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Pastors using the pulpit to preach politics

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POSTED: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 11:25pm

UPDATED: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 4:54pm

"Pulpit Freedom Sunday"

Sunday October 7, was declared "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" by a Pastor from California, and it caught on nation wide, even right here in East Texas.

A few church-goers who attend Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler tell KETK that one pastor from their church participated in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday"—Dr. David Dykes. A few people from the congregation say that he read from a prepared statement Sunday saying, he didn't tell his congregation who exactly to vote for, but he said he would be voting for Governor Romney in the upcoming presidential election.

Associate Pastor from First Christian Church, Fester Coffee-Prose, disagrees, he feels that politics should be left to the politicians—not pastors.

Pastor Coffee-Prose says," I believe that our churches are somewhere where we should be coming that are not political in nature. While we might take stands on certain issues, when it comes to the candidates the church should be a place where people of diverse backgrounds and diverse beliefs gather. And so I don't necessarily believe that we should be endorsing any one candidate from the pulpit."

By choosing to participate in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" pastors run the risk of jeopardizing their tax-exempt status from the IRS.

There are strict laws prohibiting any religious organization to have any political stance whatsoever, and by doing so they run the risk of losing their tax breaks.

But on the other side, some pastors believe that the government has no right to suppress their freedom of speech, ever—even if  they are giving a sermon at church.

Comments News Comments

Pastors are people and I don't think that it is bad to mention who they intend to vote for, however, only a mention is enough since they are in a position to influence some people. But, this presidential election is very different than most. We have a choice between a mormon and a muslim. I'll take the mormon every time. He does believe in God and America, where the muslim believes in neither. This year I believe that all Christians should weigh in and endorse Romney.

Are you really as stupid as your post suggest. President Obama is not a muslim. He has stated that he is a Christian and if you were a Christian you would know what GOD and Jesus have said about judging someone elses faith. I think all Christians should weigh in and endorse a Christian and REAL AMERICAN, President Obama.

You are about as un-American as everyone else who believes the Muslim **** that your TV darlings spew on hate-filled entertainment shows that cater to mindless drones. You wouldn't believe the truth if it was nose to nose with you this very minute...I wish, along with countless others, that you and your kind would shut up...there is nothing worse these days than an out-of-touch birther who never shuts up! willard = mormon cult..President Obama = professed Christian! OBAMA 11/6/2012!

Josette, find an internet copy, front and back, of President Obama's birth certificate..quit watching faux news, rush, hannity, beck, etc., do some independent investigation and thinking for yourself...President Obama is a Christian believer and has professed his beliefs many, many times...if you and those who think as you do are what Christians are like, no wonder so many people are turned off of organized religion...my pastor assumes that his congregation knows how to think for ourselves!!

Thank God there are still ministers of the Word who know the difference between preaching the Good News and making political churches and congregations...if I had been in GABC yesterday morning, I probably would have walked out when Mr. Dykes began to read his "prepared statement"...absolutely no one has the right to tell others who to vote for, to do their thinking for them, and I am so grateful that I belong to a main-line church in Tyler whose minister KNOWS we can think for ourselves.

You essentially lose your freedom of speech by taking a tax break. All charities, educational institutions, not just churches, must comply. Don't take the tax break, preach whatever you want.

As well they should. Enough of the atheists preaching what Americans can and cannot do. Freedom of religion not from religion.

Yes freedom from religion too Katie if one chooses. In a free society you can not force anyone to believe in any religion and if you are a Christian then you should know that Jesus Christ did not want his teachings or belief forced on anyone.

Yes, freedom to live how your faith journey dictates you should live, but not freedom to demand all others either get in line with your evangelical dogma or take the next train out of town. As a Christian, I find zealous political Christians offensive when they think their way is the only way to be a person of faith, a patriot, a loyal American or, heaven forbid, a committed Democrat. Blow smoke all you want...you are not god, katie, and you do not do my independent thinking or anyone else's!

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