Pastors prepare to take on IRS over political endorsement ban
October 5th, 2012
12:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Pastors prepare to take on IRS over political endorsement ban

(CNN) - When Ron Johnson takes take his pulpit on Sunday, he will willfully break the law. After presenting his views on President Barack Obama’s handling of religious issues - like abortion, gay marriage, and religious freedom – Johnson will ask his congregation a question.

“In light of what I have presented,” Johnson says he will say, “How can you go into that election booth and vote for Barack Obama as president of the United States?”


Filed under: 2012 • Belief Blog • Religion
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. myviewis

    John the Historian

    I hope his tax exempt status is taken away. Quite ironic he supports Willard a mormon cult follower. Mormons are not even Christian. No Christian denomination recognizes the book of mormon. I wonder what he thinks of mormon believing that Jesus Christ was a polygamist and that he preached to the American Indians, which history tells us did not happen and there is no DNA proof that the American-Indians are the 13 tribe of Israel. Mormons who honor and worship Joseph Smith who had 87 wives, one as young as 14 years old, and Brigham Young who had 70 wives and massacred non-mormons in Utah.

    You do realize that Mormon Harry Reid is the most powerful man in our government????? Mormon Harry Reid, the Democrat superstar, Obama's attack dog.

    October 5, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Make him pay taxes retro at least 18 months - that's how long the republicans have been running this time.

    Make an example of this one church and the rest will think twice.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 5, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Squigman

    The religious zealots are not going to be satisfied until we have people fighting in the streets, like the extremists we so defile from foreign lands. As long as there is a law declaring separation of church and state, we might avoid such troubles. The founding fathers knew of religious oppression, and did all they could to avoid such calamities. Why are people so inclined to start trouble today?

    October 5, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Donkey Party

    truth hurts – If you and your right-winger brethren want a theocracy so badly, move to Iran. The US will never allow religion to control the government, it's the very reason this country exists.

    October 5, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    My problem is people using the bible to do whatever they want to do. At one time these so called Christians said it was a sin against God for black people to even know how to read and right. How many slave owners beat their slaves to death and raped the female slaves with their dingus in one hand and the bible in the other? The bible says, thou shalt not kill, but look how many innocent blacks lost their lives for nothing.

    I think the founding fathers were right in separating church and state. And yes, I believe in the Lord and I was raised in the church.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 5, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Ind.

    It's OBVIOUS the demcorats are at the least skewing the numbers and most likely just out right LYING

    October 5, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. MrBeenThere

    Any church that wants any Political say should pay taxes like us common folk. There is a reason for the separation of church and state. By all means enter politics but you must pay for the right, "PAY TAXES"

    October 5, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Dennis Freeman

    Churches should be required to pay property taxes to help their communities with local services and to provide good schools.

    October 5, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Jake

    These people need to be sent back to the dark ages from where they came from, The freaking nerve of them to think they have a right to silence other people right to opinions and beliefs. Religion, whether yours or the Taliban has no place in a free society. How dare you worms think America should be like those backwards countries in the Middle East where religion squashes all rights. There is nothing Christian about you. If Christ were alive today, he would cast you as evil. Burn in hell with your phony religion that has no tolerence for others. Better yet, go to Iran or Afghanistan and live with the Taliban there. They too, think religion should control government.

    October 5, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Jake

    Any religion that tramples over peoples rights in a free society is evil regardless of what you call it.

    October 5, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I've never seen so many so-called "men of the cloth" trying to make a big name for themselves just for attention, Huckabee did it and is making millions. Instead of them doing their job and saving souls, they're running them away by the millions with their self righteous hypocracy and those in their congregation seem to follow them to the slaughter. It's time for these lazy bumbs to start paying taxes and stop pimping the church. Yes, I'm angry with them having been raised in the church since I was a kid and seeing nothing but pure greed coming from some of these so-called.

    October 5, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    Oops, I meant read and write. That's what I get for trying to blog while working!

    October 5, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Oregon Calling

    I agree Sniffit

    October 5, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. RealityBites

    The pastor needs to create a fake political wing that is "seperate" from his other tax free deductables.., ljust ike Planned Parent Hood.

    October 5, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Slightly Left of Center

    Cool. I think all religious groups/leaders should be able to endorse whomever they want...right after they give up their tax exempt status. How's that for increasing revenue?

    October 5, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Scientology Tax Exemption. How come that the Church of Scientology is tax-exempt in the US?

    October 5, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    One of the reasons I quit organized religion was because I fundamentally believe that religion and politics should be separate. When I raised this to my pastor, I was told that the "church board" had made the decision to speak out on behalf of the congregation so "we" would have a united voice. My response was that no one speaks for me ... except me ... and I walked out the door and never went back.

    October 5, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. demwit

    America would be better off if it never had churches!! Oh wait....

    October 5, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Republican who supports President Obama

    It is very simple/ Pay taxes and say all you want. If you want to live a cushy life and not really work for a living then you stay out of the political fray. There is a seperation of church and state for a reason. Church should not play a role in law nor the way we govern. Moral and ethic thought – yes but religion no.

    October 5, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Republican who supports President Obama

    Does the church offer jobs for all of the people who lost jobs in 2008 and 2009? If it does then you can speak. A vote for Willard will lead to the same horrific policies of 2000 – 2008 the created less regulation and favors for the elite. America is much bigger than the top 1-5% even 10%.

    October 5, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. demrules

    First of all, as a Christian and a former pastor, I find it absolutely absurd that these pastors would find the time now to complain about something that has been in place for years. To blame the President for their lack of insight into knowing the laws and criteria behind the 501c3 status, leads one to believe that their motivations is primarily political and driven by race. Yes, I can say it because it's true. I've watched how this President has been unduly criticized and bad mouthed by these same people who have been given biblical instructions to pray for those who have authority and leadership over us. If they want to complain about their government, then they should give up their tax exempt status, and do whatever they want. They won't however, because they won't be able to receive government grants and other perks that come along with that status. My church never applied for that status, because we did our homework and relied totally on what ever gifts people brought in and functioned within our means. I would advise these people to follow suit and stop complaining. If they want to preach politics from their pulpits rather than leaving the protection of the four walls of their buildings to help people, then they should give up their 501c3 status!

    October 5, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Ind.

    The democrat party is anything but religious considering their Cconvention proved the majority of them hate God.

    October 5, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Sonia

    You stupid pastor how can you vote for a momon either?Can you give us a reference from the Bible yo bore for a heretic?

    October 5, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Sonia

    You hypocrite pastor how can you vote for a heretic either?Momons are not Christians.

    October 5, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Tuckersdad

    Religious leaders need to keep their political views to themselves. Period. The founding fathers were very clear about keeping the church and state seperate. IRS is totally correct on this, if you want to talk politics, hang up the robes and pay your taxes.

    October 5, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
1 2 3