Yesterday Americans United reported six churches to the Internal Revenue Service for violating federal tax law by endorsing candidates from the pulpit. Five of the churches were taking part in the so-called "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund. (The sixth was inspired by it.)
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.