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Venusian
06-20-08, 08:10 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/Story?id=5198068&page=1

Few Americans would invite an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, but that's exactly what Minnesota pastor Gus Booth wanted when he stood behind his pulpit and told his congregation God wanted them to vote Republican.

In an election where candidates openly discuss their faith and are regularly seen in churches, and a time when pastors' sermons lead the politics sections of newspapers, one might be excused for not knowing that it is illegal for a church to endorse or oppose a candidate for president.

But when Booth addressed the members of his Warroad Community Church one Sunday in May and told them, "If you are a Christian, you cannot support a candidate like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for president," he very much knew he was violating the law. He even wrote a letter to the IRS explaining what he had said and challenging the tax collection agency to do something about it.


....


Other Pastors Join Booth

Booth is not the only pastor challenging the IRS this year.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian advocacy group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is enlisting ministers around the country to endorse candidates from their churches' pulpits on Sept. 28.

"Pastors on that day will evaluate candidates in light of scripture," said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group. "Our hope is that the IRS will initiate investigations and we can bring this into the federal courts."







Looks like people are looking for a fight.

Any thoughts from a legal point of view? I can kind of see their argument. But I wouldn't want to go to a church where the pastor is endorsing candidates.

The next sermon series my pastor is doing is called "Letters to the Next President". Should be interesting.

VinVega
06-20-08, 08:15 AM
If they officially want to support one specific party, let them pay some taxes. That's not a legal opinion, that's my opinion.

Tracer Bullet
06-20-08, 08:17 AM
I don't think the non-charitable part of church work should have tax-exempt status. That would solve this problem.

spainlinx0
06-20-08, 08:18 AM
If that's how they feel then start rendering unto Caesar like the rest of us.

Venusian
06-20-08, 08:18 AM
what would be the non-charitible part? it'd be hard to define.

Tracer Bullet
06-20-08, 08:20 AM
what would be the non-charitible part? it'd be hard to define.

Aren't churches already registered as non-profits? Just make them form a non-profit for their charitable work and keep the church finances separate.

Bandoman
06-20-08, 08:23 AM
http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=163395,00.html

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

The Internal Revenue Service provides resources to exempt organizations and the public to help them understand the prohibition. As part of its examination program, the IRS also monitors whether organizations are complying with the prohibition.



What's their basis for challenging this? If it's a 1st Amendment issue (either freedom of religion or freedom of speech), they don't have a leg to stand on. They can say or do whatever they want - if they're willing to pay taxes like the rest of us.

Groucho
06-20-08, 08:25 AM
If this pastor was endorsing Obama, not only would this be the lead story on Fox News for a week or so, but this thread would be on page 5 by now. :lol:

wendersfan
06-20-08, 08:30 AM
Here's an interesting take on this:<a href = "http://blog.coincidencetheories.com/?p=261"><b>Gus Booth fights for freedom of speech</a></b>

June 12, 2008 12:14 am by William Wallace

The Reverend Gus Booth of Warroad Community Church is taking a stand against government attempts to silence political speech from religious leadership, according to recent media reports.

IRS regulations prohibit preachers from speaking for or against a political candidate from the pulpit.

But that did not stop Reverend Booth from urging his congregation to vote against B. Hussein Obama.

Booth even notified Americans United for Church and State Separation, who promptly reported him to the IRS.

Ironically, when clergy are bribed via IRS regulations from speaking on politics, they become tools of the state, promoting the status quo and the predominant two party system through their silence.

In an upcoming election in which we get to choose between left wing and left wing, Id welcome a little extra political speech.

The current prior restraints on political speech from the pulpit benefit the status quo, and fly in the face of freedom of speech, as well as freedom of religion.So being tax exempt means you are taking bribes from the government? That's an odd perspective on taxation.

Venusian
06-20-08, 08:31 AM
If this pastor was endorsing Obama, not only would this be the lead story on Fox News for a week or so, but this thread would be on page 5 by now. :lol:
from the article, it looks like there was already an investigation into a church suporting him

Venusian
06-20-08, 08:32 AM
Aren't churches already registered as non-profits? Just make them form a non-profit for their charitable work and keep the church finances separate.
i'm saying its hard to separate "charitable" work from church work. Would sunday school be considered charitable? What if its done for inner city kids and they feed them along with teaching them?

