Well, ninety days have come and gone since over 1,500 pastors participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday on October 7,2012. And the IRS has not taken any action against any of the pastors who participated. Actually, the title of this blog post could have been “Four years and Counting” because Alliance Defending Freedom first launched Pulpit Freedom Sunday in 2008. And since that time, Pulpit Freedom Sunday has occurred every year and thousands of pastors have participated through those four years. But the IRS has not taken any action against any of the pastors who have ever participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
Now before you may be tempted to become complacent or to think that the IRS has given up on auditing churches, you should remember as I wrote in an earlier blog, that the IRS is in a bit of a reorganization when it comes to auditing churches. The IRS has not given up on auditing churches and an IRS official even warned churches to remain silent about the last election. So what is going on then and why hasn’t the IRS sought to enforce the Johnson Amendment against the pastors who participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday?
In 2011, I gave some reasons why I thought the IRS has not taken any action. But the fact is that only the IRS know why it has chosen to remain silent. The IRS’ silence, though, should not cause us to lift up the pressure or to retreat from the battlefield. The Johnson Amendment has been in place since 1954 and has been enforced now for over fifty-eight years. It will not go away in an instant and the campaign to end the Johnson Amendment will be more akin to a siege than a blitzkrieg. We must continue to press forward until the rights of churches and pastors are secured once and for all from the pernicious censorship that has occurred under the regime of the Johnson Amendment.
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You can visit our Pulpit Freedom website to see a list of churches that participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday on October 7, 2012. Why not take a moment to encourage these courageous pastors or to perhaps begin attending these churches who are standing firm and contending for the faith in our culture? And if you are a pastor and want more information about your right to speak freely from the pulpit, visit our website and become part of the battle to protect and defend your constitutional rights.
LifeNews Note: Erik Stanley is an attorney with the pro-life legal group Alliance Defending Freedom.