Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why won't the IRS prosecute pastors that endorse political candidates from the pulpit?

Why won’t the IRS prosecute pastors that endorse candidates from the pulpit?

“American United has filed more than 100 of these complain[t]s this year alone. The IRS has dropped all of them, but has not said why,” concludes WCCO’s Reg Chapman in this story about Hastings Pastor Brad Brandon.

Pastor Brandon came under attack by Americans United for Separation of Church and State for endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

Good question Reg!

MFC suggests the reason the IRS has dropped all the complaints is because they know the restrictions on pastors’ speech are unconstitutional and that they would lose in court.

Behind the scenes, the Alliance Defense Fund is encouraging pastors across the country to speak out from the pulpit on the political issues of the day. If a complaint is filed, they will defend the pastor all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

Imagine the backlash if the IRS tried to prosecute 100 churches for exercising free speech.

WCCO reports that the “’11 candidates he endorsed are listed on the church's website. The list includes Republican Tom Emmer for Governor, eight other republicans, an independent and a constitution candidate.’”

In response, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service. “They want the IRS to take away the church's tax-exempt status,” reports Chapman. “’Pastor Brandon has pulled his tax-exempt church into partisan politics in blatant violation fo federal law,’ said American United’s executive director.”

That “federal law” was quietly slipped into a bill sponsored by then Sen. Lyndon Johnson in 1954 who wanted to silence critics of his campaign in Texas. Prior to that, pastors could and did speak out on election related issues and candidates.

Brandon wants the law overturned – and so does MFC. Encourage your pastor to speak out and defend free speech in the pulpit. "I'd love to see the IRS do something. I'd love to fight this in court and I would love to see a judge look me in the eye and say that the Johnson Amendment is constitutional," said Brandon.

CLICK HERE to see the broadcast.


Craigg said...

Its time for us to take away the tax exempt status of any church. I do not agree with the lifestyle and choices you make and do not want my tax dollars to go for the indoctrination of your views onto the law.

Minnesota Family Council said...

Craigg, it seems that the IRS disagrees.

Craigg said...

and you continue to take from the public. You personally have forced me to support your religious views, for giving you my tax dollars, but you stand up and yell when a cent of your money goes against your religious views.

The people will win in this battle. For one day all religious oppression and social disgrace will end. We started with the end of slavery. that was the biggest battle we had to face against the religious right who fought to keep it. One day you will not be pocketing my money for your choices and ill gotten gains.

jim said...

this coming from the people that hasn't reported with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board as a political action committee or an independent expenditure committee.

Not only are skirting on the fringes of all social society with your extremist ways you are skirting on the fringes legal society as well.

elaine said...

They take from the pocket of all society, but they then tell the public that they must live within their singular religious views.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

And when you start to fashion your lives in the political, then you are no longer a faith establishment, you are a political one.