A new report by the Evangelicals Council for Financial Accountability says that the government’s attempts to regulate the political involvement and speech of 501(c)(3) groups, particularly churches, is ineffective. A combination of factors, such as the vagueness of laws, inconsistent application of the law, and the fact that current IRS code infringes on the free speech rights of both individuals and churches leads many to believe the law needs to change.
Many pastors are familiar with the 1954 Johnson Amendment which attempts to remove the voice of pastors and churches from all things political. This unconstitutional amendment was inserted into the IRS code with the promise that all non-profits groups, especially churches, will lose their tax exempt license for engaging in “political speech.” The question is often asked, “What constitutes political speech?” To which most government officials clear their throat and quickly change the subject.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Johnson Amendment is clearly a violation of the constitutional free speech rights of pastor’s and their churches, many have been threatened into silence. The result is an America where pastors, the men once on the forefront of cultural education according to biblical principles, have been replaced by movie stars, rappers, and Planned Parenthood. The effects are obvious.
The report argued: “The IRS will not (and should not) enforce the prohibition in such faith communities en masse.” [Read more...]
About Nathan Cherry
Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.