Bandoman
06-20-08, 08:35 AM
Everyone knows that if Jesus were alive today he'd be a Republican.

orangecrush
06-20-08, 08:37 AM
I really don't think churches should be endorsing specific candidates at all. That being said, I don't see any difference between endorsing a candidate and having them speak at your church.

Tracer Bullet
06-20-08, 08:37 AM
i'm saying its hard to separate "charitable" work from church work. Would sunday school be considered charitable? What if its done for inner city kids and they feed them along with teaching them?

If anyone can come up with rules for this, the IRS can. :lol:

My opinion would be that if the charitable work includes any mandatory religious component, it can't be considered non-taxable. Feeding inner cities kids during Sunday school, taxable. Feeding them with no Sunday school, non-taxable.

Groucho
06-20-08, 08:37 AM
Everyone knows that if Jesus were alive today he'd be a Republican.Long hair, bearded guy, belonged to the carpenter's union, and held rallies promoting peace. Sounds like a Republican to me!

orangecrush
06-20-08, 08:39 AM
Everyone knows that if Jesus were alive today he'd be a Republican.
Nah, Jesus would form his own party. The Jesus party. It would be kind of like the Republican party, but less popular.

Venusian
06-20-08, 08:40 AM
Goes well with the book I'm reading now: Jesus For President

wendersfan
06-20-08, 08:44 AM
Anyone else think that Pastor Booth is nothing but an attention whore?

orangecrush
06-20-08, 08:48 AM
Anyone else think that Pastor Booth is nothing but an attention whore?
Probably. I generally have little respect for Pastors that try to make political points and do not focus on teaching their churches (their primary responsibility).

Venusian
06-20-08, 08:52 AM
the fact that he's a republican delegate doesn't really make me think he has altruistic motives either

sracer
06-20-08, 08:54 AM
Anyone else think that Pastor Booth is nothing but an attention whore?
Perhaps.

I think that it is a direct result of the light shed on Rev. Wright. Booth is probably trying to bring the issue of political endorsements from the pulpit to the forefront so that it can be addressed. It seems like when it is a liberal endorsement, there is no outcry. People were offended by what Rev. Wright said, but not offended that he was using his pulpit for political purposes.

So maybe if someone on the conservative side of things were to do the same thing, the issue will be finally be addressed.

Bandoman
06-20-08, 09:04 AM
People were offended by what Rev. Wright said, but not offended that he was using his pulpit for political purposes.


Rev. Wright's (misguided) rants for social justice =/ endorsing a specific candidate.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 09:25 AM
Everyone knows that if Jesus were alive today he'd be a Republican.

(1) Jesus is alive today.
(2) Jesus clearly teaches that His Kingdom was not of this world.
(3) Jesus opposes sin in all political parties, including many sins publicly embraced by some political parties.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 09:31 AM
If anyone can come up with rules for this, the IRS can. :lol:

My opinion would be that if the charitable work includes any mandatory religious component, it can't be considered non-taxable. Feeding inner cities kids during Sunday school, taxable. Feeding them with no Sunday school, non-taxable.

That is because you believe in mandatory, enforced charity in which the state confiscates property to redistribute as it sees fit (thus indebting the recipients).

Evidently you feel that "mandatory" charity is only objectionable (or taxable) if it comes from a religious organization.

Perhaps the local/state/federal governments should tax themselves and return that portion to taxpayers (in order to be consistent in its application of its philosophy).

classicman2
06-20-08, 09:32 AM
If they officially want to support one specific party, let them pay some taxes. That's not a legal opinion, that's my opinion.

Do you hold that same position for black churches that have been 'endorsing' candidates for years?

creekdipper
06-20-08, 09:33 AM
the fact that he's a republican delegate doesn't really make me think he has altruistic motives either

You should refrain from generalized attacks upon political groups unless you want to be reported to a moderator.

Maybe you could report yourself.

You have been warned.

Stop it. Now.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 09:34 AM
http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=163395,00.html



What's their basis for challenging this? If it's a 1st Amendment issue (either freedom of religion or freedom of speech), they don't have a leg to stand on. They can say or do whatever they want - if they're willing to pay taxes like the rest of us.

I follow your logic.

Only those who pay taxes have freedom of speech or religion.

Thus, the 1st Amendment doesn't apply to those who pay no income tax or federal withholding tax.

Venusian
06-20-08, 09:35 AM
:lol:

yes, because his being a delegate to either party's convention doesn't look suspicious if he tries to claim this is a freedom thing

wendersfan
06-20-08, 09:38 AM
You should refrain from generalized attacks upon political groups unless you want to be reported to a moderator.

