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

NY: “Catholic-school teacher was branded ‘worse than gay’ for being transgender: suit” | NY Post

Quebecer fined for arranging Catholic Mass in rented building

Texas Supreme Court To Decide Fate Of Episcopal Properties

Montana Supreme Court: Hutterites must pay workers comp.

Worcester, Mass., synagogue, day school building seized by IRS

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

EU lets Catholic Church off its billion-euro tax bill

UK: Charity Commission is picking on Brethren, say MPs

Can the Westboro Baptist Church (the Funeral Picketers) Be Stripped of Their Tax-Exempt Status Because of Their Views?

KY: Claim Against Archdiocese By Bookkeeper Who Exposed Abusive Priest’s Presence Is Dismissed On 1st Amendment Grounds

Marriage redefinition – implications for churches | Joel Oster on Faith Matters in Maine

Report On Enhancing Accountability of Religious Organizations Released

Saving the Preachers: The Tax Code’s Prohibition on Church Electioneering (2012) | Nicholas P. Cafardi at Duquesne U.

Rendering unto Caesar? | Alliance Defending Freedom

Politicking From the Pulpit and the Tax Man: Thanks to IRS inaction, preachers aren’t sure what they can say about election matters. | WSJ

Pastors challenge IRS rule with partisan talk | The Press Enterprise

Pastors Defy IRS Rule on Church and Politics

How US churches exploit tax exemption to promote faith-based politics | The Guardian

Pastors Challenge IRS Rule With Partisan Talk | NBC Bay Area

IRS Accused of Losing $100 Billion a Year by Allowing Politicized Churches to Remain Tax-Exempt

UK Supreme Court: Institute of the Brothers of Christian schools can be held liable for sexual abuse by its members

Study shows impact of pulpit politics | Cal. Family Council

Atheist Group Sues IRS Over Church Involvement in Political Campaigns

Atheist group sues IRS over churches endorsing politics | World

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

FFRF Challenging Pastors’ Free Speech | One News Now

Tennessee Church Fights for Tax Exemption | Citizen Link

Atheist Group Sues Over Religious Electioneering

FFRF Sues IRS Over Non-Enforcement of Electioneering Restrictions On Churches

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

Freedom from Religion to expand | WI State Journal

FFRF contests bishops’ electioneering

FFRF questions ‘vote biblical’ campaign, urges IRS to investigate Billy Graham

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

Soros-funded group accuses Catholic bishops of ‘electioneering’ for Romney | LifeSiteNews

Court Upholds Sale Of Polygamous Church Assets

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
  • |
  • Category: ADF in the News
  • |
  • Source: usnews.nbcnews.com

  • Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

Religion And Politics: IRS Not Enforcing Rules On Separation Of Church And State | Huffington Post (AP)

    Huffington Post (AP): Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which seeks strict limits on religious involvement in politics, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which considers the regulations unconstitutional government intrusion, scour the political landscape for any potential cases. While Americans United gathers evidence it hopes will prompt an IRS investigation, the Alliance Defending Freedom jumps in to provide a defense. Neither group knows of any IRS contact with houses of worship over political activity since the 2009 federal ruling . . . Last month, more than 1,500 pastors, organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom, endorsed a candidate from the pulpit and then sent a record of their statement to the IRS, hoping their challenge would eventually end up in court. The Alliance has organized the event, called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” since 2008. The IRS has never contacted a pastor involved in the protest.


  • Posted: 11/05/2012
  • |
  • Category: ADF in the News
  • |
  • Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

  • Tags: , , , , ,

IRS Backs Off Churches on Politics | The Church Report

    The Church Report: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which seeks strict limits on religious involvement in politics, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which considers the regulations unconstitutional government intrusion, scour the political landscape for any potential cases. While Americans United gathers evidence it hopes will prompt an IRS investigation, the Alliance Defending Freedom jumps in to provide a defense. Neither group knows of any IRS contact with houses of worship over political activity since the 2009 federal ruling . . . Last month, more than 1,500 pastors, organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom, endorsed a candidate from the pulpit and then sent a record of their statement to the IRS, hoping their challenge would eventually end up in court. The Alliance has organized the event, called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” since 2008. The IRS has never contacted a pastor involved in the protest.


  • Posted: 11/05/2012
  • |
  • Category: ADF in the News
  • |
  • Source: www.thechurchreport.com

  • Tags: , , , , ,

In the Spirit: Madison pastor scraps plans to challenge IRS with sermon | Wisc. State J.

