Holy Harangue! Pastors preaching politics

November 21, 2012

Testing the mettle of the federal government, some church leaders preached politics from the pulpit during the run-up to the election and are challenging authorities to pull their tax-exempt status. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Federal tax rules mandate that religious groups with tax-exempt privileges are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating” in any political campaign or making statements favoring or opposing “any candidate for public office.”

But only one church has had its tax-free status revoked in the 58 years the law has existed.

Through a nationally-organized movement called the “Alliance Defending Freedom,” religious leaders say they will save Americas from “radical anti-Christian groups” and lay waste to “the myth of the so-called separation of church and state.”

At recent services on a day dubbed “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” 142 pastors of California churches snubbed the law and preached political messages.

Ted Slanders


The government should not have the right to suppress free speech; that is a given. Freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and is guaranteed to all Americans. However, in regards to the churches pulpit speak, and relating to the Federal tax exempt rule of law, why do they go against said law and bring forth their political views to their congregation?

If the church wants to be classified as a tax-exempt organization, then it needs to play by the rules and abstain from preaching politics because that is what the Federal tax exempt law states, period.

Barring the fact that certain churches want to violate this tax exempt Federal law, then they additionally and blatantly go against the God that they worship and may be in line for godly punishment, as the biblical passage states below.

“Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.” (Romans 13: 1-2)

Besides, aren’t the churches suppose to set an example in the first place and follow the law of the land where they exist?! Why do the churches feel that they need to have their cake and eat it too, but at the same time, go against governmental law and God’s word in the Romans passage above?!



It’s so simple, just have them pay taxes like everybody else, then they can say whatever they want.


Not so simple. Forcing churches to pay taxes would be impinging on their First Amendment rights. Sorry but no way.


So, using your logic, isn’t forcing individual citizens to pay taxes an impingement on our First Amendment rights? This is a tax issue, not a moral issue. Shelworth is absolutely right. If I don’t pay my taxes, and then flaunt it to the IRS, do you think they would sit idly by? The more religious you get, the more idiotic your thoughts become.


Let the IRS prosecute if you think something is wrong. There will not be a change to the law, however.

And you had better begin with the Sierra Club and other non profits.


Clergy have been preaching “politics” for years and sending in the tapes and transcripts to the IRS begging them to sue them. Of course the IRS won’t, as the “Johnson Amendment” to the 501(c)3 portion of the tax code was not legal then, and it’s not legal now.

Pulpits have ALWAYS been a source of political discourse in this country, since it’s founding – prior to the establishment of the IRS (thanks, Woodrow) and even shortly after. It wasn’t until the government started nit-picking things that Johnson even proposed his silly amendment to get back at some political enemies of the day.

If a clergy person speaks against abortion or any other form of murder from their pulpit, and that is within their religion’s canons, then what is the problem? If you like murder or abortion, then do not attend or be a member of that faith.


TS and Racket, you’re both showing ignorance from opposite sides of the fence. If either of you had any knowledge of the position you’re representing you wouldn’t have made such foolish statements. Being tax exempt has nothing to do with subsidies TS.

Racket, Pastors shouldn’t make political statements, more importantly they shouldn’t feel compelled to if they are teaching their beliefs properly. Your statements regarding other religions and government support is just as ignorant as those of TS.

Does anyone have any bits of wisdom to share that doesn’t sound like it hatched in the back woods over a bottle of moonshine?


“Pastors shouldn’t make political statements” – WOA! That’s VERY wrong. Is Abortion not a political statement now? Is the Death Penalty not a political statement? How about legalizing prostitution? Rape? Murder? Adultery? Polygamy?

My point is, ANYTHING can be “political speech” – telling clergy that they are not to contribute to political discourse is pretty short-sighted and a clear violation of the First Amendment.

I’m sorry, a government agency does not get to decide who or what gains the benefit of the First Amendment based on tax status. Please think clearly.

Ted Slanders


Quit erroneously assuming as a premise the conclusion in which you wish to reach to support your otherwise weak assertion. By definition, I didn’t mention “subsidies” in any way. I was alluding to the fact that when an entity like a church is tax exempt on a property, this same property in the public arena would be paying taxes if they were not a church with tax exempt status.

Any taxes that would be there in a public vein on the property, are therefore lost to the community when churches with tax exemptions reside upon the same property. Therefore, others within the city have to pay for the total operation of the city, whereas the tax exempt churches do not.

This is the scenario that I was speaking about. Get it?

Now, if you can’t decipher logic 101 as described above, and conversely speaking, then you must be smoking the Devil Weed, whereas it doesn’t allow you to reason.


The idea of separate church and state is a joke so long as churches are subsidized by the state in the form of tax exemptions.

I am paying for their Christianity, or Muslimity, or whatever, because they’re not paying their share of taxes. Since I am funding them, I demand control of their teachings through my elected representatives.


Do you have any idea what the separation of church and state means? It means the USA will not support a national church. There will be no Church of England in the USA and there is none.

Gov’t needs to stay the hell out of church’s activities. To suggest you “subsidize” churches because they are tax exempt is ludicrous. Why don’t you make the same claim of any 501 (c) 3 non-profit?


I do.

And should I become aware that a particular 501c-filer has a political agenda, I will expand my outrage to include them.


O.k. racket, I have one for you. Sierra Club.


If I were king, they would have lost their tax-exempt status long ago, just because I find them to be reprehensible conniving busybodies.

That said, I believe they are careful not to cross the line and directly endorse political candidates, which I appreciate.

I don’t know how they get away with their direct influencing of the political system.

Ted Slanders

I applaud only the “Christian Pastors” that went against the grain and proffered their political views upon their flock in how to vote. This was a godly Christian thing to do and has nothing to do with any tax exempt status. Our God says so, so there. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 )

But, relating to this story in another way, and in a true Christian sense, why should we Christians have to pay for the tax exempt status of the Jewish synagogues and the Muslim temples? Since we don’t believe in their Gods, why should we have to personally pay for them through extra state and local taxes in our communities?

As Christians, we laugh at their particular God concept because it is a different God than ours which they blatantly run contrary to our beliefs. Nonetheless, we Christians have to pick up the tab for these non-christian places of worship by them being tax exempt in our communities!

My fellow Christians, the Jewish and Muslim Gods should be able to pay their own way and support their own worship centers, even if they have to pass the plate during worship three of four times to do so. If these contradictory Gods to our Christianity cannot accomplish this act, then they should do like other business men and close up shop. Agreed?

This tax exempt status of the other assumed godly religions is the crux of the problem, therefore, tax the hell out of them so they can finally help support their own communities! No more free rides, except for the exclusiveness of our Christianity since we’re a Christian nation.

Praise Jesus for such enlightenment!


Well Ted you missed a couple important things. First off we are not paying taxes that support them in any way. They get their support from the collection plate. You do Tithe on Sunday don’t you Ted? So that is where the church gets it’s support.

Now I know Ted you will go next to protection of country, roads etc that the church uses. Again Ted the people attending church already pay taxes. You pay taxes don’t you Ted? So I don’t see churches taking in any way and or getting a free ride.

I see enough takers in other parts to worry about. Churches I don’t.

Ted Slanders


Read my godly dissertation above in this thread answering your main topics. I am NOT talking about the church being subsidized by any taxes, but the lack of taxes that the church pays! Get it?

Furthermore, the church does not only get it’s support by passing around the collection plate, it also gets it from contributions, last will and testaments of certain church goers, the guilty minds of some of the flock in paying off their sinful nature by giving large donations, etc.

If your church hasn’t performed this act already, I would suggest the following. I had my church put in an ATM machine near the front entrance. In doing so, it only holds one-hundred dollar bills. Therefore, there is absolutely no “tinkling” of change within our collection plates, but only the soft sound of crisp C-notes!

At times, if our pastor is in need of a newer piece of Detroit iron, or is behind in his bills, even though he is in a tax exempt status, we pass the plate several times within his surmon. Something for you to think about in a godly way.


i guess a few “non-profits” need to have their status yanked. play by the rules you signed to agree with.


Brother Ted, where are you when we need you?


Just more moral hypocrisy. These clowns flaunt the law in front of their flocks and then demand mindless adherence to their own stupid interpretations of the bible.


If it wasn’t for your statement “These clowns flaunt the law in front of their flocks and then demand mindless adherence to their own stupid interpretations of the bible”, including the word bible I wasn’t sure if you were talking about churches or our govenor and politicians, but then again it not like even our politicians refer to the bible and use threats


Wow! Excellent “Ad Hominem” attack.

Having listened to thousands of ‘mindless” messages from the “clowns”, the political messages from the pulpit,when really listened too, are always speaking to the spiritual warfare for souls that occur through the political process.

If someone wants to be logically consistent, the worst thing anyone can say is that we should feel sorry for those misguided and harmless individuals standing up front of Sunday. But, if they are correct about the Gospel (Good News) can one afford to reject it?


So instead of faith in God they’re supposed to be “mindful” people like yourself?


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