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Bush campaign wants church lists
CNN ^ | Friday, July 2, 2004 Posted: 10:40 PM EDT (0240 GMT | N/A

Posted on 07/02/2004 8:36:00 PM PDT by Kerberos

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President Bush, seeking to mobilize religious conservatives for his reelection campaign, has asked church-going volunteers to turn over church membership directories, campaign officials said on Thursday.

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.

The conservative Protestant denomination, whose 16 million members strongly backed Bush in 2000, held regular drives that encouraged church-goers to "vote their values," said Land.

"But it's one thing for us to do that. It's a totally different thing for a partisan campaign to come in and try to organize a church. A lot of pastors are going to say: 'Wait a minute, bub'," he added.

The guide surfaced as a spate of opinion polls showed Bush's reelection campaign facing a tough battle. (Poll: Sending troops to Iraq a mistake; Interactive: Poll questions and responses)

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed Bush running neck-and-neck with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry among registered voters, 47 percent of whom said they now believed the president had misled Americans about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The Bush campaign has also been spending heavily on television ads, only to see the president's approval ratings slump to new lows.

Stanzel said the campaign ended the month of June with $64 million on hand.

He had no figures on how much Bush has raised in June.

At the end of May, Bush had raised $213.4 million and spent all but $63 million.

The latest effort to marshal religious support also drew fire from civil liberties activists concerned about the constitutional separation of church and state.

"Any coordination between the Bush campaign and church leaders would clearly be illegal," said a statement from the activist group Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: 2004; antichristian; badidea; bigmistake; church; churchandstate; electioneering; freedomfromreligion; freedomofreligion; gop; gwb2004; irs; justplainstupid; list; lists; mailinglist; religion; religiousintolerance
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"First of all, I would not want my church directories being used that way,"

"But it's one thing for us to do that. It's a totally different thing for a partisan campaign to come in and try to organize a church. A lot of pastors are going to say: 'Wait a minute, bub'," he added.

Even the leadership of the Southern Baptists understands that this is just wrong.

Oh well, as we boldly move forward to the age of the theocracy.

1 posted on 07/02/2004 8:36:00 PM PDT by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's so wrong they only invite Jesse Jackson and his ilk to access their lists!


2 posted on 07/02/2004 8:45:30 PM PDT by Fawnn (Fair Funkle Fawnn, Canteen wOOhOO Consultant, and CookingWithPam.com person)
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To: Fawnn

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's so wrong they only invite Jesse Jackson and his ilk to access their lists!"

So then I gather you are a supporter of the new theocracy?


3 posted on 07/02/2004 8:49:08 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: Kerberos
I am not against this idea and would love to get ahold of church lists in my area to use to get my Christian conservative candidate elected.

These church goers need to be educated, and to know that there is a huge difference.
4 posted on 07/02/2004 8:49:11 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: Delphinium

"These church goers need to be educated"

I can certainly agree with that.


5 posted on 07/02/2004 8:50:46 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: Kerberos

I haven't decided if I'm for granting direct access to the lists. (I have a feeling based on my experience with conservatives that most would ask church members for permission before their names were forwarded.)

What I AM against is the hypocrisy of those crying wolf about one more thing!


6 posted on 07/02/2004 8:52:00 PM PDT by Fawnn (Fair Funkle Fawnn, Canteen wOOhOO Consultant, and CookingWithPam.com person)
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To: Kerberos

7 posted on 07/02/2004 8:52:22 PM PDT by Tamzee (Noonan on Reagan, "...his leadership changed the world... As president, he was a giant.")
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To: Kerberos

It's pretty crass. Churches have no business aligning themselves with secular political parties, nor should parties be trying to encourage such affiliation.


8 posted on 07/02/2004 8:54:34 PM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: Sloth

"It's pretty crass. Churches have no business aligning themselves with secular political parties, nor should parties be trying to encourage such affiliation."

Exactly, although there seems to be many so-called conservatives here that can't begin to understand that fundamental truth.

Which makes one wonder, why are they called fundamentalist?

Thanks


9 posted on 07/02/2004 8:59:05 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: Kerberos

Get real. Kerry can go into a liberal black church and deliver a political speech and the pastor can instruct his parishoners to vote straight Democrap and they will not hear one word from the IRS.

Do you think that the liberals won't institute their own theocracy that worships perversion of all that is good and right?


10 posted on 07/02/2004 8:59:46 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: Kerberos

I'm not sure I support church directories being given to political parties. But, I don't see any difference between this and the Democrats getting the rolls from Big Unions and swapping donor lists with NPR.


11 posted on 07/02/2004 9:00:10 PM PDT by Azzurri
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To: Kerberos

I think any political party getting lists from churches, in order to contact the parishoners and try to gather support, is wholly preferable to getting the ministers to organize voting drives, etc.


12 posted on 07/02/2004 9:02:35 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Blood of Tyrants

"Do you think that the liberals won't institute their own theocracy that worships perversion of all that is good and right?"

No.


13 posted on 07/02/2004 9:23:44 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

" think any political party getting lists from churches, in order to contact the parishoners and try to gather support, is wholly preferable to getting the ministers to organize voting drives, etc."

Why's that?


14 posted on 07/02/2004 9:25:21 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: Kerberos

This use to be the function of the Christian Coalition (at least with Protestant Churches). Unfortunately, they have pretty much collapsed.


15 posted on 07/02/2004 9:28:29 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: Azzurri

"I'm not sure I support church directories being given to political parties. But, I don't see any difference between this and the Democrats getting the rolls from Big Unions and swapping donor lists with NPR."

The difference is that the conjoining of the state and religion historically, in almost all instances, has resulted in oppression of the people. There is thousands of years of history to support this position, long before the Christians came along.

However that is what we are currently seeing in our politics today, which is something the founders were strongly against and for the historical reasons, I have cited above.

Which is why the founders incorporated it into our Constitution is that they understood that such an event would be the destruction of the republic. Unfortunately the Republican party has been hijacked in recent years by religious zealots, also know as fundamentalists, who would like nothing more than for the rest of us to forget that truth.


16 posted on 07/02/2004 9:33:41 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: gilliam

"Unfortunately, they have pretty much collapsed."

I must disagree with your use of the word "unfortunately."


17 posted on 07/02/2004 9:35:18 PM PDT by Kerberos (Groups are inherently more immoral than individuals.)
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To: Kerberos; Sloth
It's pretty crass. Churches have no business aligning themselves with secular political parties, nor should parties be trying to encourage such affiliation."

Exactly, although there seems to be many so-called conservatives here that can't begin to understand that fundamental truth.

What fundamental truth?

Tell me where in the Bible, not religion but the Bible where it tells us not to be aligned with one side, or the other?

There is a clear difference, at least for the time being and Christians must be part of deciding who our leaders are.

God does not want us to be lacking wisdom , and knowledge.

Hsa 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Proverbs 29:2 “ When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. When the wicked rule, the people groan.”

John Jay, First Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court – “providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

President George Washington – “It is impossible to rightly govern … without God and the Bible
18 posted on 07/02/2004 9:40:08 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: Kerberos

I am certain of strong acceptance at my congregation.


19 posted on 07/02/2004 9:43:09 PM PDT by Tax Government
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To: Kerberos
Which is why the founders incorporated it into our Constitution

What exactly did the founders incorporate into the Constitution that would keep Christians from being a part.
20 posted on 07/02/2004 9:45:19 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: Kerberos
I must disagree with your use of the word "unfortunately."

Well, if they were around they would be doing this instead of the campaigns.

Whatever... I'm Catholic...

21 posted on 07/02/2004 9:45:36 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: Kerberos
While the Episcopals, ELCA, PCUSA, Church of Christ and other liberal churches are financially supporting left wing voter registration drives.
22 posted on 07/02/2004 9:46:02 PM PDT by Archie Bunker on steroids (.)
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To: Kerberos
Can't we all unite and agree that's it's all George Bush's fault?

Oh, and welcome to FR--Donate NOW!

23 posted on 07/02/2004 9:47:20 PM PDT by Mark (Treason doth never prosper, for if it prosper, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON.)
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To: Kerberos
Boy do you need a lesson in reading comprehension and/or lessons in America history!

The FFs and our Constitution prohibits a national religion...that's it.They never said anything at all about not involving religious peoples on politics.

Much later on,laws were passed,to prohibit politicking, BY CANDIDATES,in churches and temples;however,the Dems have totally IGNORED this for as long as it's been around.Papa Joe Kennedy spread so much "walking around money",in Southern black churches and did so so OPENLY,that EVERYONE knew about it at the time.And Catholic churches had sermon after sermon preaching how everyone just HAD to vote for that JFK.

algore "preached" (gave political harangues,sounding like REVEREND LEROY,from the old Flip Wilson T.V. show)at so many black churches,that he imagined that he WAS A "reverend",in 2000.

Getting a list,is far different from any and all of that and in noway has anything at all to do with a "THEOCRACY"!

And as an aside,up until rather recently,there was written into law,that political office holders had to be Protestant.Sooooooooooooooo...have we always lived in a theocracy,then?

24 posted on 07/02/2004 9:47:59 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Kerberos

Why can't religious people, aka church members, participate in the political process?

As long as it's voluntary, and nothing is forced, what in the world is wrong??

I don't get this knee jerk aversion to religious people joining in the political process.


25 posted on 07/02/2004 9:48:00 PM PDT by Edit35
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To: Mark

3 years late...welcome


26 posted on 07/02/2004 9:48:25 PM PDT by Mark (Treason doth never prosper, for if it prosper, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON.)
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To: Kerberos
Unfortunately the Republican party has been hijacked in recent years by religious zealots, also know as fundamentalists...

Perhaps you would feel more at home in the Party that despises Christians.

Your posts make it clear that you share their hatred.

27 posted on 07/02/2004 9:51:04 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: Kerberos
Oh well, as we boldly move forward to the age of the theocracy.

Are you at all familiar with the Democrats use of black churches in this country or where the civil rights movement organized? How about the various denominations that have inserted themselves into political debates by endorsing left of center positions? Heck, before the war in Iraq, I attended a Lutheran service after which we were told of topical literature available at the door. It turned out to be a collection of anti-war articles from the likes of Common Dreams and other self described progressive outlets.

I would hope the Bush campaign seeks to register and get out the vote in every way they know how. Their opposition is doing that and more.

28 posted on 07/02/2004 9:59:29 PM PDT by Dolphy
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To: Kerberos
Which is why the founders incorporated it into our Constitution is that they understood that such an event would be the destruction of the republic.

What ARE you talking about? Where in our Constitution does it say political parties can't write to people who belong to certain churches? I think you are reading a lot more into the very few words that the Constitution has in it that ONLY pertain to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT not ESTABLISHING a religion.

29 posted on 07/02/2004 9:59:53 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: Dolphy

This has nothing to do with a theogracy.


30 posted on 07/02/2004 10:00:29 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: gilliam

Not a thing in the world wrong with our candidates using church lists.

If all Christians would do their duties as citizens, the Left wouldn't have a prayer.

God blessed us with liberty, but with that precious gift comes responsibility.


31 posted on 07/02/2004 10:05:40 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
If all Christians would do their duties as citizens, the Left wouldn't have a prayer.

Amen!
32 posted on 07/02/2004 10:08:03 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: gilliam
This has nothing to do with a theogracy.

I'm aware of that.

33 posted on 07/02/2004 10:10:53 PM PDT by Dolphy
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To: Kerberos

It is improper and silly to rely on a Reuters/CCN report such as this for an accurate description of the situation. We need more info before coming to any conclusion. As far as separation of church and state are concerned in a political campaign, the "statement" on this by the activist group is utter nonsense. Kerry would very much like to have such a separation, since his erratz Catholicism would then be not a consideration.


34 posted on 07/02/2004 10:14:39 PM PDT by mtntop3 ("Those who must know before they believe will never come to full knowledge.")
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To: Delphinium

I'm with you.

Seems pretty tame compared to lefties stumping from the pulpit of black churches.

Land has a big ego.


35 posted on 07/02/2004 10:16:41 PM PDT by wardaddy (Bill Cosby for Black Culture Czar!)
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To: wardaddy
We must get the church goers no matter what religion to vote.

This country is so divided and without these votes we can't win.

One third of Christians vote, and even part of them vote for democrats.

If two thirds of Christians voted, we would no longer have legalized murder of children in this nation.
36 posted on 07/02/2004 10:23:24 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: Delphinium

Well, I would venture from what I've seen and gleaned that most white Southern protestants and evangelicals will vote for W.

I attend several churches here in Nashville including a Pentocostal, a Southern Baptist and a PCA.

The first two are pretty open about who they prefer.


37 posted on 07/02/2004 10:28:01 PM PDT by wardaddy (Bill Cosby for Black Culture Czar!)
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To: Kerberos
This establishes a dreadful precedent. If the leaders of a political party can access church rosters for organizing purposes, what will prevent President Hillary or some other socialist in the future from using such rosters as a way to persecute Christians?

It will happen, mark my words. Or better yet, mark the words of John, who warned us.

