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Trying to figure out whether or not they won't got in their platform.
The IRS is trying to control what some pastors can say about the political issues that matter most of their congregations.
An organization of lawyers called alliance defending freedom.
Is defending churches who were under investigation by the IRS for expressing their political views during their sermons.
Now they've mark October 7 as pulpit freedom Sunday to defy the IRS is censoring speech from the pulpit.
Jim Barlow is pastor of the skyline church near San Diego one of the largest churches in the country and he joins me now Jim it's great to see you thanks for.
-- it's a pretty -- -- the sale on October the seventh a bunch of pastors hundreds maybe thousands across the country.
Are gonna stand in their pulpits and essentially say.
The IRS can't tell us what we can -- can't say how did this come about.
Well in July the second 1954.
The Johnson memos passed in the senate now there was no discussion of it.
Just a voice vote but the result -- -- was that it begin to put a muzzle on churches we lost a 166.
Years of freedom in the pulpit.
So that's why the attorneys 2200.
Attorneys rose up.
And are encouraging pastors to take a bold step -- -- -- -- biblical authority and our constitutional rights of the First Amendment freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
If in 58 years since the Johnson amendment it has never been contested in court there been a lot of attempts to get the court because the belief is is unconstitutional.
-- not been successful so be a lioness defending freedom asked pastors to begin defying the Johnson amendment in their pulpits.
And they record their sermons in May -- to the higher -- -- start with 200833.
Pastors the next year 84 pastors the next year 100 pastors last year 539.
Pastures this year.
-- -- a thousand or 2000 pastors on the same day -- potentially.
Well exercise their biblical boarding constitutional rights and recorder Sherman mail it to the IRS and the attorneys are willing to give -- Phil.
The church ever been shot down -- -- and put in jail because he said something from the pulpit that the IRS -- political.
In the 58 year history of the Johnson amendment no churches ever lost its tax exemption.
There was one Churchill lost the tax exemption letter were very short time but that was for completely different activity and what we're talking about in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
In the pulpit no governmental intrusion in the -- what replicating.
But in 58 years no church has lost its tax exemption but the law.
Hangs over us like -- damocles sword -- innocent shelling pastors muscling them intimidating pastors.
And the result is -- often as pastors -- try to be biblical speak out on issues that are biblical.
Tearing up a baby in the womb for example or.
The practice of homosexuality or the definition of marriage people's failure to political -- -- political know.
We're simply being built a biblical but people don't recognize biblical sermons anymore that's the challenge.
And that's why pastors are rising up and re claiming that which is biblical as biblical and being bold and the pulpit.
So one of the arguments that will be thrown against you is your tax exempt so therefore you're getting a tax benefit from the federal government.
You therefore have to bend to the federal government rules.
On what you can say and can't say how do you respond to that argument which is thrown -- you I'm sure all the time.
When the assumption is that we entered into some kind of an agreement as pastors said okay will not speak on so called political issues.
For tax exemption but that's not the way it happened at our tax exemption -- churches predated the IRS by a long time the IRS has been around since about 1862.
But our tax exemption as churches have been around since our founding fathers because the founding fathers understood very clear clearly.
The what the government taxes the government can control and the government can kill.
So the proper -- for definition of the separation of church and state.
It is that the federal government has no no government has any control at all.
Over the church over the -- over what's said the -- no governmental intrusion.
Over the pulpit at all so our whole notion of tax exemption comes from our founding fathers who understood the right definition of the separation of church and state.
Well -- on October the seventh sounds like there's going to be over a thousand passes across America including knew that dual standing your pulpits and say whatever you.
Wish to say if you get in a lot of trouble two things one come see is some talk about it number two let me know I'll come help -- out I'll do my best future.
Media outlets -- -- about it.
Well I hope folks well and that thanks so much for being here it's going to be an interesting thing you know I think the the simple reality that we only to remember.
Is -- the very first line in the bill of rights is that congress shall make no law and then it goes on to describe what congress can't do.
It never says what churches can't do never says what citizens can't do never says what pastors can't do it says what congress.
Yet they seem to be doing in anyway ought to be fun to watch on October the seventh.
Glad to have -- Garland here good being with you my friend thank you so much --
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