FRC Gathers Nearly 100 Petition Signatures from Missouri Pastors Standing with AG Josh Hawley for Pulpit Freedom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2018
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Macie Malone, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council gathered 92 petition signatures from Missouri pastors in support of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley who came under leftwing criticism for a recent address to pastors in which he said the government shouldn't be telling pastors what they can and can't say from their pulpit. AG Hawley made the remarks last month at a pastors conference hosted by the Family Research Council. On August 31, the Missouri attorney general joined Tony Perkins on the radio to explain why he will continue to call for repealing the Johnson Amendment and its attempt to silence pastors.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

“Over Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s professional career, he has dedicated himself to defending and fighting for individuals’ constitutional rights, and for him that fight doesn’t exclude pastors or stop at the church doors. He has received backlash for calling out the Johnson Amendment for what it is – a clear and serious overstep of the government – and pastors agree. The Johnson Amendment has been used as a fear-tactic by the IRS to silence pastors from applying Scripture to politics, elections, and government. But, the government does not have the right to censor what a pastor can or cannot say from the pulpit, rather it has the obligation to protect a pastor’s rights, one of which is freedom of speech.

“If there is this metaphorical ‘separation of church and state’ that they talk about, it has been crossed. That line has been breached but it wasn’t by the church, it is the state that is meddling in the business of the church. The Left has used the Johnson Amendment to intimidate churches into silence. The lack of a robust discussion of issues that have been deemed ‘political’ is part of the moral decline that we’ve seen in this country.

“The church and its allies are increasingly under attack. This petition is a statement of support for leaders like AG Hawley and President Trump who stand for the rights of pastors, and a statement of condemnation for those trying to withhold them. We encourage bold leaders to continue defending the pastors of Missouri and across the nation,” concluded Perkins.

Click here to read the full petition.

Listen to AG Josh Hawley’s full interview.