Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Challenging Politics from the Pulpit

A group of ministers is taking on the Alliance Defense Fund, which is pushing to allow conservative churches to continue operate tax-free while preaching politics from their pulpits -- and surely help get John McCain and evangelical Sarah Palin get elected. The fundies are staging a September 28 lawbreaking event, where they will preach from the pulpit and dare the IRS to do anything about it. I say, yank their tax-exempt status immediately.

"Pastors have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without any fear of punishment," bleats Erik Stanley, senior legal of the Alliance Defense Fund. Nobody is saying you should be punished, Mr. Stanley -- just pay taxes like everyone else!

And some Christian leaders agree:

A group of ministers filed a complaint Monday with the Internal Revenue Service to stop a conservative organization from encouraging pastors to endorse or oppose political candidates.

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

"The rightful place of religious leaders and communities of faith in American life is not in electoral politics," said the Rev. Eric Williams, a minister with the liberal United Church of Christ.