Pastors Express Opinion on IRS

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The practice of separation of Church and State has been largely observed in the US for many years now. But in recent times, we have seen numerous occasions where the distinction has been somewhat blurred. Ministers have openly criticized or supported politicians or aspiring politicians running for elections, and the government taking some form of punitive action against any church seen as supporting or opposing candidates in public office. A recent survey was carried out to gather the views of pastors on this matter.

According to the survey conducted by LifeWay Research in August, 79% of Protestant pastors ‘strongly disagreed’ while 7% ‘somewhat disagreed’ with the statement, “The government should regulate sermons by revoking a church’s tax exemption if its pastor approves of or criticizes candidates based on the church’s moral beliefs or theology.” The survey was conducted among 1,000 Protestant pastors and sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund.

In 2010, LifeWay also conducted an earlier survey in which pastors were asked their views on using the pulpit to endorse a candidate for public office. The result was a majority of pastors disagreed with using the pulpit for such a purpose. 70% of pastors ‘strongly disagreed’ while another 14% ‘somewhat disagreed’ with the statement “I believe pastors should endorse candidates for public office from the pulpit.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Darrin Mish, Tampa Tax Attorney, The Law Offices of Darrin Mish, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

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