Monday, September 08, 2008

Deer Loorrrrd, smite Barack Obama!

That's what you might get from the pulpit if some preachers get their way with the Internal Revenue Service:

Declaring that clergy have a constitutional right to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting several dozen pastors to do just that on Sept. 28, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service rules.

The effort by the Arizona-based legal consortium is designed to trigger an IRS investigation that ADF lawyers would then challenge in federal court. The ultimate goal is to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.

"For so long, there has been this cloud of intimidation over the church," ADF attorney Erik Stanley said. "It is the job of the pastors of America to debate the proper role of church in society. It's not for the government to mandate the role of church in society."

We have such a spokesman for God right here in Minnesota, but he apparently jumped the gun a little. Such initiative!

The Rev. Gus Booth of Warroad Community Church wants to "open a dialogue" on political preaching.

He'll probably get his wish.

Booth, a delegate to the Republican National Convention, alerted Americans United for Separation of Church and State to a recent sermon warning followers to oppose Barack Obama for his stance on abortion rights. Booth advised the group that defends church-state separation that he's challenging federal prohibitions on political advocacy from the pulpit.

On Wednesday, Americans United asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate whether the evangelical church with a following of 150 violated its nonprofit, tax-exempt status with Booth's sermon.

ADF is obviously expecting a John McCain win and considerable influence by Sarah Palin on nominees to the Supreme Court.

Just imagine all the imprecatory prayers asking for the help of the Heavenly Hitman to rub out candidates the preachers don't like.

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