POSTED: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 10:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 3:54pm
"Pulpit Freedom Sunday"
Tyler, Texas — 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.