Wednesday, February 13, 2008
According to a coalition of religious liberty advocacy groups, "[a]s the 2008 elections approach, various groups have launched intimidation tactics in an effort to silence churches and pastors about the great social and moral issues of our time." These alleged tactics include threats by the IRS to revoke a church's tax-exempt status. "Churches and pastors need clear guidelines for permissible political activities to answer to these attacks." In response to that need, this coalition is offering such guidelines -- "Constitutional Protections for Pastors: Your freedom to speak Biblical truth on the moral issues of the Day" --- it says, "to ensure that pastors and churches are not silenced during this next campaign cycle." These guidelines focus on the separate rights that pastors as individuals have to address issues raised in elections. In addition, two of these coalition groups -- the Alliance Defense Fund and the James Madison Center for Free Speech -- have offered to respond free of charge to inquiries by churches, pastors and priests on permissible political activities.