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-Should Pastors Endorse Political Candidates?

by Dr. D ~ September 9th, 2016

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Should pastors actually endorse political candidates from the pulpit?

Since the Johnson administration the IRS has ‘selectively’ tried to ban that practice and those who believe in the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ continue to oppose it. Yet it still happens in many black churches across America. Also, many conservatives believe that a ‘originalist’ interpretation of the Constitution does not rule out political participation by religious organizations including churches.

However, recent research by LifeWay shows that a majority of Americans, including evangelical Christians are against it. Here’s the story from Christianity Today:

Four out of five Americans say it is inappropriate for pastors to endorse a candidate in church, according to a newly released report from LifeWay Research. Three-quarters say churches should steer clear of endorsements.

For the most part, Americans with evangelical agree that pastors and churches should abstain from using their resources—including the pulpit—to campaign for a particular candidate. Seventy-three percent say pastors should abstain, while about 65 percent say churches should abstain.  …

Since 2008, a group of mostly Protestant pastors has challenged the ban each year by endorsing candidates in an event called Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Recent polling shows few churchgoers have heard their pastor endorse a candidate.,

<Read the whole article>

Response: Should pastors actually endorse political candidates from the pulpit? No, I don’t believe so. But I also do not think that the IRS should have anything to do with any kind of enforcement.

I do believe that it is legal and appropriate for churches to host forums or debates where candidates are allowed to share their views (Example: 2008 Obama vs. McCain hosted by Rick Warren at Saddleback Church). I also believe that voter guides showing where the different candidates stand on important issues should be allowed to be distributed in churches and places of worship. Plus, I do think that it is totally acceptable for pastors and religious leaders to encourage their folks to study the issues, the candidates, and actually take the time to vote.                    *Top

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