According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, rogue means “a dishonest or worthless person.” At least we now know how Politico feels about pastors who dare speak out about politics!
In an article entitled “Rogue pastors endorse candidates, but IRS looks away”, Politico exposes pastors who have been participating in Alliance Defending Freedom’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday initiative, challenging the decades long “Johnson amendment” that restricts “501c3” non-profits from exercising what had been until 1954 their constitutional right to express their political viewpoint. Remarkably, the Johnson amendment was never intended to affect churches or pastors, but has been used by secular liberal groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State to intimidate pastors into silence, and distort people’s perception of what a pastor can and cannot do.
But more and more pastors are challenging the amendment in hopes that the IRS will act, thus forcing a lawsuit. So far, the IRS hasn’t bitten, and it’s driving the secular left absolutely nutty.
Interestingly, despite its thinly veiled disdain for pastors, Politico seems to have a little better understanding of the amendment than say, the mayor of Houston, who Tweeted after subpoenaing the sermons of 5 pastors: “If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game. Were instructions given on filling out anti-HERO petition?”-A — Annise Parker (@AnniseParker) October 15, 2014
The Politico article states, “So while pastors can discuss abortion, gay marriage and other controversial issues in their sermons….”
The radical secular left is apoplectic about pastors engaging in political issues and campaigns, never mind endorsing candidates, which happens very, very rarely. Their anger obviously doesn’t stem from a deep and abiding love for the First Amendment, but perhaps instead from recognition that a bold, vocal church in America is their worst nightmare.