.- In a letter to Senator John Kerry, the Family Research Council has formally requested that the Democratic presidential candidate sponsor a Senate companion bill to the House Bill, H.R. 235, The Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act, upon his return to Congress.
The request comes after Kerry’s many appearances as a guest speaker during Sunday services at several houses of worship across the country on his campaign trail.
Kerry, joined by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, spoke during services at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Oct. 11 in an effort to reach out to African-American voters. During the visit, Kerry was endorsed from the pulpit by the pastor of the church.
In her letter to Kerry, the council’s vice-president of government affairs, Connie Mackey, states that the proposed legislation will "restore freedom of speech to our country's churches, mosques, and synagogues.” It "is an important defense to the basic right of free speech,” which the Family Research Council considers a top priority, she says.
“By the use of the tax code, churches, and other houses of worship are scared into silence on matters of public morality because of sensitivity to political restrictions,” Mackey adds.