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Interfaith Alliance counters campaign to endorse from pulpit

The Interfaith Alliance is countering an effort to get clergy to endorse candidates from the pulpit. More than 150 religious leaders have signed a six-point pledge to uphold “certain standards” during the election and prevent partisanship or candidate endorsements in their houses of worship.

The nationwide campaign is a direct response to the Alliance Defense Fund’s Pulpit Initiative, which “seeks to restore the right of each pastor to speak Scriptural truth from the pulpit about moral, social, governmental, and other issues without fear of losing his church’s tax exempt status.” The organization is hoping to spur lawsuits from the IRS, expecting to win and “restore the right of pastors to speak freely from the pulpit.”

Among the religious leaders who have signed the Interfaith Alliance pledge are Rabbis Janet Marder of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, Calif., Toba Spitzer of West Newton, Mass. and Peter Rubenstein of Central Synagogue in New York, Sayyid Sayid of the Islamic Society of North America, and prominent evangelical Rev. Joel Hunter of Longwood, Floa.