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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2004

Preaching With Impunity

Many politically-minded preachers are puzzled about what they can preach in the pulpit (alliteration alert!). Americans for Tax Reform has collected guidelines from several organizations-- American Center for Law and Justice, Priests for Life. The basic can-dos:

As a private individual, a minister, priest, rabbi, imam may exercise any and all of the political rights that we all possess. It must be made clear, however, that the minister is acting exclusively in a private capacity and not on behalf of the church, synagogue, mosque or with the implicit authority of the church. Even with disclaimers, a minister should not give his or her views from the pulpit.

A minister, priest, rabbi, imam, e.g . may acknowledge the presence of a political candidate at church services and/or allow the candidate to speak, provided that equal opportunity is provided to all candidates and there is no solicitation by the candidate or anyone else of financial or political support. 

A church, synagogue, mosque, e.g . may sponsor and a minister, priest, rabbi, imam may be involved with political debates, political forums, voter guides, voter registration and get-out-the vote drives, provided that there is no explicit or implicit bias for or against any candidate or party. No explicit endorsement or party symbols can be used in these activities. (Ex. Republicans for Life is prohibited, but Citizens for the Protection of Life is permitted).

The Rutherford Institute also has a guide posted.



Posted on 08/25/04 02:00 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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