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Published October 19, 2010, 02:34 PM

Group Files Endorsement Complaint Against Hastings Pastor

A group advocating separation of church and state has filed a federal complaint against an eastern Minnesota pastor it accuses of endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

By: Associated Press,

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A group advocating separation of church and state has filed a federal complaint against an eastern Minnesota pastor it accuses of endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

Federal tax code prohibits clergy from endorsing political candidates. It could endanger a church's tax-exempt status.

A complaint filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State accuses Rev. Brad Brandon of endorsing 11 candidates, most Republican.

Brandon has openly invited the Internal Revenue Service to take action against him, calling its endorsement prohibition "entirely unconstitutional."

The Star Tribune says Brandon heads the Berean Bible Baptist Church in Hastings.

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