The Alliance Defense Fund has designated 9/28/08 as "Pulpit Freedom Sunday." On this occasion some ministers of the gospel will exercise their right to free speech in contradiction to the 1954 ammendment to the 501(c)3 code on tax-exempt organizations. This change (instigated by LBJ) purports to prohibit preachers from speaking out about specific candidates (and by inference, specific issues) of the day from the pulpit. Certain things have been designated as "hate speech" by our neighbors to the north (Canada). Apparently, the Orthodox bishops of California either haven't heard of the 1954 ruling, or have concluded that in this case, it is better to obey God than men. We all face similar choices. Here is the final paragraph of their statement:
Therefore, we, the Orthodox bishops of California, call upon the faithful, as responsible and concerned citizens of California, to overturn this ruling by the California Supreme Court by voting in favor of Proposition 8 this coming November. This proposition is a regrettably necessary measure to restore the true definition of marriage in the eyes of our state. A state that believes same-sex couplings constitute “marriage” implicitly — and sooner or later, explicitly — denies the role of the Church and all faiths that adhere to traditional values in public life. Please exercise your citizenship and vote in November. The passage of Proposition 8 is an imperative.