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Political Endorsement From The Pulpit

A group of pastors around the country are angling to weigh in on the presidential election from an unlikely platform — their pulpits. Although elections have long been linked to faith issues such as aiding the poor, denouncing abortion, etc., churches were banned from direct involvement in political campaigns because of their tax-exempt status.

Now a group of pastors is out to change that. Late last month, 33 pastors from around the country banded together to openly violate the law, an effort called "The Pulpit Initiative," organized by the conservative legal group Alliance Defense Fund.

Bishop Robert Smith of the Word of Outreach Christian Center in Little Rock, Ark., one of the ministers involved in the action, joins the discussion along with Madison Shockley, a vocal proponent of the law that discourages political endorsements from the pulpit and the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, Calif.

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