Missoula Pastor Defends Political Signs Outside Church
Pastor Bruce Speer of Crosspoint Church in Missoula says his church is receiving “numerous” profanity laced phone calls deriding his church for choosing to allow certain political signs outside. So far, the church has allowed signs for candidates Matt Rosendale, Greg Gianforte, Brad Tschida, and Adam Hertz. Speer says those signs are allowed for moral reasons.
"We are a church that has taken a position on what we believe is a key moral truth and that is pro-life," Speer said. "We have allowed pro life candidates to put yard signs in our church property advertising their campaign. We are not Republican or Democrat. Our party is Christian. It wouldn't matter if it was a democrat, if he was pro life we would support him."
According to the IRS “the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office." Speer says this reading by the IRS is a relic of the Johnson Amendment signed in 1954, and is now toothless.
"That amendment was never meant to curtail churches from speaking up about moral issues," Speer said. "Prior to that, the church has always been involved in the political arena. We also recognize that February 4, 2017, Trump signed an executive order that in effect suspended the Johnson Amendment."
Speer says that his church will continue to have the signs and that “We are going to do what we believe God wants us to do, what we believe the bible teaches no matter what, our authority is not the Government, it is scripture.