Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pastors are NOT in favor of endorsing candidates in the pulpit

A religious right groups are heavily pushing an event which calls for pastors to endorse candidates in the pulpit. Oct. 7 is the event they are calling Freedom Pulpit Sunday and according to the Huffington Post:

An army of more than 1,000 pastors from around the country will take on the IRS this coming Sunday by participating in what's being called "Pulpit Freedom Sunday." Under the Johnson Amendment, tax-exempt organizations, including churches, are not allowed to endorse any candidate running for elective public office.

. . . Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian organization behind Pulpit Freedom Sunday, says it's unconstitutional and pastors are being censored, and the church across America is being silenced. They're encouraging pastors to preach politics this Sunday, and to record the sermons and mail them to the IRS. The group is hoping the IRS will follow through on its threats of removing the tax-exempt status of a church caught preaching politics, so it can bring the matter to a judge to decide, because they say a judge is likely to see it as a clear violation of the First Amendment.

It promises to be an interesting event in churches across America. However, according to a survey, a certain group is heavily against it - pastors. According to One News Now  (which is a source I generally criticize, but this revelation is interesting):

LifeWay Research surveyed roughly 1,000 Protestant pastors on various aspects, and director Scott McConnell says his group learned that three-fourths of pastors disagree that the election cycle has been too religious and do not see the election as a referendum on religion.

"We asked them whether pastors should endorse candidates for public office from the pulpit, and almost nine out of ten pastors disagreed; and in fact, 71 percent strongly disagreed that pastors should be doing that," McConnell reports.

"Pastors clearly respect the sacred desk of the pulpit enough to discourage its use to affect elections." The survey also asked pastors if they had endorsed political candidates outside their role as pastor. "Less than half the pastors indicated that they had done that this year -- just 44 percent," the LifeWay Research director notes. "But it appears that two-thirds of them have to some extent, because only 33 percent 'strongly disagree' that they've endorsed candidates from the pulpit." 

We already know that religious right groups give the false impression that they speak for a majority of Christians, so why should we be shocked that they commit the same offense when it comes to pastors?

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