Mid-South pastors respond to "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South pastors respond to "Pulpit Freedom Sunday"

SENATH, MO - (WMC-TV) – Pastors across America broke the law at some point during Sunday's church services.  In Senath Missouri, Pastor Chuck Clark was one of them. 

"A 1954 law was enacted to add where churches had to lose certain parts of their freedom of speech to keep their tax exempt status," Senath First Assembly of God pastor Chuck Clark said. 

Pastor Clark is talking about the Johnson Amendment, a tax code that prohibits 501 organizations from endorsing or contributing to political campaigns. Clark used the day designated as "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" to peacefully challenge the nearly 60-year-old law. 

"Today has kind of been a reaffirmation to reclaim that privilege back," Pastor Clark said. 

The Senath First Assembly of God pastor believes it's his responsibility to let his congregation know how the candidates' positions line up with the tenants of their faith.  

"If I don't give the facts then I have to answer to a much higher power than anybody here," he said. 

And if that means sharing who he will or won't support, so be it. 

"If people want to go into the booth and vote their own way, like I said in this morning's message, I'm still going to love them, I'm still going to be their pastor," said Pastor Clark. 

Over in Paragould at First United Methodist Church, Pastor Angie Gage disagrees. 

"We can't pick and choose Scripture to say this candidate is right and this candidate is wrong," Pastor Gage said. 

Both pastors agree that part of their calling is to err on the side of right when it comes to moral issues, but how to do so is where they disagree.  

"As far as me separating my vote from my faith, it can't be done," said Pastor Clark. 

"There does need to be a separation between the Church and politics," Pastor Gage said. 

"Pulpit Freedom Sunday" began in 2008. The Internal Revenue Service has yet to revoke the tax exempt status of any of the participating churches. 

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • I-240 ramps to close for inspections

    I-240 ramps to close for inspections

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:42 AM EDT2017-08-23 15:42:47 GMT
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)

    The Tennessee Department of Transportation will have crews working to inspect high mast poles on interstate 240.

    More >>

    The Tennessee Department of Transportation will have crews working to inspect high mast poles on interstate 240.

    More >>
  • Best, worst states to start a business

    Best, worst states to start a business

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:37 AM EDT2017-08-23 15:37:58 GMT
    (Source: WalletHub)(Source: WalletHub)

    With President Donald Trump proposing to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent while startup activity trends upward for three years in a row and reaches pre-Recession levels, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis identifying 2017’s Best & Worst States to Start a Business.

    More >>

    With President Donald Trump proposing to slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent while startup activity trends upward for three years in a row and reaches pre-Recession levels, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis identifying 2017’s Best & Worst States to Start a Business.

    More >>
  • $500 reward offered for stolen bulldog

    $500 reward offered for stolen bulldog

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:32 AM EDT2017-08-23 15:32:24 GMT
    (Source: DeSoto County Sheriff's Department)(Source: DeSoto County Sheriff's Department)

    DeSoto County Crime Stoppers is offering a $500 reward for the safe return for a missing dog.

    More >>

    DeSoto County Crime Stoppers is offering a $500 reward for the safe return for a missing dog.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly