"Let everyone who is Godly pray to you while you may be found"  (Psalm 32:6)


But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned... his blood I will require at the watchman's hand (Ezek 33:6). Religion in America...must...be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom; it facilitates the use of free institutions (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America).

On Tuesday, May 14, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will begin hearings on the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (H.R. 2357). Introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) with 114 co-sponsors, the bill has one simple goal: to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit churches and other houses of worship to engage in political campaigns.

**In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson quietly inserted a ban on political speech into a bill to revise the tax code. He sought to restrict the activities of certain anticommunist organizations that opposed him politically. There is no record of hearings or other Congressional records to explain the ban.

**Presently, churches and religious institutions whose religious faith requires them to speak out on moral/political issues or to openly support or oppose candidates for elected office, do so under the threat of losing their tax-exempt status. Many churches, even many evangelical, Bible believing churches, have chosen the path of silence and our nation has suffered for it.

**With the passage of H.R. 2357, clergy will be released to speak freely on all the moral and political issues of our day without fear. Houses of worship will not be intimidated by IRS threats of financial penalties and/or removal of their tax-exempt status.

**Congressman Jones' bill will standardize the tax code allowing houses of worship to engage in an "insubstantial" quantity of political activity. Churches already may participate in lobbying activities so long as the costs represent an "insubstantial" part of their overall budget.

**Under H.R. 2357, the burden of proof will fall to the IRS. A church's exempt status would not be in jeopardy unless the IRS can prove that the church's political activities are, in fact, substantial.

If the pulpits in America had been silent to the injustices of tyranny, slavery and segregation, what would our nation be like now? H.R. 2357 will remove the gag that the IRS has used to silence America's clergy for the past 48 years. With fervent prayer by Christians whose congregations have been so gagged, the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act will receive the momentum it needs to get to the floor of the House and be passed.

Please Join Us in Persevering Prayer:

**Almighty Father, we join Rep. Jones in thanking You that public hearings are now scheduled for the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (H.R. 2357).

**GRANT H.R. 2357 momentum & support for Committee passage to a vote in the full House. GRANT a great VICTORY for those called to proclaim TRUTH! May the pro-Church bill overwhelmingly pass the House &. Senate. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, AMEN! (Jer 3:15; Ezek 3:17-21; 33:1-6; Ac 4:15-22; 1 Th 5:14)

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