WASHINGTON, Christian Post — The U.S. Constitution protects churches that speak out on political issues, Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, told The Christian Post.
No churches have lost their tax exempt status in the United States due to political action, Barber pointed out in a Saturday interview. The reason, he said, is that there is no legal mechanism for the Internal Revenue Service to take away a church’s tax exemption. Churches are “inherently tax exempt” or “tax immune,” Barber said, just by being a church. They do not need permission from the IRS.
Barber is also an attorney specializing in constitutional law and founder of BarbWire.com. CP spoke with Barber at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference. Barber was on a panel called, “Render Unto Caesar: Legal Do’s & Don’ts for Churches.”
There is a law, the “Johnson amendment,” named after President Lyndon Johnson, that forbids churches from endorsing candidates, Barber pointed out. This law was added to a bill when Johnson was a U.S. senator and was in retaliation against some churches in Texas that opposed Johnson at the time.
But even that law is “toothless,” Barber believes, because it would be declared unconstitutional if challenged in court and the IRS will not enforce the law because IRS officials do not want it to be challenged in court.
Read more: BarbWire.com