The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Terry James Swigart

Can the church really speak freely?

Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

Several years ago I wrote a letter to the editor regarding churches that receive tax exempt status from the IRS. I had hoped there might be a pastor or zealous church-member who would respond, but there was none. But with the presidential election and some controversial measures on the ballot, plus Peggy Woodard’s spirited commentary last week, perhaps some in the church might be stirred up to respond.

When a church accepts tax exempt status, part of the trade-off is that their involvement in politics is limited by IRS regulations. If a pastor speaks on God’s behalf yet is restricted in what he can say, doesn’t the church tie the pastor’s tongue, so to speak?

The f...

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