The Honorable Congressman from Illinois, the Rev. Owen Lovejoy pastored the Hampshire Colony Church in Princeton for 17 years. He was a fiery abolitionist who preached his views from the pulpit. He was elected to the Illinois State Legislature and also to the U.S. House of Representative, where he served four terms. The point to remember is he was elected by the people who voted for him.
Today, about one-third of Christians that attend a church vote. That means two-thirds do not care enough about our country’s freedoms to get involved politically and vote.
The federal government’s Department of Internal Revenue has intimidated our churches under a 1954 law slipped through Congress that says a pastor like the Rev. Lovejoy no longer enjoys the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech. A century ago, election sermons were commonplace. In the 1800s, our U.S. Capitol building was a place of worship for 2,000 Christians each Sunday with a four-hour communion service.
There is a movement today by hundreds of courageous pastors who have agreed to preach political sermons, tape record them and send them to the IRS. They are defying the U.S. government to restrict their freedom of speech. I understand that 2,000 lawyers have volunteered to represent, free of charge, any church sued by the IRS. To this date, no church has lost its tax exemption.
The time has come again to speak from the pulpit. The clergy should not be muzzled as happened in 1930s Germany. Christians, since many pastors may miss this commentary, please cut it out and give it to them. Ask your pastor to speak God’s truth on this topic and encourage his/her congregants to vote. And I encourage everyone to vote your conscience on Nov. 6. I pray the God of Bible, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will bless America again.