More than 1,000 pastors plan to challenge IRS by endorsing presidential candidate

More than 1,000 pastors plan to openly defy the IRS by telling their congregation on October 7 to vote for a particular presidential candidate, according to Fox News.

The annual event, dubbed “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” has been organized by the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. The pastors participating in the event plan to preach about the election, endorse a candidate, and send video of their sermon to the IRS.

“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 “It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”

The Johnson amendment in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits tax-exempt charities and churches from intervening in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate. The IRS has been reluctant to revoke churches’ tax-exempt status for violating the more than 50-year-old IRS rule, but the agency has issued written warnings to dozens of churches.

For some reason, this part seemed to stand out:

“The IRS will send out notices from time to time and say you crossed the line,” Jim Garlow, a senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, told “But when it’s time to go to court, they close the case.”

Full Article

This entry was posted in Political, Spiritual. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More than 1,000 pastors plan to challenge IRS by endorsing presidential candidate

  1. Matt H. says:

    I have been talking politics and endorsing a specific candidate from the pulpit for years. The problem is that his platform and campaign are so out of the mainstream, that neither my church nor the IRS seem to take him too seriously as a viable option. His name is Jesus, and he is not a Republican or a Democrat.

  2. Stefanie says:

    Religion and politics…never a good combination.

  3. Stefanie says:

    Found this today. I think the IRS is VERY CLEAR about this. If you are going to preach how your congregation should vote from the pulpit, DO NOT claim 501(c)3 status. This is NOT about FREE SPEECH. This is about tax law – you can say what you want but not if you are going to request tax breaks.


    Exemption Requirements – Section 501(c)(3) Organizations
    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Comments are closed.