GET OUT AND VOTE: LIBERTY BEGINS AT HOME the PC Guidelines For Pastors

16 Dec

GET OUT AND VOTE: LIBERTY BEGINS AT HOME the PC Guidelines For Pastors

The shot heard around the world was fired in 1776 yards from the Lexington parsonage of Parson Jonas Clark. Jonas was dining with Sam Adams and John Hancock. Rev Clark told the patriots he had trained his men to fight in war if war came to Lexington. The next day it did. War came. The Parson who led the Black Regiment- clergical men clothed in black- had no fear of speaking against tyranny and for freedom. Clark informed. Clark imparted to his congregation their abilities to be responsible citizens educated in public policy, principles of government, their responsibilities of citizenship and, most important, their importance of involvement as effective citizens taught from the Pulpit, Sunday school classes, biblical principles of government learned through educational materials.

Churches may engage in legislative activity (time spent to influence legislation, measures before city councils, initiative, referendums. Circulating petitions, urging congregants to communicate with legislators) as 501(c)(3)’s preserving their tax status if the politicking is ‘insubstantial’ part of its activity- money/time/worship- 5 – 20%. More than 20%, the IRS has issues. Pastors acting as individuals not on behalf of their church are not limited by the IRS code. Churches can loan membership or mailing lists for the purpose of influencing legislation. The cost of making that list available is an expenditure.

During the course of Elections the IRS forbids churches from supporting or opposing candidates but they can participate in non partisan (not supporting a single political party) activities such as non partisan voter education, get-out-and-vote drives and voter registration. The Church can pay registration organizers along with the mail registration forms. Church sermons, bulletins etc may be used to remind congregants to get out and vote. The church can disseminate voting records if the accompanying notes are not edited bias to or against a candidate.

Congregation leaders are entitled to their constitutional right to exercise free speech and political expression. Congregation leaders on their own can endorse or oppose a candidate. They must be clear this is their opinion alone. Churches cannot endorse candidates. Candidates can be introduced during services. Candidates even public office holders can preach teach and read Scriptures just like any other congregant. Candidates may not deliver support seeking or fundraising political speeches. Candidates may not use the congregation site for political purposes to make a speech or to strategize with party officials.

www.godinthetemplesofgovernment.com ]

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