Maybe you could report yourself.

You have been warned.

Stop it. Now.<i>Mod note:

<b>creekdipper</b>, please re familiarize yourself with the forum rules, particularly the following:

ABSOLUTELY NO:

Attacking or harassing any moderator or administrator on the forum or via email.</i>

<b>Venusian</b> was pointing out that the pastor was a Republican delegate, not that he was just a Republican.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 09:43 AM
<i>Mod note:

<b>creekdipper</b>, please re familiarize yourself with the forum rules, particularly the following:

ABSOLUTELY NO:

Attacking or harassing any moderator or administrator on the forum or via email.</i>

<b>Venusian</b> was pointing out that the pastor was a Republican delegate, not that he was just a Republican.

Then he should have not mentioned the word "Republican"; rather, he should have just reminded people that he was a "delegate" in order to avoid the appearance of misleading generalizations. He made it sound as if it were a given that no Republican has altruistic motives.

What you call "attacking" or "harassing" is what some might call "what's good for the goose...".

Unless moderators are exempt from the forum rules.

Bandoman
06-20-08, 09:56 AM
I follow your logic.

Only those who pay taxes have freedom of speech or religion.

Thus, the 1st Amendment doesn't apply to those who pay no income tax or federal withholding tax.

First, it's not my logic, it's the IRS' "logic".

Second, your statement is simply incorrect. Everyone has freedom of speech and religion in the US, but groups who wish to be tax-exempt as non-profit or charitable organizations must refrain from, among other things, overt political activity to retain their exempt status. No one is telling Pastor Booth what to think, who to vote for, or even what he can or cannot say in his personal conversations. The IRS rules state that he cannot endorse political candidates from the pulpit while he is speaking on behalf of his church if he wants that church to remain tax exempt.

LiquidSky
06-20-08, 10:02 AM
"If you are a Christian, you cannot support a candidate like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for president,"

This is the type of crap that disburbs me about some organized religions. And yes. I would be just as disturbed if the Pastor had said McCain.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 10:02 AM
What's the big fuss over what a pastor "tells" his congregation to do?

Obama sat under the rantings of a racist preacher for 20 years. Does that mean that he would automatically follow what his pastor "told" him to do?

I understand the legal issue. I just don't get the fact that people think that church congregations have such little judgment that they will blindly follow any leader tells them to do (without testing the 'directives' against Holy Scripture).

I find it much more disturbing to watch the faces of the eager chanting masses at the political events who are so enraptured by "their" candidate...WHICHEVER party that he/she may "represent"...that they seem ready to go out and do ANYTHING which the candidate tells them to do.

Nonetheless, the pastor could have made his points by simply pointing out that the congregation should examine the various parties' platforms and should then vote for the platform which most closely conforms to Scripture.

The results would likely be surprising to many lawmakers of the best-known political parties.

Bandoman
06-20-08, 10:05 AM
What's the big fuss over what a pastor "tells" his congregation to do?

Obama sat under the rantings of a racist preacher for 20 years. Does that mean that he would automatically follow what his pastor "told" him to do?

I understand the legal issue. I just don't get the fact that people think that church congregations have such little judgment that they will blindly follow any leader tells them to do (without testing the 'directives' against Holy Scripture).

I don't disagree with you there.


Nonetheless, the pastor could have made his points by simply pointing out that the congregation should examine the various parties' platforms and should then vote for the platform which most closely conforms to Scripture.

The results would likely be surprising to many lawmakers of the best-known political parties.

I have no argument with you on this point either.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 10:09 AM
First, it's not my logic, it's the IRS' "logic".

Second, your statement is simply incorrect. Everyone has freedom of speech and religion in the US, but groups who wish to be tax-exempt as non-profit or charitable organizations must refrain from, among other things, overt political activity to retain their exempt status. No one is telling Pastor Booth what to think, who to vote for, or even what he can or cannot say in his personal conversations. The IRS rules state that he cannot endorse political candidates from the pulpit while he is speaking on behalf of his church if he wants that church to remain tax exempt.

The post had nothing to do with the IRS rules or "logic".

It was a reaction to your statement that the church could pay taxes and thus would have 1st Amendment rights "like the rest of us" (implying that we have BOUGHT those rights with our tax payments). I was merely pointing out, like you, that EVERYONE...regardless of whether or not pay taxes "like the rest of us"...has those rights.

