Republican candidate for governor of Wisconsin Tim Michels made a campaign appearance and gave a speech at the Sunday service of the DaySpring Baptist Church in Pewaukee, Wisconsin on Sept. 25, 2022.
Since 1954, the Internal Revenue Code has absolutely prohibited all 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, “from directly or indirectly participating in … any political campaign on behalf of … any candidate for elective public office.” A violation may result in the denial or revocation of tax-exempt status.
Some religious leaders have shown disapproval for the prohibition on political campaigning—including some that have openly violated it. One 2017 survey of Protestant pastors showed 73% held the belief that Congress should remove the ban. Nonetheless, due mainly to capacity issues, the IRS does not enforce the regulation often, experts say.
DaySpring Church and Schools: Livestream including Tim Michel’s campaign appearance at church on September 25
Internal Revenue Service: IRS tax guide for churches and religious organizations
United Press International: Partisan pulpit: Pastor’s defiance spurs debate on election law
Baptist News Global: Does the Johnson Amendment have any teeth left?