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Much Ado About Nothing: ADF’s Latest ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ Is Just A Distraction

Sunday was my 30th birthday, and the Religious Right got me a pretty rotten gift – the latest installment of the so-called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”

As you may recall, “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” was created in 2008 by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an Arizona-based Religious Right legal outfit founded by right-wing radio and television preachers. The ADF says it has encouraged pastors to give sermons “that present biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates.”   Read more

The IRS And Church Electioneering: Enforce The Law Already!

Is the Internal Revenue Service still enforcing the federal tax law ban on partisan politicking by churches and other non-profits?

IRS officials say they are.

In an interview with NBC News, IRS spokesman Dean Patterson repudiated comments by a regional IRS official who said recently that the agency was "holding any potential church audits in abeyance" while it revises its regulations in light of a 2009 federal court decision. Read more

Sunday Scofflaws: It’s Time For The IRS To Crack Down On ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

As many of you know, on Sunday more than 1,000 pastors nationwide took part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to encourage clergy to openly violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates.

AU staffers spent the holiday weekend fielding media calls about this. The Rev. Steven Baines, AU’s assistant field director for religious outreach, talked to several reporters. Read more

Information, Not Intimidation: Religious Right Group Falsely Accuses AU Of Trying To Scare Pastors

It seems that one person’s information is another person’s intimidation.

Several weeks ago, Americans United sent 60,000 letters to houses of worship nationwide urging them not to endorse political candidates this election season. We didn’t do that because we were bored – we did it because we’ve seen an uptick in Religious Right efforts to enlist churches into partisan politics. Read more

Altar Call: Americans United Letter Urges Clergy To Reject Church Electioneering

Yesterday I received some interesting mail from two residents of Colorado. Each envelope contained the same thing: a 20-page glossy publication produced by Ridgway Christian Center in Ridgway, Colo.

The publication features a calendar of upcoming ministry events and a list of conservative websites that the group recommends. But the most interesting thing about the publication is its cover: It’s a photo of a bunch of American flags headlined, “Honor God! Love your country! VOTE REPUBLICAN!” Read more

Pulpit Perfidy: More Misinformation In The Wake Of ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Introductions are hard. I never know exactly what to share about myself upfront, so I’ll do my best to stick with the essentials. My name is Simon Brown, and I am the new communications associate at Americans United. I may be new to AU, but I’ve reported extensively on church electioneering for Tax Notes (it was my first story for that publication), so it’s fitting that my first blog post here is on this issue. Read more

Pulpit Perversion Sunday: The Religious Right’s Partisan Scheme To Politicize Churches

On Oct. 2, a few fundamentalist clergy around the country will observe “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” They will take to their pulpits and endorse or oppose candidates in defiance of federal tax law, which prohibits nonprofits from intervention in elections. Read more

Prostituting The Pulpit: Religious Right Wants Churches To Get Partisan, But Most Americans Don’t

Poor Erik Stanley.

The Alliance Defense Fund attorney keeps pleading with evangelical clergy to step forward and become political bosses, but the clergy – and the American people – keep saying no.

Stanley and his Religious Right cronies salivate at the prospect of an evangelical Christian voting bloc marching in lockstep under the dictates of rigid right-wing pulpiteers and electing candidates who will tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Read more

Army Maneuvers: Military Officials Should Leave Proselytizing To Civilians

Last week, Americans United urged Army officials to cancel an evangelistic event at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, we found out about this rather late. The complaint came in on Thursday, and “Rock The Fort” was scheduled for Saturday. AU’s Legal Department swung into gear with a strong letter to military officials, but it was not enough; they refused to cancel the event. Read more

Scofflaws In The Pulpit: Tenn. Clergy Plan To Violate Federal Law Barring Church Electioneering

This Sunday, a group of Tennessee preachers is looking forward to breaking the law.

At least that’s what they told The Tennessean, which reported that seven pastors in the state will “bait” the IRS by endorsing candidates from the pulpit. A provision in the Internal Revenue Code bars all 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, which includes houses of worship, from intervening in elections. Read more

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