Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pastor Challenges IRS Non-Profit Limits With Endorsements From Pulpit

In an open challenge to the constitutionality of the tax code's ban on non-profits endorsing political candidates, a Hastings, Minnesota pastor has endorsed from the pulpit a slate of conservative candidates running for governor, other state offices and Congress after indicating in advance on a radio show that he would do so.  Americans United announced yesterday that it had filed a formal complaint (full text) with the Internal Revenue Service over the activities of pastor Brad Brandon of Hastings' Berean Bible Baptist Church. In addition to the endorsements from the pulpit, Brandon also distributed a flyer during services listing the church's endorsements.The St. Paul Pioneer Press yesterday quoted Brandon as saying:
I'm not necessarily excited about an investigation or possible audit, but to me, that's a small price to pay. This is an issue of clergy not being able to say what they want. ... It is something I've been thinking about for quite some time. I've been praying about it. I see so much around me; we are losing our freedom to speak and speak out.
Yesterday's Minnesota Independent has a photo of the flyer and audio excerpts of Brandon's sermon.