Churches praying for the re-election of President Bush would be violating their tax exemption status, said the Internal Revenue Service in a response letter to Christian Defense Coalition who was seeking clarification on the issue.
On Oct. 14, the American Center for Law and Justice sent a letter to the IRS on behalf of Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition asking if he could offer prayer during the evening services in the churches he visits that God grants President Bush four more years as President and that Senator Kerry does not become President."
"This decision by the IRS is a tragic crushing of the First Amendment and religious freedom. The federal government is now telling churches how they must pray and conduct their services, stated Mahoney. This is clearly censorship.
He added, Churches should be allowed to pray according to the teachings of Scripture and the dictates of their conscience without government intimidation or harassment. Regardless if that prayer is offered for President Bush, Senator Kerry or any other candidate."
Mahoney told World Net Daily, he has been using American Legion halls, hotels and other venues during the groups 15-city prayer tour pending a clarification from the IRS.