PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY = WHY WE’VE STOPPED GOING TO CHURCH

PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY = WHY WE’VE STOPPED GOING TO CHURCH

Hanes HallbirnWednesday,10 October 2012

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States

Not so fast, but not such a good idea.



The Snap

Christian religious leaders across the United States are openly challenging Internal Revenue Service (IRS) restrictions that prohibit the endorsement of specific political candidates, in an annual protest known as “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” The movement is aimed toward baiting the IRS into a legal dispute. Churches want to maintain their tax-exempt statuses while freeing up ministers to promote political candidates.

The Download

While this may seem like a clear-cut violation of the U.S. Constitution, there technically isn’t an actual amendment mandating the separation of church and state. This is, in fact, merely an interpretation of the First Amendment. In response, as David Sessions of The Daily Beast notes, the IRS has essentially blown off the entire protest; the agency appears to have little interest in the protest or a courtroom battle.

However, disinterest on behalf of the IRS that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for churches to do this; in fact, it’s rather stupid. Are pastors/ministers/priests changing any minds by preaching politics from the pulpit? It’s highly unlikely. In fact, the only people whose minds they’re changing are those who were on the fence about going to church in the first place. So congratulations, church leaders. You’re #winning this battle, while losing the longer war.

Hat Tips

The Daily Beast, Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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