The “separation of church and state,” such as it is, should keep the government from imposing a religion upon the people of this country.
But regulations that squelch the speech of pastors? Can the US Government tell pastors what they can and cannot talk about?
There is no law that I’m aware of that restricts the speech of pastors, but IRS regulations in place for over 50 years threaten to withdraw the tax-exempt status of churches that speak on politics. I am convinced this is a contributing factor to the decline of morality in the USA. The churches are the center of what we consider moral in the country, and if the pulpits are silent, immorality blossoms.
Some pastors have begun specifically defying this regulation by specifically mentioning candidates by name. Their goal is to overturn the IRS regulation through the court system. Listen: all rules and regulations in this country should follow the US Constitution, right? Here’s the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution –
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That tells me that the government can’t pass any laws on what churches can and cannot say, anymore than they can tell newspapers what they can and cannot print. Read that amendment and explain to me how it could be interpreted otherwise.
If you’d like to read more, the Alliance Defense Fund is spearheading this project.
â€œPastors have a right to speak about Biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights,â€ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley.
It’s a government restriction on the freedom of speech and the expression of religion. I cant see how anyone could interpret the Constitution any other way.