Pastors to IRS: 'Get Out of Our Pulpits'

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Pastors in about 80 churches across the U.S. preached partisan political sermons this past Sunday as part of what's called "The Pulpit Initiative."

The program, sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, is designed to challenge the IRS to revoke churches' tax exempt status.

The ADF says the goal of the effort is to restore "a pastor's right to speak freely from his pulpit without fearing censorship or punishment by the government." 

"No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights," ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley explained.

But the organization says the program is not about encouraging pastors to endorse candidates. 

"On the contrary, the whole point is that churches should be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to talk about," Stanley said.  

"The IRS should not be the one making the decision by threatening to revoke a church's tax-exempt status," he said. "We need the government to get out of the pulpit."  

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