Silenced shepherds

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Oct 17, 2008 No Comments ›› Ben DuPré

Silenced shepherds

Judge Moore’s column this week, Silent no more (http://www NULL.wnd NULL.php?pageId=77967), notes the undue pressure that IRS regulations under section 501(c)(3) (http://www NULL.irs,,id=163395,00 NULL.html) place on a pastor and his congregation should a pastor feel led to speak out against or for a political candidate.  On Sunday, September 28, to expose its unconstitutional infringement on free speech and freedom of religion, over 30 pastors around the country challenged the pulpit gag rule and publicly endorsed a candidate for President (http://www NULL.alliancedefensefund NULL.aspx?cid=4692).  Barry Lynn of Americans United (http://www (for Intervention of the State into the Church?) and other usual suspects crowed their objections, but Judge Moore defends these pastors and their bold decision to be silent no more.

Our forefathers came to America seeking religious freedom from state control over their churches and what pastors preached from the pulpit. Those who drafted the First Amendment to our Constitution intended “to prohibit an establishment of religion such as the English church presented, or anything like it,” according to the United States Senate in 1853. When the state begins to dictate what pastors may or may not say from the pulpit, an establishment of religion exists by giving favored treatment to those churches that remain silent about moral issues of the day.

Pastors have always been at the forefront of great social and even political reform in our country.  For the government to keep pastors corraled in their sermons and religious activities is not only unconstitutional, but it treats the shepherds of the flocks like sheep.  Congress needs to change the tax code and let our pastors go.

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