Pulpit Freedom Sunday - History of the Pulpit Initiative


The future of religious freedom depends on a free pulpit to communicate fundamental, biblical principles to congregations across America. Join a growing movement of bold pastors preaching biblical Truth about candidates and elections from their pulpits on October 7, 2012.

History of Pulpit Freedom Sunday

In response to more than 50 years of threats and intimidation by activist groups wielding the Johnson Amendment as a sword against the Church, Alliance Defending Freedom began Pulpit Freedom Sunday in 2008. The goal of Pulpit Freedom Sunday is simple: have the Johnson Amendment declared unconstitutional – and once and for all remove the ability of the IRS to censor what a pastor says from the pulpit.

Alliance Defending Freedom is actively seeking to represent churches or pastors who are under investigation by the IRS for violating the Johnson Amendment by preaching biblical Truth in a way that expresses support for – or opposition to – political candidates. Alliance Defending Freedom represents all of its clients free of charge.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday is not about turning churches into political machines; it is about restoring the right of pastors to speak freely from their pulpits about all matters included in Scripture – even when Scripture is deeply relevant to a pending election or the quality of a candidate for office.

In 2008, 33 pastors from 22 different states participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday. The participating pastors preached sermons that compared the positions held by candidates with what Scripture says about those issues. The pastors then made specific recommendations about those candidates (including recommendations about whether the congregation should vote for or against them). Finally, the pastors brought their sermons to the attention of the IRS in the hopes that an audit of their churches would spark lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Johnson Amendment.

In 2009, more than 80 pastors participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in 2010, nearly 100 pastors participated, and in 2011 the number of participating pastors skyrocketed to 539 pastors. As of this date, none of the participating churches have had their tax exemption revoked – nor have any received penalties from the IRS for what was said during their sermons.

Will you stand with the pastors who have gone before you in this important endeavor? If you are interested in participating in this year's Pulpit Freedom Sunday, click here to sign up.


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Pulpit Freedom Sunday is a project of the Alliance Defending Freedom but participation does not necessarily mean association with Alliance Defending Freedom. Alliance Defending Freedom reserves the right to limit representation of participants to those approved by Alliance Defending Freedom. Participation in Pulpit Freedom Sunday does not create an attorney-client relationship with Alliance Defending Freedom. Alliance Defending Freedom will timely review any request for legal representation regarding a Pulpit Freedom Sunday sermon, but reserves the right to decline legal representation based on its legal judgment. Nothing in this communication should be taken as a guarantee of legal representation, as Alliance Defending Freedom will independently evaluate each individual request for legal representation. Alliance Defending Freedom does not endorse or oppose political parties or candidates, nor does it urge allegiance to any political party or candidate.Alliance Defending Freedom  does believe that churches and pastors have the freedom to plainly speak Scriptural truth about the qualifications of candidates for public office – regardless of candidates’ political affiliation. The information contained on this website is general in nature and is not intended to provide, or be a substitute for, legal analysis, legal advice, or consultation with appropriate legal counsel. You should not act or rely on information contained in this document without seeking appropriate professional advice. The Alliance Defending Freedom, Inc., is not providing legal advice, and the use of this website is not intended to constitute advertising or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Alliance Defending Freedom or between you and any Alliance Defending Freedom employee. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Any tax advice contained in this communication was not written for the purpose of – and is not intended to be used for the purpose of – (i) avoiding penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code; or of (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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