Group Lodges Complaint Against Pastor for Flouting Tax Law

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Watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State has lodged an offcial complaint against Pastor Brad Brandon of the Berean Bible Baptist Church in Hastings, Minn. for allegedly transgressing federal law that prohibits church leaders from openly endorsing or opposing any person running for public offce. But the pastor is undaunted and hopes the IRS would take action against him so that he has the opportunity to defend his rights to freedom of speech in open court.

In his sermon on Sunday, Pastor Brandon endorsed 11 candidates (mostly Republican) in their attempts to win their respective elections into various public offces. According to Americans United, the endorsement is a blatant violation of federal law. This law has been in existence for more than half a century ever since the presidency of President Lyndon B. Johnson. This law was passed in 1954 when then Senator Johnson (D-Texas) sponsored the law after pastors criticized him for his personal behavior. The law came to be known as the Johnson Amendment which disallows all tax-exempt organizations like churches from expressing offcial political partisanship.

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