Pastors Defy IRS, Take Politics to the Pulpit

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As many as 500 churches across the country took part in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" Oct. 2, by speaking freely about political candidates from the pulpit.

The day was set aside to protest current IRS requirements to maintain their tax-exempt status.

The Alliance Defense Fund started the Pulpit Freedom program in 2008 in response to the IRS ban on churches and other non-profit groups from supporting or opposing candidates running for public office.

The goal of the ADF initiative is to have the law declared unconstitutional.

"The IRS cannot be a content manager or regulator," Rev. Kevin Baird, Legacy Church in West Ashley, S.C., told The Post and Courier.

"There is a legitimate intimidation factor that comes from the IRS and the Left to squelch conservative pastors," he said.
   
Thirty-three pastors participated during the program's launch three years ago. So far, none of those churches have lost their tax exemptions.

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