted and what is prohibited.”
ADF Attorney [Erik Stanley] writing at speakupmovement.org/church: “Dale McAlpine’s recent run-in with the British constabulary should disturb all of us. While it may not be against the law yet to speak Biblical Truth about issues in our society like homosexual behavior, we must recognize that Truth is under attack. And for those who tell us that we cannot speak the Truth, we must be prepared to declare, as Peter did so forcefully before the Sanhedrin, ‘We must obey God rather than men!’
OneNewsNow: “‘Bishop Rick Painter’s conviction for ringing his church bells has been overturned by the state court,’ Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney [Erik Stanley] reports. ‘This comes on the heels of a federal court decision where the federal court in Phoenix decided that the Phoenix noise ordinance was unconstitutional as it had been applied to prohibit the ringing of church bells in Phoenix,’ he adds.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at speakupmovement.org/church: “[L]et this case stand as a reminder that as the attacks on the Church in America intensify in the coming days, we must be prepared to meet the attacks head-on. The attacks may come from a variety of sources. In fact, if someone had told me a year ago that a pastor in America would be sentenced to jail for ringing church bells, I would have found the idea amusing to say the least. But the Church can come under attack from almost any conceivable location. And it is our duty to stand ready at the watch for the first signs of those attacks.” | ADF News Release
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing at speakupmovement.org/church: “The attack on St. Mary’s bells is the latest salvo in Europe’s battle against Christianity, and steady march toward secularism. European society increasingly sees religion as useless and a nuisance. Churches have lost their distinctive role in Europe and are marginalized and treated as nothing more than any other secular business. What makes the St. Mary’s case even more striking, though, is the fact that the church bells at St. Mary’s have been ringing since the 16th century and only now has the government begun to crack down on the bells despite this heritage and history. There is no regard for the Christian heritage of the church in Europe.”
The Baptist Bulletin: “A federal judge in Arizona has struck down a Phoenix noise ordinance against sounds generated by religious worship, reports WorldNetDaily. ‘Churches shouldn’t be targeted and punished for ringing their bells as a public expression of faith that’s been done for centuries,’ said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The noise ordinance had contained an exemption for ice cream trucks to blare their promotions.” | ADF News Release
Phoenix Religion & Society Examiner: “[Erik Stanley], senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund which worked on the legal challenge on behalf of three churches that combined efforts to defeat the conviction, said that ‘Churches shouldn’t be targeted and punished for ringing their bells as a public expression of faith that’s been done for centuries. The federal court has made the right decision by declaring that the city’s noise ordinance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.’” | ADF News Release
ADF attorney Erik Stanley appeared on True News with Rick Wiles to discuss the attack on Franklin Graham’s invitation to speak at a Pentagon event. They also discuss the National Day of Prayer Ruling. | The MP3 runs just under 25 minutes.
Evangelical Examiner: “Alliance Defense Fund attorneys report that on Monday, they secured a favorable decision on behalf of Phoenix churches, with the court ruling that the city of Phoenix cannot enforce its noise ordinance to prohibit sound generated in the course of religious expression . . . ‘Churches shouldn’t be targeted and punished for ringing their bells as a public expression of faith that’s been done for centuries,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Erik Stanley].” | ADF News Release
WorldNetDaily: “A federal judge in Arizona has struck down a Phoenix noise ordinance against sounds generated by religious worship . . . ‘Churches shouldn’t be targeted and punished for ringing their bells as a public expression of faith that’s been done for centuries,’ said [Erik Stanley], senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which worked on the case.” | ADF News Release
The MP3 runs just over 5 minutes.
Florida Baptist Witness: “The Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting pastors willing to pick a fight with the Internal Revenue Service in order to overturn a 55-year-old law it believes is resulting in unconstitutional pulpit ‘censorship’ . . . ‘This is the only place where federal law is allowed to restrict the speech of an individual after the fact, instead of telling you beforehand when the law is violated,’ [Erik Stanley] said of IRS regulations about the Johnson Amendment.” | http://speakupmovement.org/church
OneNewsNow: “Church bells will toll in Phoenix now that a court order has been secured and the city’s noise ordinance has been silenced. ‘What had happened is the city of Phoenix had sentenced Bishop Rick Painter to jail for simply playing church bells at his church, Christ the King Cathedral,’ explains Erik Stanley.”
Arizona Republic: “Phoenix has lost a round in the legal squabble over controlling the sound of church bells in the city . . . ‘Church bells are not nuisances,” said Erik Stanley, an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal alliance. ‘This is something these churches have been doing for centuries.’”
WorldNetDaily: “A federal judge has concluded a Phoenix noise ordinance that allows exemptions for ice cream trucks but not church bells – one pastor already has been convicted and given a 10-day suspended jail sentence – likely is not constitutional . . . ‘We are pleased that the federal court has recognized the unconstitutional nature of this vague law used to single out churches, and we commend its decision to keep the city from enforcing this problematic noise ordinance while the lawsuit continues,’ said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley.”
