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Hurricane Gus Update: Church Politicking Scheme Is Category 4 Threat To American Democracy

The Rev. Gus Booth is one of a handful of clergy who plan to endorse political candidates from the pulpit this Sunday as part of a Religious Right scheme to turn churches into a right-wing political machine.

Booth, pastor of the Warroad Community Church in Warroad, Minn., says he has every right to tell his parishioners how to vote. Read more

Stunted Stunt: ADF 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' Already Looks Like A Bust

The Alliance Defense Fund's much-ballyhooed "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" is coming up, and right now it looks like it's fixing to be a dud.

There have been several recent developments – none of them good for the ADF. For starters, the ADF appears to be running scared from allegations that its actions are ethically dubious. Three former Internal Revenue Service officials have sent a letter to the tax agency charging that the ADF's actions run afoul of professional standards for tax attorneys that are outlined in a document called "Circular 230." Read more

'Pulpit Freedom' Folderol: ADF Take On Church Politicking Taxes My Patience – And The Facts

Yesterday my colleague Sandhya Bathija wrote about attending her first "Values Voter Summit." I was there, too, but I've been at this for a long time. Before there was a Summit, I used to attend national meetings of the Christian Coalition that were very similar. Read more

Tax Fix: ADF 'Pulpit Initiative' Sparks Ethics And Tax Exemption Complaints

If I were a lawyer working for the Alliance Defense Fund, saying my week was off to a bad start would be the biggest understatement of my career.

The prominent Religious Right legal group seems to have landed itself in some deep trouble after spending the last few weeks encouraging churches across the country to violate federal tax law on Sept. 28 by endorsing candidates from the pulpit. Read more

Sermons For Separation: Ohio Pastor Counters Religious Right Church-Electioneering Scheme

A Columbus, Ohio, minister has come up with a great idea to counter Religious Right propaganda about churches and partisan politics.

On Sept. 21, the Rev. Eric Williams, senior pastor of North Congregational United Church of Christ, is calling on pastors throughout the country to preach sermons on the importance of church-state separation. The action comes exactly one week ahead of "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) scheme to draw churches into illegal electioneering. Read more

Defending Deceit: Religious Right Legal Group Fights For Duplicity On The Ballot

The folks at the Alliance Defense Fund seem to think voters vote best when they have no clue what they are voting on.

In California, voters will cast ballots in November on Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that, as the title states, "Eliminates the Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry."

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Religious Reaction: Church Leaders Respond To Alliance Defense Fund's Call For Pulpit Politicking

A few days ago, the Alliance Defense Fund announced a plan to persuade clergy to defy federal tax law and preach about candidates from the pulpit the weekend of Sept. 27-28.

The ADF claims that religious leaders are being gagged because they can't tell their congregants which candidates to vote for or against. As we've pointed out before, there are a number of problems with this claim. For starters, many people sitting in the pews aren't interested in receiving this type of advice from pastors. They can decide for themselves whom to vote for, thank you very much. Read more

Pulpit Plot: ADF Schemes To Test Tax-Law Limits On Church Partisanship

Do churches have the right to violate federal tax law and use the donations of the faithful to engage in partisan politics? Religious Right activists seem to think so, and they're pressing for a test case in federal court. Read more

Crossing The Line: Religious Right Activists Plump For Politics In The Pulpit

The Family Research Council (FRC) has big plans for this election year – perhaps even legally questionable ones.

Kenyn Cureton, FRC's vice president for church ministries, appeared April 22 on Religious Right activist Janet Folger's "Faith2Action" radio program, discussing his organization's plans for mobilizing pastors this year. He may have been a little too frank. Read more

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