My favorite line from Pulpit Freedom Sunday came from Crown Point, Ind., pastor who told his congregation that voting for Barack Obama would demonstrate “severe moral schizophrenia.”
The tax code states that a tax-exempt charitable organization “may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” So a statement like that from the Rev. Ron Johnson Jr. will, obviously, get the attention of the Internal Revenue Service. And that is the point.
Johnson joined 32 other ministers in preaching politics from the pulpit in hopes of winning a fight with the IRS and setting a new legal precedent. It appears the only Los Angeles-area pastors to join the cause were in Orange County, which really isn’t a surprise. Here’s a wrap-up from the Washington Post and here’s what religion scholar Martin Marty had to say.