1500 Pastors Defy IRS, Preach on Social & Political Issues

Garlow joined with more than 1,500 other pastors on Sunday to protest the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from enjoying tax-exempt status if they get involved in political issues or preach political activism from the pulpit. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) began Pulpit Freedom Sunday in 2008 with a very simple goal: to have the Johnson Amendment declared unconstitutional and remove, once and for all, the threat by the IRS to censor what a pastor may say from his pulpit.

Proposed in 1954 by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson in retaliation for churches in Texas exposing the dark side of his candidacy, the Johnson Amendment was adopted with this chilling invasion of First Amendment rights:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all Section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

Contributions to political campaign funds for public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.

Violating his prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

This is exactly what the Alliance Defending Freedom is hoping will happen: that some erstwhile and opportunistic IRS agent will file suit against Pastor Garlow, or one of his brother pastors, so that the issue can be taken to court and resolved.

FK – Gee, are they finally getting off their asses and not sitting around waiting for the world to end?