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Politics, the Church, and Constitutional Protections

The Johnson Amendment and other tax laws try to limit activities by churches that intersect with politics—but the Constitution offers more cover than many pastors and leaders realize.

Politics, the Church, and Constitutional Protections
Image: Joaquin Corbalan | Getty

Every election year churches confront a dilemma summed up in a question: What can they do or say about the upcoming election and how far is too far?

Many churches earnestly attempt to navigate this dilemma while others are simply silent.

If I were to ask you what your church may legally do during an election year, could you answer with any clarity? Or would you wonder if you really understood what the law says and how it applies to your church?

Unfortunately, articles and guides about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations on election-year activities by churches often overlook the US Constitution and its safeguards of the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and protection from government intrusion into the church. Your church’s ability and freedom to address an election are broad, even under current tax law, but especially considering the constitutional guarantees churches ...

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Posted:
  • April 14, 2022

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