Poll: 29% of pastors discuss candidates in pulpit

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

A Record-Setting 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law, Yet Fail To Provoke IRS

Suit Challenges Michigan Law Restricting Political Pressure By Clergy

5th Circuit: Music Director’s ADEA and ADA Claims Barred By Ministerial Exception Doctrine

Americans United Urges IRS To Investigate Texas Church That Urged Votes For ‘The Mormon, Not The Muslim’

Billy Graham: Vote for Biblical Values This Nov. 6 | Joe Infranco at Townhall

Campaigning for God | Rev. Matthew Stewart at Herald News

    Rev. Matthew Stewart at Herald News: I’ve been interested over the past few months to watch the group of American pastors called the Alliance Defending Freedom, who organized an event they called Pulpit Freedom Sunday. On this day, these pastors publicly endorsed political candidates from the pulpit. They then sent their sermons in to the Internal Revenue Service, in deliberate protest of the IRS’s policy that tax-exempt organizations like churches need to refrain from endorsing political candidates. Now, on the one hand, I really do admire what these pastors are doing, standing up for what they believe to be the truth (and risking a whole lot of their church’s money in doing it). All throughout history, faith communities have needed to stand up for their rights vis-à-vis the state and, though I don’t think the Alliance Defending Freedom’s cause puts them in the same league as Thomas Becket or Óscar Romero, I do think there is something to be said for their courage. But, on the other hand, I think the Alliance Defending Freedom is misguided.


  • Posted: 10/23/2012
  • |
  • Category: ADF in the News
  • |
  • Source: www.heraldnews.com

  • Tags: , , , , ,

Kansas: “Church owes about $2,000 in back taxes for O’Donnell’s residence”

Time for pastors and churches to voice their opinions | Randy Bright at Tulsa Beacon

    Randy Bright at the Tulsa Beacon:Unfortunately, I can no longer advise churches that a well-developed master plan won’t be obsolete within a few years of completion. Typically, a master plan is approved by the city as part of its normal site plan review, and the hope is that, once approved, the city would honor it in perpetuity even if it adopts a new form-based code. But there is no longer a guarantee of that . . . If you are not already aware of Pulpit Freedom Sunday, it is time to learn about it and get involved. In 1954, the Johnson Amendment led us to believe that pastors could never say anything political from the pulpit under the threat that the church’s tax-exempt status could be taken away. This has effectively muzzled the church, and we are now paying the consequences of that silence . . . Pulpit Freedom Sunday – a movement sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom – is an effort to restore our freedoms by challenging the IRS to enforce the Johnson Amendment against pastors who preach politics from the pulpit. [more]


  • Posted: 10/18/2012
  • |
  • Category: ADF in the News
  • |
  • Source: www.tulsabeacon.com

  • Tags: , , , , , ,

GA: Church Nursery School Teacher Sues After Being Fired For Living With Fiancee

Pulpit Freedom: Should Churches Endorse Political Candidates? | Adam Cohen at TIME

    Adam Cohen at TIME: The impact this will have on the election this year, though interesting, is not really the point. Pulpit Freedom Sunday is trying to completely rewrite the rules so that in future elections, churches around the country will be free to actively politick. If the full force of the nation’s religious institutions is unleashed, it could have a powerful effect on future elections. The Alliance Defending Freedom insists that pastors have a right to preach “biblical Truth about candidates and elections from their pulpits” – and that “the future of religious freedom” depends on it. Supporters of the movement argue that the IRS policy is an infringement on religious liberty, and that churches are being discriminated against. But these complaints are unpersuasive. What they are objecting to is really a matter of tax policy – and it is a policy that is broadly applied.


  • Posted: 10/16/2012
  • |
  • Category: ADF in the News
  • |
  • Source: ideas.time.com

  • Tags: , , , , ,

Burlington, Iowa, church called out for judicial retention pamphlet

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

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

A Record-Setting 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law, Yet Fail To Provoke IRS | Christianity Today

More voices on Pulpit Freedom Sunday | Indy Blog

Did you hear about the 1,500 preachers breaking the law? | Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner

The intersection of faith, the Episcopal Church, and politics | Pat McCaughan at the Episcopal Digital Network

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

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: They Preached. They Endorsed. Did They Break the Law? | PATHEOS

Preachers’ housing allowance should be struck down, Madison-based group says

10 local pastors talk politics from the pulpit | Charleston City Paper

    Charleston City Paper: But Baird was making a point, and he was not acting alone. He was one of 1,586 pastors across the country (including 10 in the Charleston area — see list below) who participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, an annual protest against the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which established the no-endorsing-candidates rule for nonprofits. The movement is organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative advocacy group whose founders include the founders of Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ, and whose stated purpose is “advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” . . . Audio from Baird’s sermon, which is titled “A Shaky Foundation: A Biblical Referendum on the Current Administration,” can be downloaded here. Nine other Charleston-area churches participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, according to a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom . . .


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

  • Tags: , , , , ,

Light in the Darkness | Pastor David Grey at Valley News Online