‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’: Across the U.S. Pastors Say They Will Defy Law and Talk Politics

Nearly 100 pastors across the country planned to take part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, an in-your-face challenge Sunday to what the government says can and cannot be said in church.

The growing trend is a challenge to the IRS from the churches, and may jeopardize their all-important tax-exempt status. But some pastors and church leaders said they are willing to defy the law to defend their right to freedom of speech.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday is an initiative organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian nonprofit organization, which according to its website seeks to “defend the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.”

But not all pastors and churches agree that Pulpit Freedom Sunday will do anything to help the cause.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. Why would you want to anger the IRS?” Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr. of Tennessee’s mid-South region told ABC-24.

David Shelley, pastor of Smith Springs Baptist in Tennessee, is defying the clause for the second time this year by throwing his support behind several Republican candidates.

“My support for these candidates has nothing to do with their party or their skin color or any other non-biblically related issue,” he said.

Shelley, like many other pastors, is hoping that the IRS does come after him, according to The Tennessean newspaper.

“I don’t run their lives, I don’t tell them what to do, but I’m going to speak into their lives, and if I’m not speaking into their lives on the issues that have made the nation great, and the issues that God cares about, then who is?” he said.

Full article at NBC News

(1 Peter 2:13-16) “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. [Act] as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but [use it] as bondslaves of God.”

3 comments on “‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’: Across the U.S. Pastors Say They Will Defy Law and Talk Politics

  1. As someone in the ABC article was quoted as saying, tax-exemption is a privilege, not a right. And no one’s tax dollars should be used to further a candidate’s campaign, IMHO. Imagine the uproar if a Muslim imam endorsed a candidate at a mosque. If a pastor wants to endorse a candidate, can’t he go to an event for the candidate and speak on their behalf there? He doesn’t have to speak from his pulpit.

    Another continuing sign we are seeing of ‘Christians’ trying to ‘own’ America. We certainly should be involved in the political process, just as we should be involved in the education process and the business community. As individuals using our beliefs and Christ-like character to influence change, not by forcing all Americans to become Christians – or else.

  2. There’s a simple solution here, and that’s to give up your tax exempt status. There’s nothing that say’s a church has to be tax exempt. When a church applies to be tax exempt, they basically covenant with the government to not promote a political view.

    Personally, I believe it’s wrong to break a covenant. We’re not supposed to be a nation of covenant breakers.

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