Erik W. Stanley serves as senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom at its Kansas City Regional Service Center in Kansas, where he heads the Alliance Defending Freedom Pulpit Initiative to empower pastors across the nation to speak freely from their pulpits on all matters of life, including how Scripture and church teaching have application to candidates and elections. He has focused his practice on appellate law, free speech, traditional family values, pro-life, and religious liberty constitutional law. Stanley has filed, briefed, and argued numerous trial and appellate cases on constitutional issues throughout the United States. Stanley graduated from Temple University School of Law in the top five percent of his class and is a member of the Florida, Kansas, and the District of Columbia bars, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal district and appellate courts.
OneNewsNow: “Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with ADF, faced off against Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which argues that ‘pulpit-based electioneering’ violates federal law and corrupts the true mission of faith communities . . . ‘It is not for the government to decide who gets to be involved and who gets to speak and who doesn’t,’ says Stanley. ‘It is for the churches of America and the pastors of America to decide what they want to speak about.’”
“Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley will participate in a debate Thursday at Stanford Law School on the constitutionality of Internal Revenue Service restrictions on the free speech of pastors. The debate is being co-sponsored by ADF and The Federalist Society at Stanford.”
Related ADF Media Information
ADF attorney Erik Stanley appeared on Drive Time, AM 570 and 910 to discuss this case: Bishop sentenced to jail for ringing bells; three Phoenix churches sue city over vague noise ordinance restricting age-old practice
The MP3 runs just under 15 minutes.
Christian Web News: “‘This case illustrates that no pastor should ever be criminally sentenced for ringing church bells,’ [Erik Stanley] said. ‘This is a huge leap. We are not aware of any historical precedent where someone has been criminally convicted for peacefully exercising his religion. He never should have been convicted for peacefully ringing his church bells.’”
UPI: “During oral arguments . . . Erik Stanley . . . said the noise ordinance is so vague it is impossible to determine if any given act is illegal. Several other churches support the cathedral. ‘These cases are important because no pastor should be convicted for peacefully exercising his religion,’ Stanley said. ‘That’s what this whole thing boils down to.’”
OneNewsNow: “‘They allow public addresses of non-commercial nature,’ Stanley explains. ‘They can be as loud as they want to. They allow for ice cream trucks to travel up and down the street playing their sound at a higher [noise] level than what the bell sounds were at Christ the King Cathedral. So the city of Phoenix’s noise ordinance allows for all of these noises, yet they have come after and criminally convicted a pastor.’”
Arizona Republic: “In May 2009 Phoenix Municipal Court Judge Lori Metcalf told the church, Cathedral of Christ the King, to pipe down . . . She also found the church’s leader, Bishop Rick Painter, guilty on two counts of disturbing the peace. He received a 10-day suspended sentence and three years’ probation . . . ‘These cases are important because no pastor should be convicted for peacefully exercising his religion,’ [Erik] Stanley said. ‘That’s what this whole thing boils down to.’”
WorldNetDaily: “Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defense Fund today argued both cases, and told WND the prosecution of Painter of Christ the King Liturgical Charismatic Church and the threats against other churches including St. Mark Roman Catholic Parish and First Christian Church of Phoenix are unprecedented. ‘This case illustrates that no pastor should ever be criminally sentenced for ringing church bells,’ he said. ‘This is a huge leap. We are not aware of any historical precedent where someone has been criminally convicted for peacefully exercising his religion. He never should have been convicted for peacefully ringing his church bells.’”
Bishop sentenced to jail for ringing bells; three Phoenix churches sue city over vague noise ordinance restricting age-old practice
ADF attorneys are defending Bishop Rick Painter of Christ the King Liturgical Charismatic Church in State of Arizona v. Painter, a criminal case on appeal. They are also representing St. Mark Roman Catholic Parish, First Christian Church of Phoenix, and Christ the King Church in a civil suit in federal court that challenges the noise ordinance as unconstitutional.
CNSNews: “The new federal hate crimes law has all the potential to be a major attack on religious liberty and freedom of speech, according to top religious liberty attorneys . . . Erik Stanley, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., said the hate-crimes law is not about punishing crimes. It’s about punishing beliefs and ideas. ‘It is actually a thought-crimes law,’ Stanley said. ‘There is no difference between, say, an assault that is already punishable, and an assault that is punishable as a hate crime, other than the belief of the perpetrator.’”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley writing in the Washington Examiner: “Since that day more than half a century ago, pastors have been increasingly censored by the Internal Revenue Service from speaking freely from their pulpits during election seasons. Pastors who firmly believe that their faith has something to say about the candidates running for office must now remain silent, or else risk losing their church’s tax-exempt status. In other words, for 55 years, the IRS has been authorized as a state speech police, monitoring — and censoring — what American pastors say to their congregations.”
In a Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel article, Stephen Lendman wonders about the actual effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act: “The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a conservative legal alliance partnered with over 300 ministries and organizations, fears that pastors calling homosexuality a sin may be linked to a hate crime if a parishioner harms someone for their sexual orientation . . . The new law, however, prosecutes ‘crimes of violence.’”
