Hundreds Of Conservative Pastors Defy Tax Rules To Back Political Candidates
Hundreds of pastors purposely broke the law Sunday because they believe not being allowed to promote political candidates violates their freedom of speech.
Under the U.S. tax code, non-profit organizations such as churches may express views on any issue, but they jeopardize their favorable tax-exempt status if they speak for or against any political candidate.
“Pulpit Freedom Sunday” has been staged annually since 2008 by a group called the Alliance Defending Freedom. Its aim is to provoke a challenge from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in order to file a lawsuit and have its argument out in court.
Not every clergy person agrees. Reverend C. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance believes, “When the church further divides the country, where’s the win in that?” And the IRS has remained largely silent on the issue.