Oct 7, 2012 6:17 PM by Lacey Steele

Colorado Springs pastor talks campaign issues as his church participates in Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Campaign issues preached biblically from the pulpit.

You probably haven't heard that in church, but for the past several years some pastors have decided to participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

This year more churches than ever took part.

We sat in on one of these sermons.

Since 1954 pastors haven't been able to talk about politics during sermons.

That changed Sunday morning at the Church for All Nations.

"When you vote for someone that does these things, you're tied with them," Pastor Mark Cowart preached to the congregation.

In 2008 a few churches started Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

This year more than one thousand churches took part, but Pastor Cowart made one thing clear.

"Now we don't endorse candidates," said Pastor Cowart. "We're not here for a party platform. We're speaking about issues of the day."

The problem is the church's tax code.

The IRS could take it to court, and the church may have to pay their own taxes.

They don't think that will happen because of the group Alliance Defending Freedom.

"To date, no churches have been challenged, but were there to be a challenge then ADF stands ready to defend," said Pastor Cowart.

Several church goers agree.

"You can't really separate church and politics because I think it's so meshed in together," said TJ Hanway, a church member who supports Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

"The spiritual leadership is absolutely needed and necessary in our land today," said Randy Wilson, another supporter of campaign discussion within the church.

But some we spoke with this past week who disagree say it may show favoritism for one candidate over the other.

"These rules are easy to play by," said Groff Schroeder, of Freethinkers of Colorado Springs. "It's not hard to just stick to the issues and not advocate for candidates or oppose candidates."

At the Church for All Nations, the pastor says he was sticking to the issues, like abortion, gay marriage, and healthcare, all based around the Bible.

Pastor Cowart did not say during his sermon who he supports.

He says the point was to lay out what each presidential candidate stands for, then discuss the campaign issues from the Bible.



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