It was a matter of semantics, not a legal interpretation.

Edit: Just read your last post. I think we have common ground on the legality. It was more of a philosophical difference and wasn't meant to be contrarian or a personal attack.

Bandoman
06-20-08, 10:10 AM
You're correct, I should have chosen my words more carefully. It appears that you understood my intent, though.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 10:16 AM
You're correct, I should have chosen my words more carefully. It appears that you understood my intent, though.

Yes.

And I agree with that intent so far as obeying the law.

It's the reason that, although I vigorously protest abortion through legal means (both through outreach such as adoption services and by political support to challenging the laws), I do not advocate bombing abortion mills (sorry, I have a totally different view of the word "clinic"...I always associate that with sustaining life rather than terminating)...although I do believe in nonviolent civil disobedience.

Venusian
06-20-08, 10:32 AM
creek, would you feel comfortable goign to a church where a pastor is endorsing a candidate from the pulpit?

creekdipper
06-20-08, 10:55 AM
creek, would you feel comfortable goign to a church where a pastor is endorsing a candidate from the pulpit?

Hmmm. Methinks I sense a trap here! -wink-

Seriously, this is what I was going to post: "Yep. Not only would do so, but have done so. However, this was some years ago and it had to do with endorsing a platform based upon its conforming to biblical standards rather than personal charisma, etc."

Your post made me think, though, that there is a contradiction between doing this (this was in the '80's when the 'voter guides' comparing candidates' views were readily available in the vestibule going out of the church facility) & obeying the law. We still have the same pastor...just as spiritually opposed to some prevalent ideas but much more skeptical about the ability of any particular 'party's' ability to exact change through legislation without changing the hearts & minds of the populace. Thus, he hasn't endorsed candidates/parties for a couple of decades...and I honestly don't know the political affiliations of most of the congregation (and I'm a deacon).

So...since you made me think...I would probably vocally object to the endorsing of particular candidates from the pulpit...not because I disagreed with the opinion (or fear of state retaliation)...but in obedience to 'rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's". The better approach would be to change the view of "what is Caesar's" if that is possible. Then there would be no legal conflict.

I hope this doesn't appear to be a dodge. It's a little convoluted but hope it comes across as an honest attempt to answer your good question.

And I apologize for being in a peevish mood earlier...I just got home from a 15-hour evening/overnight shift at the hospital staying with my 88-year-old mother-in-law with whom I've always been extremely close.

Although I don't always agree with the mods' viewpoints (a few days ago, I was ready to leave the forum for good...which I'm sure would please some), I do appreciate the work you do.

Venusian
06-20-08, 11:06 AM
The big problem I see with a pastor endorsing some candidate...it will be based on a couple of issues. If you're in an "evangelical" church, it'll be based on abortion and gay marriage. If you're in a "liberal" church, it'll be based on social justice.

Shouldn't the pastor be more concerned with God's Kingdom instead of America's empire?

wendersfan
06-20-08, 11:16 AM
Here's one of the ironies of politics. Americans are more religious (at least based on church attendance) than probably any other advanced industrialized western country, yet there are constitutional barriers between the church and the government, while at the same time, far more secular European countries have major, sometimes even the most popular, political parties with the word "Christian" in their names. It just goes to show that the 19th century conservative-liberal cleavage took on completely different aspects on this side of the Atlantic.

classicman2
06-20-08, 12:18 PM
Why doesn't the IRS crack down on the Sierra Club?

They endorse candidates.


Shouldn't the pastor be more concerned with God's Kingdom instead of America's empire?

Perhaps you would care to explain to the forum what God's Kingdom is? :)

Tracer Bullet
06-20-08, 12:24 PM
Why doesn't the IRS crack down on the Sierra Club?

They endorse candidates.

The Sierra Club isn't a 501(c)(3).

VinVega
06-20-08, 12:40 PM
Do you hold that same position for black churches that have been 'endorsing' candidates for years?
Sure. I don't like churches telling parishioners how to vote.

dork
06-20-08, 12:54 PM
Rev. Wright's (misguided) rants for social justice =/ endorsing a specific candidate.
Jesus was a poor black man who lived in a country and who lived in a culture, that was controlled by rich white people! The Romans were rich. The Romans were Italians, which means they were European, which means they were white -- and the Romans ran everything in Jesus' country. It just came to me within the past few weeks, y'all, why so many folk are hatin' on Barack Obama. He doesn't fit the model!

He ain't white, he ain't rich, and he ain't privileged.

