Many Georgia Pastors Oppose Law Against Supporting Politicians

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-- Valdosta, Ga. -- October 30, 2012 --

With the election just a week away, dozens of pastors are defying a decades-old tax law by endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

Reverend Floyd Rose is the pastor of the Serenity Christian Church in Valodsta. He said "to the IRS I would say.. Bring it On."

The stakes are high. Ignoring the law and endorsing a candidate could cost a church its tax-exempt status and thousands of dollars. But some feel it's worth the risk.

When Reverend Rose was asked what he would say this Sunday about the President he said "this Sunday I would encourage people who have not yet voted already to vote for him. Period."

Many feel an older law protects their political opinion. Lowndes County resident Carlos Hundley said "at the end of the day the U.S. Constitution still gives individuals who are citizens of this country the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and that includes churches."

So far the IRS has steered clear of issuing sanctions for any pastors endorsing candidates. At least 38 Pastors in Georgia have joined a group called Pulpit Freedom Sunday. The group has said it will hire lawyers to support churches who are challenged by the IRS.