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Old 07-02-2004, 08:30 PM   #1
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A Bit Too Political Even for the SBC?

I'm surprised. I guess the SBC prefers something a bit more latent, in regards to being blatantly politically biased.


In a move sharply criticized both by religious leaders and civil libertarians, the Bush-Cheney campaign has issued a guide listing about two-dozen "duties" and a series of deadlines for organizing support among conservative church congregations.

A copy of the guide obtained by Reuters directs religious volunteers to send church directories to state campaign committees, identify new churches that can be organized by the Bush campaign and talk to clergy members about holding voter registration drives.

The document, distributed to campaign coordinators across the country earlier this year, also recommends that volunteers distribute voter guides in church and use Sunday service programs for get-out-the-vote drives.

"We expect this election to be potentially as close as 2000, so every vote counts and it's important to reach out to every single supporter of President Bush," campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

But the Rev. Richard Land, who deals with ethics and religious liberty issues for the Southern Baptist Convention, a key Bush constituency, said he was "appalled."

"First of all, I would not want my church directories being used that way," he told Reuters in an interview, predicting failure for the Bush plan.
But you can thank the Bush Administration for accomplishing something that not even his father could do: make religion a completely political experience. In fact, my former religion became so political that I grew to hate it. I'm starting to think that it's time to take good old James Madison's advice on this subject:

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

I'm concerned, really, that religion and politics have become so intertwined for personal gain that both are now irrecoverably corrupt.


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Old 07-03-2004, 12:18 AM   #2
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This pisses me off.

Um yes can we interupt this program for a few seconds. Yes I know we're talking about Jesus, but can we focus our attention for a while on our beloved G.W. Bush...

Yeah...just what we need another distraction for our churches.

I would leave any church that tried this. And that's with any politician.

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Old 07-03-2004, 09:01 PM   #3
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This pisses me off too. I don't think they should be using the churches for political purposes in that fashion. By all means have the people vote, but independently, of their own volition and persuasion. This stinks.
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Old 07-03-2004, 09:11 PM   #4
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That's ridiculous. If I went to church and the priest interrupted his sermon to endorse a political candidate, I'd get up and leave, and that would be the last time they'd see me. I don't care what candidate it is, for what party. It's disgusting.
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Old 07-04-2004, 03:54 AM   #5
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It's apparently also illegal. From the Boston Globe:

Some religious organizations have criticized the document as inappropriate and perhaps having the potential to cause churches to jeopardize their tax-exempt status by becoming involved in partisan politics. A campaign spokesman, Scott Stanzel, said the document, distributed to campaign staff, was well within the law.

[. . .]

''We are alarmed that this initiative by the Bush-Cheney campaign could lure religious organizations and religious leaders into dangerous territory where they risk losing their tax-exempt status and could be violating the law," Gaddy said.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said ''efforts aimed at transforming houses of worship into political campaign offices stink to high heaven."

None of those groups, however, has been as supportive of the Bush administration as the Nashville-based Southern Baptists. Bush spoke to the Southern Baptists' recent national convention, by video link, for the third year in a row.

Yesterday, Land said: ''It's one thing for a church member motivated by exhortations to exercise his Christian citizenship to go out and decide to work on the Bush campaign or the Kerry campaign. It's another and totally inappropriate thing for a political campaign to ask workers who may be church members to provide church member information through the use of directories to solicit partisan support."
C ya!

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