The Pulpit Initiative

Reclaiming pastors’ constitutional right to speak Truth from the pulpit.

http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/issues/religiousfreedom/churchandstate.aspx?cid=4485


 
 

 

   
   

Historically, churches have emphatically, and with great passion, spoken Scriptural truth from the pulpit about government and culture.  Historians have stated that America owes its independence in great degree to the moral force of the pulpit.  Pastors have proclaimed Scriptural truth throughout history on great moral issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, child labor and prostitution.  Pastors have also spoken from the pulpit with great frequency for and against various candidates for government office.

All that changed in 1954 with the passage of the “Johnson amendment” which restricted the right of churches and pastors to speak Scriptural truth about candidates for office.  The Johnson amendment was proposed by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson, and it changed the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit churches and other non-profit organizations from supporting or opposing a candidate for office.  After the Johnson amendment passed, churches faced a choice of either continuing their tradition of speaking out or silencing themselves in order to retain their church’s tax exemption.  The Internal Revenue Service, in conjunction with radical organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have used the Johnson amendment to create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear for any church that dares to speak Scriptural truth about candidates for office or issues. 

It is time for the intimidation and threats to end.  Churches and pastors have a constitutional right to speak freely and truthfully from the pulpit – even on candidates and voting – without fearing loss of their tax exemption.

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One Response to The Pulpit Initiative

  1. Andy says:

    As a free speech advocate (http://pragpols.blogspot.com/), I believe that it is time to drop all speech restrictions on whatever any church wants to say about any political issue or any candidate. If a church leader wants to condemn members of the congregation to eternal agony and damnation for supporting the wrong political position or candidate that is just fine. It is also time to eliminate non-profit status for all organizations, regardless of their social mission. As we all know, the national debt is way out of control and that will not change any time soon. The U.S. treasury desperately needs revenue. On top of that, some non-profit organizations and churches advocate for political and social positions that are profoundly offensive to me. Given that, I do not want to support or subsidize their anti-American agendas with one penny of my taxes. In other words, if churches or anyone else wants to play politics, then pay just like the rest of us. That is only fair and reasonable, isn’t it? Of course it is. It is Tea Party time!

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