View Poll Results: Should churches get in to electioneering?

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  • Nea

    10 76.92%
  • Yea

    3 23.08%
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  1. NRG
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       #1  
    Linky

    Church Split In North Carolina Shows Dangers Of Partisan Politics In Pulpit, Says Americans United
    Friday, May 6, 2005
    Church Electioneering Bill In Congress Would Invite More Disputes Over Politics In Houses Of Worship, Says AU's Lynn

    A bitter controversy over partisan politics at a North Carolina church shows the danger of electioneering in the pulpit, according to Americans United of Separation of Church and State.
    According to news media reports, the Rev. Chan Chandler of East Waynesville Baptist Church in Haywood County told members that they must vote for President George W. Bush. Nine members who did not do so have since been told to leave the congregation. An additional 40 members have reportedly left in protest.
    “This is an outrage,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Houses of worship exist to bring people together for worship, not split them apart over partisan politics.
    “I think there is an important lesson here for the whole country,” Lynn continued. “Americans do not expect to be ordered to vote for certain candidates by their religious leaders.”
    Religious Right groups have been pressing evangelical churches to get deeply involved in partisan politics, Lynn said, and this kind of controversy is the natural outcome.
    Lynn said matters will become even worse if a bill now pending in Congress becomes federal law.
    H.R. 235, a measure introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), would allow clergy to endorse candidates from the pulpit and still retain a tax exemption of their house of worship.
    “Introducing partisan politics into our churches is a terrible idea,” said AU’s Lynn. “I hope this incident in North Carolina will cause our members of Congress to reject Rep. Jones’ bill.”
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    I think this is an atrocious bill they are trying to pass. I think if a church endorses one candidate over another it should lose its tax-exempt status. The pastor in this article said it best "A church is a place for worship not partisan politics”.

    Tell me what your thoughts are please.
    Last edited by NRG; 05/07/2005 at 11:23 AM.
  2. #2  
    I just dont think its a good idea . I know the proponents will say that its a free speech issue but the problem I have is that I am religious but my politics are very much liberal. I look at the issue on its own merits...if you can create a better argument than mine, then I am likely to take your position...regardless of politics, morality or anything else.

    Religion, (in general) is fairly concerned about open debate. People are taught not to question things (like authority) and thats what politics require you to do (think back in ancient history with the Greeks and the open market where it was expected that you would argue and debate issues).

    "I think if a church endorses one candidate over another it should lose its tax-exempt status."

    I don't know if I would go that far (and I am not sure the courts would suppor that view but...) you could however force churches to be held to the same standards as other groups who use money in political actions [which is what happens now I think ].
  3. #3  
    I think it's perfectly fine for a church to "promote" a candidate....that is, doing research and say that "Candidate X has shown to be more in line with our Christian/Muslim/etc... values". I think it's total BS to tell someone they have to leave the congregation if they vote otherwise! Too many American's died to give me that freedom of choice and although I may listen to my church....it's MY decision and that decision was made possible with the lives of countless American fighting men.
  4. #4  
    I think it is fine for congregation members and people who serve in congregation leadership to "promote" a candidate. However, the tax-exempt business entity should not do so, if for no other reason than it is an entity not participating in the taxation, therefore it is not entitlted to representation.

    To that end, I also think that religious entities should reconsider taking the tax-exempt status, but that's for another discussion I suppose.
  5. NRG
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       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I think it is fine for congregation members and people who serve in congregation leadership to "promote" a candidate. However, the tax-exempt business entity should not do so, if for no other reason than it is an entity not participating in the taxation, therefore it is not entitlted to representation.

    To that end, I also think that religious entities should reconsider taking the tax-exempt status, but that's for another discussion I suppose.
    I agree with this statement. And no, you are totally on track in this discussion to talk about the tax exempt status. Just think of MoveOn.org getting tax exempt status.

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