October 7th: Pulpit Freedom Sunday
The anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund has organized the second annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
About 1,000 pastors will challenge the IRS in October by deliberately preaching politics ahead of the presidential election despite a federal ban on endorsements from the pulpit. The group, Alliance Defending Freedom, hopes that the bold move will prompt the IRS to enforce a 1954 tax code amendment that prohibits tax-exempt organizations such as churches from making political endorsements. The group believes the law violates the First Amendment. The purpose is to allow the pastor, not the IRS, to decide what is said from the pulpit. The pastors will preach sermons that talk about the candidates and then make a recommendation. The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS. The IRS indicates that churches will lose their tax-exempt status if they preach politics. The group hopes that the IRS will do what they have threatened so they can challenge them in court.