Religious/Political Speech

     
April 30, 2002


Dear friend of liberty,

Let's level the playing field.  Why can Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al
Sharpton preach politics from the pulpit, present political candidates in
the chancel, and advocate socialism in the sanctuary without losing their
tax exempt status, yet conservative and libertarian Christians and Jews
cannot preach, present or advocate their political opinions or candidates
in a church or synagogue without scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service?

In recent years, liberal religious leaders chafing at the emerging power of
conservative Christians and Jews have sent letters to churches and
synagogues threatening to turn them in to the IRS if they continued to
publicize the records of candidates with respect to moral issues -- the very
activity liberal religious leaders themselves sanction and promote
regularly.  For example, in 1992 the Church at Pierce Creek in New York had
its tax exempt status revoked after its pastor placed newspaper ads
criticizing Bill Clinton's stands on various moral issues.

H.R. 2357 - The Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act introduced
by Congressman Walter Jones would make it clear that a house of worship
could not lose its tax-exempt status because it participated or intervened
in a political candidate or issue campaign.  It would level the playing
field and make certain that ALL houses of worship and their religious
leaders, liberal or conservative, are free from governmental interference
and favoritism.

During September, October and November of last year, thousands of you helped
secure additional cosponsors for H.R. 2357.  The legislation is now scheduled
for a hearing on May 14th by the House Committee on Ways and Means,
Subcommittee on Oversight.  Your efforts produced results!

The next step is to show strong support for H.R. 2357 to members of the
subcommittee.  Please urge your representative to express support for H.R.
2357 to the 13 members of the Subcommittee on Oversight.  You can send a
message to your representative by clicking
http://capwiz.com/liberty/issues/bills/?bill=46371

The hearing is scheduled for May 14th so please send your message today.

Opposition to H.R. 2357 is being organized.  On April 2, 2002, the
N.A.A.C.P. national board of directors voted unanimously to oppose
H.R. 2357 which would eliminate their monopoly on preaching politics from
the pulpit.

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee


 

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