1,000 Pastors Plan to Defy U.S. Law, Endorse Presidential Candidate on 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday'

| by Michael Allen

More than 1,000 pastors are planning to violate U.S. law by telling their congregations to vote for a presidential candidate on 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday'[October 7].

Pulpit Freedom Sunday was organized by the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group, told "The purpose is to make sure that the pastor, and not the IRS, decides what is said from the pulpit. It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”

Apparently, one of the purposes of Pulpit Freedom Sunday is to force the IRS to take churches to court and have the Johnson Amendment declared unconstitutional.

The Johnson amendment in the Internal Revenue Code prohibits tax-exempt charities and churches from endorsing or opposing a political candidate.

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