Mister-Info: “Erik Stanley, a legal adviser with the ADF, said the group would be sending copies of the sermons to the IRS and would be seeking a Supreme Court case. The law, he said, was unconstitutional because ‘being tax-exempt is part of freedom of religion; otherwise the government could tax churches out of existence.’”
Mister-info.com: “Erik Stanley, a legal adviser with the ADF, said the group would be sending copies of the sermons to the IRS and would be seeking a Supreme Court case. The law, he said, was unconstitutional because ‘being tax-exempt is part of freedom of religion; otherwise the government could tax churches out of existence.’”
WorldNetDaily: “The Alliance Defense Fund earlier issued an analysis calling the proposal a ‘grave threat’ to the First Amendment. Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley explained it ‘provides special penalties based on what people think, feel, or believe . . . ADF has clearly seen the evidence of where ‘hate crimes’ legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed “politically correct,”‘ Stanley explained. ‘”Hate crimes” laws fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech.’”
Church Report: “‘This is an all-too-obvious attempt to use the IRS to intimidate pastors and churches as a means of punishment and to get them to be quiet,’ said [Erik] Stanley. ‘We encourage the churches of Maine not to be intimidated and to contact us if they are contacted by the IRS.’”
Charisma Magazine: “Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), said the campaign is an ‘all-too-obvious attempt’ to use the IRS to intimidate pastors. ‘Pastors and churches have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment,’ Stanley said. ‘They can encourage their congregations to take a stand for marriage and can directly support legislative issues like Question 1 without running afoul of IRS rules.’”
OneNewsNow: “Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is prepared to protect churches in Maine from the opposition of homosexual advocates . . . Stanley says his legal firm is doing this ‘because pastors and churches have a right to speak freely about biblical truths and to even support directly legislative efforts such as Question 1, which was on the ballot in Maine and rejected same-sex marriage in that state. So churches and pastors have nothing to fear from the IRS or from any other state agency on this issue.’”
The Christian Century: “With the stroke of a pen, President Obama expanded federal hate-crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories . . . ‘This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel or believe,’ said Erik Stanley . . . Stanley said some Christian ministers in other countries with hate-crime laws have been charged for inciting hatred against gays by preaching.”
Christian Post: “Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, however, reject the claim that churches violated IRS policy. ‘Pastors and churches have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. ‘They can encourage their congregations to take a stand for marriage and can directly support legislative issues like Question 1 without running afoul of IRS rules.’”
Catholic News Agency: “[Erik] Stanley charged that groups that want to ‘redefine’ marriage are ‘intentionally threatening’ churches’ tax-exempt status to promote ‘fear, intimidation and disinformation to silence their voice . . . ADF will stand with these churches to defend their right to free speech and religious expression against these baseless scare tactics,’ he stated.”
CitizenLink: “Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), said his group is offering free legal assistance to any church that becomes a target of the IRS. ‘Churches and pastors have a right to support or oppose legislative efforts directly,’ he said, ‘as long it constitutes an insubstantial part of what they do overall.’”
WorldNetDaily: “Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, said pastors and churches have a right to discuss biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of being punished for their religious beliefs. ‘They can encourage their congregations to take a stand for marriage and can directly support legislative issues like Question 1 without running afoul of IRS rules,’ Stanley said. ‘Groups that want to redefine marriage are intentionally threatening the tax-exempt status of churches through fear, intimidation, and disinformation to silence their voice.’”
ADF attorney Erik Stanley appeared on AFA Focal Point Radio with Bryan Fischer to discuss this: Maine churches threatened with IRS complaints for supporting marriage.
The MP3 runs just under 13 minutes.
WorldNetDaily: “‘We agree with the court’s conclusion that the ordinance violated the free speech rights of pro-life advocates by zoning them out of the areas where they have a First Amendment right to speak,’ said David Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which argued the case.”
“Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley [the 'hate crimes' bill] ‘provides special penalties based on what people think, feel, or believe. ‘ADF has clearly seen the evidence of where ‘hate crimes’ legislation leads when it has been tried around the world . . . ()
Bill Muehlenberg writes in Christian Today Australia: “Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defense Fund points out the foolishness and danger of ‘hate crimes’ legislation: ‘These types of crimes are already punishable under existing federal, state, and local laws. Violent crimes should be punished regardless of the characteristics of the victim. Bills of this sort are designed to forward a political agenda and silence critics, not combat actual crime. The bottom line is that we do not need a law that creates second-class victims in America and that gives the government the opportunity to ignore the First Amendment.’”
Tulsa World: “Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, called it ‘a grave threat to the First Amendment designed to forward a political agenda and silence critics, not combat actual crime.’”
Christian Post: “‘ADF has clearly seen the evidence of where “hate crimes” legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed “politically correct,”‘ warned Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defense Fund. ‘”Hate crimes” laws fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech.’”