Pulpit politics

All week, Erik Stanley and Barry Lynn debate free speech, religion and federal tax law.

  • 1

    Barry W. Lynn says the IRS generally cuts ministers too much slack. Erik Stanley says that any action taken by the IRS goes too far.

  • 2

    Erik Stanley says that conditioning a church’s tax exemption on what a pastor says violates the 1st Amendment. Barry W. Lynn says that concerns over ministers’ constitutional rights being violated by tax laws are overblown.

  • 3

    Barry W. Lynn says ministers are free to be politically active without using their organizations’ resources. Erik Stanley says pastors ought to be free to speak openly from the pulpit without any fear

  • 4

    Erik Stanley says the power to tax enables the government to destroy the free exercise of religion. Barry Lynn says that it isn’t unreasonable for organizations that pay no taxes to accept some federal oversight.

  • 5

    Today’s question: Is federal tax law too restrictive on clergy who publicly endorse political candidates or voter initiatives?