Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported St. Raphael Catholic Church, a Roman Catholic Church in El Paso, Texas, “to the Internal Revenue Service after the church allegedly ran a notice in its bulletin that encouraged parishioners not to vote for President Barack Obama in the upcoming election.”
Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, tried to intimidate church officials by claiming “federal law prohibits tax exempt, non-profit organizations (including houses of worship) from intervening in elections like this.” By citing “federal law” instead of the First Amendment, Lynn is engaged in a bit of legal sleight of hand.
The First Amendment does not prohibit churches from speaking out on any issue including political ones, even if they are tax exempt. The amendment is so clear that liberals almost never cite it:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
ht/ Mary From Marin