A Missoula pastor is speaking out about a controversial decision to display large campaign signs in front of his church, even when it violates IRS tax code.
Crosspoint Community Church in Missoula put up two large campaign signs in support of Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Matt Rosendale and Congressman Greg Gianforte. Smaller signs in support Greg Hertz and Brad Tschida were also next to the larger signs.
"I want you to know [IRS tax code] has nothing to do with our decision. We would've still made that position because we believe it is morally right, and our accountability is to God and the scripture first," Lead Pastor Bruce Speer said.
Speer said Crosspoint is a pro-life church and they believe the "bible makes it clear that life starts at conception."
Regardless of motivation, the IRS recognizes churches as non-profit organizations, which exempts them from paying taxes. The law also says churches cannot participate in or intervene in political campaigns. To Speer the law doesn't matter.
"When a candidate is willing to say they are pro-life, that means a lot to us. We decided that we should support them. In supporting pro-life candidates, it wasn't about Democrat or Republican, it was really about a position concerning pro-life," Speer said.
Crosspoint said the church's governing board of eight people made the decision, and church members agree.
"Our church was extremely supportive, and they appreciate the leadership taking a position on pro-life issues," Speer said.
According to Speer, this isn't the first time the church leadership has taken a political stance.
The church also put up campaign signs in support of pro-life candidates ahead of the 2016 election.
Speer said the Rosendale, Gianforte, Hertz and Tschida signs will come down after the Nov. 6 election.