80 pastors/ministers participating in the American Pulpit Freedom Sunday have agreed to discuss politics with a Biblical perspective in defiance of the IRS rules that dictate that non-profit organizations with tax exempt status cannot be directly involved in political activity.
“Pastors have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights.”
Surely they do, but the rules are quite clear – they do so at the cost of their tax-exempt status. This is not “punishment”, it is the rule by which they are given the right to peddle after-life insurance and moralistic claptrap without having to pay corporate taxes. However, punishment is how they will sell it as the jingle their donation plates, becuase as we’ve seen in recent politics, nothing motivates a flock more effectively than the whiff of victimization.
I’m all for churches telling their flocks how to vote – being told how to vote, being told what to do, is effectively what goes on there anyway. Sheep need to be led, and shepherds need to lead; but they also need to be treated like the businesses they are.
The tax-exempt status is the last vestige of the church-state connection that needs to be stricken. Bring it on, you eighty pastors; lead us into a new future!
Tax the churches; tax the fuck out of the churches.