Ohio ministers challenge political pulpit plan

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A group of ministers in Ohio has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service to stop a conservative group from encouraging pastors to take political sides.

The group of 55 religious leaders from Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and other states said Monday the actions by the Alliance Defense Fund jeopardize the separation of church and state.

The Phoenix-based alliance has enlisted ministers around the country to invite investigations by the IRS by giving political sermons on Sept. 28.

The Alliance Defense Fund says ministers should have the right to speak spiritual truths about societal issues without fear of losing their tax exempt status.

The ministers opposing the initiative say it's inappropriate for lawyers to be encouraging ministers to break the law.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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