Becky Yeh – OneNewsNow California correspondent – 10/12/2010 3:50:00 AM
By participating in a recent pulpit initiative, pastors across the nation are begging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take them to court.
Nearly 100 pastors, backed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” September 26 and challenged the IRS by speaking about politics in church. David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, believes it is necessary for outspoken pastors to speak out in order to prove that the IRS is prohibiting their First Amendment rights. (See related story)
“The IRS regulation, which was added in the 1950s and 1960s, is probably blatantly unconstitutional on its face, but we’ll never be able to prove that if we don’t have an instance whereby to take them into court and have it really adjudicated,” Barton explains.
He says the list of pastors who respond to the call grows every year — and includes one Iowa pastor who has essentially challenged the IRS to sue him. Barton likes the trend he is seeing.
“For the last three years, we have clearly had dozens and dozens…of pastors intentionally step across the line and…turn themselves into the IRS and say, ‘Ok — we’ve stepped across your line; come after us,'” the WallBuilders founder shares. “The IRS has refused to do that for three years, and that pretty much validates what we knew — that this restriction is blatantly unconstitutional.”
Barton points out that the church used to be the news source for the public during the days of the Founding Fathers, but the regulation brought on by the IRS has had a major role in changing that.