Suit to Restrict Pulpit Speech Dismissed


WASHINGTON — The Constitution forbids restraint of speech. Nevertheless, clergy claim the Internal Revenue Service has a tool that restrains what gets preached from the pulpit.

It’s called fear.

“The IRS threatens the life of the church,” said Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.


Sorry, but Blomberg is wrong. The “tool that restrains what gets preached from the pulpit” is not fear; it the tax exemption. Churches that are not tax exempt can have preached from the pulpit whatever whoever’s doing the preaching wants to say. However, I dare say that such churches are rather few.


Dave Bj is correct. If we are to remain tax free we may not preach politics on the altar. Personally I don’t care for politics on the altar and don’t think it belongs there. If I want a political sermon I’ll turn on the idiot box. I don’t need a voting campaign going on at Church.

Pastors need to stick to the Bible and Jesus and let the political banter stay on the radios and TV.


But isn’t part of religious instruction addressing issues in our communities? I’m not saying that a priest should advocate for one politician over the other, but I think it is crucial for priests and bishops to clarify Church teaching, particularly in regards to items critical in elections (abortion, gay marriage, immigration, favorable preference for the poor, protection conscientious objectors, etc)


There has been political speech since forever. Even on TV there were lots of preachers who preached civil rights right there on the tube clear back to the 1960s. I think there is more a threat to the political opposition of the current politically correct.


There you have it; both sides used the mechanism in place to resolve the issue; they went to court, it was ruled on accordingly and a decision issued. Regardless of the decision, once again the system works.


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