Hillary never had to worry about being pulled over in her car as a black man driving in the wrong! I am sick of Negroes who just do not get it! Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home! Barack was. Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people! Hillary can never know that! Hillary ain't never been called a ***********! Hillary has never had her people defined as nonpersons! Hillary ain't had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by the rich white folk who run everything, or to get a passing grade when you know you are smarter than their C-students sitting in the White House. Hillary ain't never had her own people say she wasn't white enough!

On the other hand, I like the details of her health-care plan!

Hillary is married to Bill and Bill has been good to us? No, he ain't! Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinsky! He was riding dirty!

But the experience argument is also rather compelling! I'm torn! Decide for yourselves!

:up:

sracer
06-20-08, 01:26 PM
Rev. Wright's (misguided) rants for social justice =/ endorsing a specific candidate.
There are quite a few extended video clips of Rev. Wright expressing his political views and endorsing specific candidates. Heck, the whole Black Liberation Theology is centrally focused on politics.

Nazgul
06-20-08, 01:33 PM
What's the big fuss over what a pastor "tells" his congregation to do?


Have we not established that people who go to church (a/k/a Biblethumpers) are mindless drones and can't think for themselves?

Venusian
06-20-08, 01:41 PM
Perhaps you would care to explain to the forum what God's Kingdom is? :)

I am probably not qualified to explain that. I can suggest some books starting with Matthew ;)

orangecrush
06-20-08, 01:49 PM
Have we not established that people who go to church (a/k/a Biblethumpers) are mindless drones and can't think for themselves?
Coming from someone who thinks that people who go to church = biblethumpers? No.

Mordred
06-20-08, 02:37 PM
What do I get for thinking this guy is just as bad as Reverand Wright?

I have no problem with a pastor endorsing a specific candidate privately when asked, but from the pulpit I strongly disagree. That was one of the reasons we left our last church.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 03:14 PM
Have we not established that people who go to church (a/k/a Biblethumpers) are mindless drones and can't think for themselves?

No.

VinVega
06-20-08, 03:40 PM
Have we not established that people who go to church (a/k/a Biblethumpers) are mindless drones and can't think for themselves?
mod note - It's hard to tell if you are being sarcastic here or not. If it's a serious post, then it's a generalization that adds nothing to the thread and it's not allowed here. If you're making a joke or kidding, it's easier to tell if you use something like a ;) smiley.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 03:50 PM
The big problem I see with a pastor endorsing some candidate...it will be based on a couple of issues. If you're in an "evangelical" church, it'll be based on abortion and gay marriage. If you're in a "liberal" church, it'll be based on social justice.

Shouldn't the pastor be more concerned with God's Kingdom instead of America's empire?

Your descriptions of some of the important political issues to churches with various political leanings are valid even if not all-inclusive.

Classicman raises a good point, however. In the classic sense, "God's Kingdom" refers not only to Heaven but also to His Kingdom everywhere (and specifically pertaining to Earth so far as humans go).

Those believers whose doctrine empasizes the primary importance of grace which results in salvation rather than a works-based salvation also understand that faith without works is dead. That is, if one truly believes, his good works (those actions which are motivated by a desire to please God and conform to His standards) are evidence of the believer's faith...the fruit, if you will. No fruit=no belief.

Critics of religion are extremely fond of quoting Jesus' commands to "love thy neighbor" and to "judge not lest you be judged". However, they are not so fond of quoting passages which show Jesus flogging the moneylenders, telling the adulteress to "go and sin no more", etc. Jesus is painted as some sort of Che Guevera-type revolutionary who is out to overturn the world's governments rather than the person who, when faced with the problem of whether money should be spent on the poor or on anointing his feet, proclimed that the poor would always be among us, but He would only be with them a little while longer (a God-centered faith rather than a man-centered faith). Jesus also advised that those who love Him will obey Him.

The Jesus of the Bible (as opposed to the Jesus of Wishful Thinking) was more concerned with the Heavenly Kingdom, yet He gave to those who have been given to Him by the Father the privilege of serving Him here on Earth. Thus, the willing servant is directed to preach the full gospel (including the warnings regarding the punishment for sin...which obviously includes defining sin in biblical terms for those ignorant of His Law) and to aid those in need. Those who believe that God both blesses and judges nations according to their obedience to Him will attempt to see that God's standards are enacted because (1) God commands it and (2) they want to protect everyone from God's wrath (see Flood, The Great).

