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Pastors Have Rights, Too -- CWA Releases Joint Letter on Constitutional Protections for Pastors

Equips pastors against threats of losing tax-exempt status


Contact: Valerie Mosher, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 125


WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- Concerned Women for America (CWA) joined the Alliance Defense Fund, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the James Madison Center for Free Speech today in issuing a letter to pastors nationwide on their legal rights to speak on "political" issues during the 2008 elections without jeopardizing their churches' tax-exempt status.


"For too long pastors have been led to believe in the myth that Christian leaders must be censored on politically-related issues," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America. "As the 2008 election season bears down on us, an election that will impact key concerns of the Christian community, religious leaders need to know they have a right to be actively engaged and should not fall for false threats that they will lose their tax-exempt status."


The letter "Constitutional Protections for Pastors: Your Freedom to Speak Biblical Truth on the Moral Issues of the Day" provides legal guidelines for pastors (available at www.cwfa.org). It responds to misleading information sent to churches from groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State which seeks to intimidate religious leaders from engaging in social issues. Some groups have also filed complaints with the IRS to harass churches and organizations, including CWA, with investigations that have proven utterly unsuccessful.


The letter augments a CWA brochure titled "Political Guidelines for Churches and Pastors." Both resources equip Christian leaders with information on their constitutional rights to address a broad array of issues and to allow their members to sign petitions in support of moral positions.


"America faces a moral free-fall, and some would hurry it along with the threat of government sanctions against Christians who dare to speak out on critical issues. But the First Amendment protects the freedom of religion, not government restriction of religion. Religion and morality are foundational to America's success and Christian leaders would neglect their duty if they allow themselves to be silenced by empty threats," said Wendy Wright.


Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.