Ted Cruz instructs thousands of pastors to violate federal law by reading Sunday sermon he wrote
Senator Ted Cruz (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Struggling to get some traction in a GOP primary season dominated by the upstart candidacy of Donald Trump, the campaign of Texas Senator Ted Cruz has distributed a sermon for preachers to use on Sunday urging the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

According to Ring of Fire, the Cruz sermon was sent to thousands of pastors urging them to read it during Sunday's services despite the fact that it against the law for churches to engage in political speech.

Calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, Cruz writes, "When an individual or a nation stiff arms the character of God and embraces an abomination as the law of the land, it ends in disaster. When rebellious people disregard the compass of the most powerful, it is a very short step to dismembering the bodies of the most vulnerable. Like other nations, America has taken that step. It is time for a turnaround."

The accusations of  "dismembering" fetuses are related to the recent Planned Parenthood "sting" videos that have been debunked by both outside investigators and states that have reviewed their procedures.

Like the rest of the GOP field, Cruz wants to end government grants to the health clinics but he is the first to take his case directly inside the churches while promoting his candidacy at the same time which is illegal and can put the churches' non-profit status at risk.

According to the I.R.S.: "An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation."