In the Dakota Voice, ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley discusses how the Pulpit Initiative is rapidly growing:
Pastors from more than 475 churches nationwide have registered to participate in the Alliance Defense Fund’s fourth annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday on Oct. 2. The total reflects nearly five times as many participants as last year’s total of approximately 100 pastors.
The pastors have committed to preach sermons that present biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates. In so doing, they will exercise their constitutionally protected right to free religious expression despite a problematic Internal Revenue Service rule that activist groups often use to silence churches.
“Pastors and churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “Churches should be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to talk about. The IRS should not be the one making the decision by threatening to revoke a church’s tax-exempt status. No government-recognized status can be conditioned upon the surrender of a constitutionally protected right. That’s why ADF started Pulpit Freedom Sunday: to get the government out of the pulpits of America.”