Letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Numerous militant secular groups want to see people of faith and churches silenced and kept from exercising any influence in the public sphere, even if that influence is legal and constitutionally permissible. One such group is Americans United for Separation of Church and State. It seems that each election cycle, they send out an ominous letter to pastors and churches, warning them that they can face legal problems for something as innocuous as providing a non-partisan voters guide to their parishioners.
People of faith should not rely on such agenda-driven adversarial secularist groups for advice on what they can do in relation to elections; they should instead rely on neutral and even supportive groups to help navigate these relatively simple waters. For example, the IRS has issued a very easy-to-understand letter of guidance (link to this letter provided here) explaining what churches and non-profit organizations can do at election time, and a number of national legal groups which specialize in this area have provided even easier-to-understand letters of guidance (link also provided here).
Just to illustrate how straightforward and uncomplicated this issue really is, we have taken the threatening letter sent by Americans United for Separation of Church and State to pastors in 2006 and have crossed out their editorial comments designed to intimidate pastors and churches, leaving intact the actual legal guidance which is confirmed by the IRS and supportive attorneys; as you can see, the difference is stark! Don't be intimidated! Maximize your constitutional influence by obtaining and following the clear guidelines provided by legal groups that specialize in helping people of faith.