|Giving Pastors Political ‘Free Speech’
08 March 2005
CBN.com - American ministers and pastors could soon enjoy greater freedom, as they used to have, to participate in the country's political discussions. Current laws restrict ‘political’ speech from the pulpit or in church literature.
But the U.S. Congress is now considering a bill that would restore and protect pastors’ free speech rights. It's called the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act.
For many ‘social conservatives’ on Capitol Hill, this bill is one they really want to pass. It has been introduced before but rejected then. Since then Congressman Walter Jones and Christian lobbying groups have been working overtime to build more support for it. Now the bill has more House of Representatives support than ever before.
The bill would allow religious leaders to speak to their congregations about the moral issues of the day, even if they are ‘political’ in nature. Right now, if pastors talk ‘politics’, the IRS could pull a church's tax exempt status. If pastors say words like “pro-choice” or “pro-life” or “liberal or conservative” they could be in trouble. But this bill restores their freedom of speech.
Congressman Walter Jones explains, "If our spiritual leaders do not have the freedom to speak from the pulpits of America about those who are running for office and how they stand on the moral, political and policy issues of the day, then I do not believe we can protect the Judeo Christian principles that this nation was founded on, which is the foundation of America."
Congressman Jones’ office told CBN News the bill would allow pastors to send out postal mailings to their congregations but that would be it, it wouldn’t go beyond that. This bill does have the support of House leadership but it probably won't get passed as a ‘stand-alone’ bill. Instead, the Congressman would like to see it attached to a ‘must pass’ piece of legislation. He says that's the only way to get it through the House of Representatives.
By David Brody - CWNews
View Latest Cultural News Articles