Alabama church under fire for comparing Roy Moore to Jesus

An Alabama church is coming under fire for a sign on its billboard that compared Roy Moore, the state's controversial Republican Senate candidate, to Jesus.

Last week, the sign at Living Way Ministries in Opelika featured this message: "They falsely accused Jesus! Vote Roy Moore."

The political message sparked some blowback on the church's Facebook page.

It's also possible the message violated Internal Revenue Service rules governing political speech by churches and charities.

The IRS code prohibits organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a) or section 501(c)(3) from participating in, or intervening in any political campaign, in favor of or against any candidate for public office.

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Beverly Nelson (L) shows a school year book with attorney Gloria Allread during a news conference announcing new allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican congressional candidate Roy Moore, in New York, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Gloria Deason
Wendy Miller
Gloria Deason
Wendy Miller
Gloria Deason
Accuser Beverly Young Nelson, reacts while reading a statement claiming that Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore sexually harassed her when she was 16, in New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Attorney Gloria Allred stands with accuser Beverly Young Nelson, holding a sketch of herself made when she was 16 after reading a statement claiming that Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore sexually harassed her when she was 16, in New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Beverly Nelson (L) reacts as she reads a statement to reporters with attorney Gloria Allred during a news conference announcing new allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican congressional candidate Roy Moore, in New York, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Beverly Young Nelson (L) speaks to the media with her lawyer Gloria Allred, at a news conference where she has accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually abusing her when she was 16 on November 13, 2017 in New York City. Moore, a controversial politician who recently won a run-off against Luther Strange for Alabama's Senate seat, is currently fighting accusations alleging that he pursued sexual relationships with teenagers -- including a 14-year-old -- when he was in his 30s. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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However, the organizations can host forums including all candidates or take positions on policy issues.

Living Way Ministries now is doing some damage control.

One church official told Huntsville-based station WHNT-TV that a congregation member posted the message without telling the pastor, who had it removed two days later.

Church officials did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.

At least nine women have accused Moore, a former judge, of sexual harassment and assault when he was in his 30s. Several of the women said they were teenagers when he pursued them decades ago.

Moore, 70, has denied all the accusations and called his accusers liars, even those who have provided evidence of their time with the candidate.

Moore is opposed by Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election.

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GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on Sassy and wife Kayla on Sundance ride their horses to the Gallant Fire Hall to vote in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
Republican Roy Moore, along with his wife Kayla, arrive at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 26, 2017, during the runoff election for the Republican nomination for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his wife Kayla arrive at state Supreme Court in Montgomery, Alabama, November 13, 2003. Moore, whose refusal to obey a U.S. order to move a Ten Commandments monument fueled a national debate over the place of God in public life, was stripped of his office by a state judicial panel on Thursday. REUTERS/Bob Ealum BE/SV
Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) exits the Alabama Supreme Court chamber with his wife Kayla following the reading of the verdict of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama, November 13, 2003. Moore, whose refusal to obey a U.S. order to move a Ten Commandments monument fueled a national debate over the place of God in public life, was stripped of his office by a state judicial panel on Thursday. REUTERS/Mickey Welsh /Advertiser/POOL MW/SV
Ex-Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka (L) campaigns for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, with his wife Kayla Moore (R), at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Judge Roy Moore's wife Kayla participates in the Mid-Alabama Republican Club's Veterans Day Program in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, U.S., November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks as his wife Kayla Moore looks on during a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore and his wife Kayla Moore exit a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore and his wife Kayla greet supporters at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, defeated incumbent Luther Strange in a primary runoff election for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. Moore will now face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and wife Kayla leave the Gallant Fire Hall after voting in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore and his wife Kayla greet supporters at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, defeated incumbent Luther Strange in a primary runoff election for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. Moore will now face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, mother Evelyn Ridgeway (L), and wife Kayla (R) prepare to vote at the Gallant Fire Hall in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
Ex-Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka (L) applauds as he campaigns for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore with his wife Kayla Moore (R) at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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