SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund in conjunction with the Family Research Council began sending letters to thousands of pastors across the U.S. Monday, informing them about their right to speak to congregations on issues which will be critical to this year’s elections.
“A pastor has the same free speech rights as any other American,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. “Pastors who want to speak out on life and marriage issues, for example, need not fear the tax man, despite what some in the media would have them believe.”
According to the joint letter from ADF and FRC, signed by ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull and FRC President Tony Perkins, “Plainly stated, there is nothing in federal tax law to prevent a pastor from directly telling the congregation to support legislation that the church believes to be beneficial to the community. On the other hand, IRS regulations do prohibit tax-exempt organizations—including churches—from endorsing candidates. However, churches remain free to educate their congregations through distributing voter guides, registering voters, or hosting candidate forums.”
The joint letter offers ADF’s legal knowledge and FRC’s public policy expertise on the subject. ADF provides pro-bono assistance to pastors and churches on First Amendment and other constitutional legal matters. FRC’s Pastoral Outreach program regularly briefs thousands of pastors on public policy issues impacting the family and culture.
“We strongly encourage pastors to ignore these frivolous scare tactics and seize the opportunities to speak out for moral truth,” said Perkins. “We join our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund in offering our assistance to church leaders who exercise their First Amendment right to speak freely on the vital issues of our day.”
A copy of the ADF/FRC letter to pastors is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/ADF-FRC-pastorletter.pdf.
ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.
Source: Alliance Defense Fund Media