So far as "social justice" is concerned, I know that abortion is not commonly lumped into that category (which usually refers to liberation theology, the acquisition of civil rights, equalization of economic standards of living, and so on). However, I can't think of anything any more UNJUST than killing children simply because "they're not wanted" (by the mothers, anyway)...usually the result of a failure to use birth control (nearly all abortions are done as an extreme form of "birth control").

The point is...believers are commanded to be concerned with both this world (see Samaritan, The Good) AND the next (see Mount, The Sermon on the). Both aspects of human existence make up a part of "God's Kingdom". Regardless, the motivation should be to glorify God...not merely to escape His wrath. The attitude is...God chooses to demonstrate His justice by condemning some and His mercy by saving some. Since all deserve His judgment (and none deserve His mercy), God is perfectly justified in condemning me along with other sinners (see the discussion of this issue in Romans). If that were the case, I could have no complaints since I was created for God's purposes (and not the other way around). Since I do believe the promises God makes in His Word, I am confident that this is not the case since I can claim the shed blood of Christ as my only hope. In other words, my realization and acknowledgment of my very unworthiness (and the sufficiency of Christ's work and His alone) is the only thing that could make me worthy. A paradox, to be sure. Nonetheless, it is what the Bible proclaims to be true...and it makes perfect sense. Any other humanistic interpretation does not hold up to scrutiny and is, as mentioned before, merely wishful, prideful thinking...which gets one nowhere in God's eyes.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 03:56 PM
Thank you, VinVega.

I can attest to the fact that one needs to be careful regarding generalizations and that one should indeed add a smiley to reduce the hostility level and/or make it clear that the remark should not be taken literally (or it said with the intent of being humorous).

wendersfan
06-20-08, 04:15 PM
Apparently some people's sarcasm meters are broken today.

:)

creekdipper
06-20-08, 04:18 PM
"If you are a Christian, you cannot support a candidate like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for president,"

This is the type of crap that disburbs me about some organized religions. And yes. I would be just as disturbed if the Pastor had said McCain.

Okay, Sky, here's my take on that.

If the pastor could point out the candidate's positions that are the antithesis to biblical doctrine, then I would have no problem with it. If it were just a generalized dislike for a candidate based upon some personal dislike, I would want an explanation for their bias.

I would still prefer that it not be done from the pulpit in order to refrain from directly violating biblical commands to obey legal authority (similarly, I do not refuse to pay taxes simply because part of the money may be used to support causes to which I object).

I would also not object to the pastor's reluctance/refusal to vote for a candidate who has displayed a serious moral "flaw" such as adultery (or any exposed sin for which a candidate has not demonstrated true repentance). The reason is that I find it hard to trust candidates who make promises to strangers when he/she cannot keep their most sacred vows made to the persons they (supposedly) love the most. And...if one cannot trust a candidate...what does it matter who the party puts forth as a 'leader' (if they are merely a contemptible figurehead rather than a respected leader).

Although all have sinned, surely in this great nation we can find a few men & women who are currently leading virtuous lives (i.e., they are not taking bribes, abusing substances, committing ongoing sexual sins, advocating immoral policies or identifying with groups who do so, etc.). I don't demand the same moral standards of doctors, auto mechanics, architects, and so forth...although I would prefer that they not be drunk when working on me or my car. I would also hope that our military leaders, like political leaders, would exemplify a respect for human life and the preservation thereof.

creekdipper
06-20-08, 04:19 PM
Apparently some people's sarcasm meters are broken today.

:)

It seems to be going around recent days from all quarters. -ohbfrank-

Just think of it as the "Equal Protection Clause".

creekdipper
06-20-08, 04:23 PM
Here's one of the ironies of politics. Americans are more religious (at least based on church attendance) than probably any other advanced industrialized western country, yet there are constitutional barriers between the church and the government, while at the same time, far more secular European countries have major, sometimes even the most popular, political parties with the word "Christian" in their names. It just goes to show that the 19th century conservative-liberal cleavage took on completely different aspects on this side of the Atlantic.

Interesting & well-taken point.

Tuan Jim
06-20-08, 05:21 PM
Do you hold that same position for black churches that have been 'endorsing' candidates for years?

That's what I really don't follow at all. It makes no sense to me to see pastors getting all involved in politics one way or the other - that's not what church is for IMO.

So if the law says no disparaging a candidate from the pulpit - does that go for the priest who made fun of Hillary at Obama's church?


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