Faith and Freedom with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and BarbWire’s Matt Barber… An 11-minute weekday radio program discussing hot topics in the area of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.
Silence is never an option in the face of evil. We’re going to be talking about what pastors and churches can do with regards to political activity, addressing biblical values in our culture and in our country.
Mat Staver: Matt, there’s been a lot of misinformation about what pastors and churches can do with regards to political activity. Certainly groups like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and others try to intimidate pastors into silence. We certainly encourage pastors to exchange the muzzle for a megaphone because not one church, since 1934 when one of the restrictions came into the code of the IRS, in 1954 when the second restriction came into the IRS code which we’ll talk about. Not one church from those dates ’till the present have ever lost their tax-exempt status for engaging in or addressing political issues or activities.
Matt Barber: Well that’s right, and it’s not for a lack of trying to get the IRS to come after churches so that the Johnson Amendment, the law that presumes to try to silence pastors. They’re trying to challenge that in court, with the Supreme Court.
And thousands of pastors have stood from the pulpit and even endorsed candidates and so forth. And so far the IRS, I think understanding that the Johnson Amendment, they don’t want to challenge in court, they don’t want to challenge from a First Amendment standpoint. . .a church out in New York lost its tax-exempt letter — letter of tax-exemption — for a day. But, even that was immediately given back. Correct?
Mat Staver: Well, it doesn’t really matter for churches. Let’s talk about churches and the difference between other tax-exempt organizations.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.