IssuesEnsuring a Free Pulpit

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

For almost the first 200 years in America, pastors spoke freely and boldly from their pulpit about the issues of the day, including candidates running for office. But in 1954, the passage of one piece of legislation effectively overturned this freedom: The Johnson Amendment. 

The History of America’s Pulpits

Read these examples from sermons of pastors speaking freely before the Johnson Amendment.

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The History of the Johnson Amendment

Today, the IRS can use the Johnson Amendment to tell pastors what they can and cannot preach. This law aims to censor your sermon if the IRS labels it “political.” Learn more details about the history of the Johnson Amendment.


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Why should the IRS have control of your pulpit?

The IRS doesn’t feed the hungry. The IRS doesn’t comfort the hurting. And the IRS definitely doesn’t heal the broken. A pastor’s pulpit should be accountable to God alone, and the future of religious freedom in America depends on it.

It’s time to put an end to the Johnson Amendment.

"Government is asking us to render unto Caesar what properly belongs to God, and we can’t do that."

-Archbishop Charles Chaput

"The Bible says render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. But Caesar is demanding more and more of what was once considered God’s matter."

-Dr. Jim Garlow, Skyline Church, La Mesa, CA

"Today we violate our IRS regulations because we believe we need a free pulpit."

-Bishop Harry Jackson

"In order to promote their ideas over ours, they tell us we must stay in our churches, keep our religion to ourselves, and that their idea of separation of the church from the state trumps any ideas we might have."

-Father Richard Perozich, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Escondido, CA

"Our political issues are informed by our theology. There is no such thing as a politician or political issue that is not theological. You cannot do politics without theology."

-Pastor Voddie Baucham, Grace Family Baptist Church, Spring, TX

"Decisions about what is preached from the pulpit of a church should not belong to the government, but to the individual pastor and the church itself."

-Dr. Wayne Grudem, Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, AZ

The Call for Free Pulpits is Growing

Over 4100


agree the Johnson Amendment must end



have violated the Johnson Amendment since 2008



preached an election sermon in October 2014


Join the Movement

Your sermon will speak to your congregation. Your participation will speak to the nation.

The IRS continues to threaten that it will decide what can be said from America’s pulpits. There are two ways to stop this: Congress fixes it; or courts strike it down. 

Pastors can make a difference by doing one or both:

Sign the Agreement Statement - Help Congress end IRS control over America’s pulpits

The signatures of faith leaders across the nation brings unprecedented awareness to our leaders in Congress that this is a non-partisan, multi-faith, winning issue that they must make right (see how).

Sign up to Preach an Election Sermon - Help us challenge the Johnson Amendment in court

When you sign up to preach an election sermon, you are doing what the Constitution has always protected, and if the IRS chooses to use the Johnson Amendment against you, contact us. We’ve been waiting to take it to court. 

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