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Sunday Scofflaws: It’s Time For The IRS To Crack Down On ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

As many of you know, on Sunday more than 1,000 pastors nationwide took part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to encourage clergy to openly violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates.

AU staffers spent the holiday weekend fielding media calls about this. The Rev. Steven Baines, AU’s assistant field director for religious outreach, talked to several reporters.

Bishops Behaving Badly: Catholic Prelates Preach Partisan Politics

Let’s say someone told you that voting for a certain candidate would be an “evil” act and that by casting your ballot for this candidate, you would in fact be furthering the cause of evil.

You would probably get the impression that the person who made these remarks was telling you not to vote for that candidate, right?

Information, Not Intimidation: Religious Right Group Falsely Accuses AU Of Trying To Scare Pastors

It seems that one person’s information is another person’s intimidation.

Several weeks ago, Americans United sent 60,000 letters to houses of worship nationwide urging them not to endorse political candidates this election season. We didn’t do that because we were bored – we did it because we’ve seen an uptick in Religious Right efforts to enlist churches into partisan politics.

Careless Counsel: Falwell Legal Group Offers Bad Advice On Churches And Politics

As election season heats up, we’re sure to see an increase in the number of houses of worship intervening in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing candidates.

Churches are tax-exempt nonprofits, and most pastors know this is illegal and inappropriate. But a small percentage – often prodded and provoked by Religious Right legal groups – is determined to violate federal tax law and drag partisanship into the pulpit.

Pulpit Perfidy: More Misinformation In The Wake Of ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Introductions are hard. I never know exactly what to share about myself upfront, so I’ll do my best to stick with the essentials. My name is Simon Brown, and I am the new communications associate at Americans United. I may be new to AU, but I’ve reported extensively on church electioneering for Tax Notes (it was my first story for that publication), so it’s fitting that my first blog post here is on this issue.

Meeks Speaks: Chicago Mayoral Candidate Chafes At Limits On Church Politicking

Chicago mayoral candidate James T. Meeks doesn’t understand why his church can’t support his run for office.

As a pastor, he speaks from the pulpit every Sunday, mindful of the federal tax law that prevents him from seeking campaign support from his congregation.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Meeks says he follows the rules but he’s not happy about them.

Bachmann In Overdrive: Minnesota House Member Favors Church Electioneering

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said on “Hot Tea” radio yesterday that she is sick of “radical leftist organizations” that “intimidate Christians” from speaking about politics from the pulpit.

Bachmann called for Congress to repeal the federal law that prevents all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Street Fight: Ohio Clergy Seeks End Of Tax Exemption For D.C. Structure Owned By ‘The Family’

The infamous “C Street house” is back in the news.

A group of clergy in Ohio, aided by a tax lawyer, has written to the Internal Revenue Service today asking the federal tax agency to examine the house’s tax-exempt status as a church.

If you’re just joining us, the C Street house is a structure in Washington, D.C., owned by a shadowy Religious Right group called “The Family” – a.k.a. the Fellowship Foundation.

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