38 posted on 07/02/2004 10:32:25 PM PDT by Capriole (DO NOT WRITE IN THIS SPACE. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.)
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To: Kerberos

There really isn't anything new about this. Haven't you seen the democrats standing in the pulpits for years doing the Baptist preacher campaigning thing, while attacking any Pubbie who would dare speak anywhere near a Church? Church goers are citizens too, and have every right to hear what the candidates who decide our future have to say!


39 posted on 07/02/2004 10:32:50 PM PDT by ladyinred (What if the hokey pokey IS what it's all about?)
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To: wardaddy

I know Republicans from almost every church in town and they all complain about so many others from their churches being ignorant about voting.


40 posted on 07/02/2004 10:33:51 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: Kerberos
I believe that entire quote was, "It's one thing for us Democrats to do that. It's a totally different thing for a partisan Republican campaign to come in and try to organize a church. A lot of black pastors are going to say: 'Wait a minute, bub! It's my job to politicize the Church!'"

You have no concept of a 'theocracy' if that's what you think this is. It really is nothing more than getting out the vote among your constituency. But you're right: this is a mistake. It's not the most diplomatic method. And it is, precisely, what the Demonrat party will do across Black America, albeit in a more covert fashion.

41 posted on 07/02/2004 10:38:06 PM PDT by Nevermore
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To: Kerberos
Which is why the founders incorporated it into our Constitution

The concept of which you speak, "separation of Church and state," has been interpreted into our Constitution by recent Supreme Court opinions.

What the founding fathers "incorporated" in the Constitution was a prohibition on Congress from either establishing a religion or preventing the free exercise of any religion.

Would you please tell me exactly how a political party asking private citizens for a list of their club members violates those prohibitions?

Please note that:
- Parties are neither the Congress nor the State,
- Asking is not forcing, and
- Private citizens are... well, private citizens.

On the topic of historical perspective, please also explain how the 2 most devastating tyrannies in history, nazism and communism exhibited no ties between state and religion.

If you believe that churches should not get involved with political parties that's fine, but please stop finding hidden meanings in the Establishment clause. They are not there!!!

42 posted on 07/02/2004 10:42:37 PM PDT by mwilli20 (Member - Intl. Organization for Prevention of Tagline Abuse)
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To: MojoWire

I agree. All the Bush campaign wants is to find voters that their message might appeal to and reach out them, get them involved in the political process, and inform them. It just so happens that these people are religious. They aren't trying to get priests and whole churches themselves behind the campaign, just individual voters who share his values because they happen to be religious and belong to a church. And don't democrats always say that more of us little people should be involved in the political process? Seriously, it bothers me so much that the media and democrats and even some conservatives get all touchy whenever religion is mentioned in the same paragraph (unless its about a Dem and his religion) as politics.


43 posted on 07/02/2004 10:53:48 PM PDT by the right side jedi
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To: Kerberos

"Even the leadership of the Southern Baptists understands that this is just wrong."

True, it was a mistake for the Bush campaign to do this. I hope this doesn't turn off my fellow conservative evangelicals to not vote. Whoever advised this should be canned.

On the other hand, I don't give a rip what "Americans for the ...blah, blah, blah" thinks. They are hypocrites in that Black Churches have been hotbeds for partisan vote organization for years. They are blatant about it, and no one ever questions it because they are the RATS slaves. It is only "wrong" when republicans try this in churches leaning their way.


44 posted on 07/02/2004 10:57:37 PM PDT by Sola Veritas (Trying to speak truth - not always with the best grammar or spelling)
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To: Kerberos

And since when do you believe the spin that CNN puts on anything? There is a huge difference between folks volunteering information and the government demanding it through some legal means. We are NO WHERE near a theocracy unless the religion is illiberalism....get a grip


45 posted on 07/02/2004 11:58:56 PM PDT by jnarcus
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To: Kerberos

This is wrong and dangerous stuff. What assurances can be made the lists will not be used to create a master list that can be sold to businesses to raise funds, or used in some other manner?

Next they'll think of writing every state Republican leader, or local police chief for lists of gun owners (another conservative block), and imagine that getting into the wrong hands. What are these people thinking?

I would no more trust a political party with my information then I would a stranger. Oh wait! The political parties are the government. Well, no wonder they think an invasion of privacy is a sound way to conduct themselves.

I'd quit any church that felt they had a right to share my information with anyone.

Where the heck did the conservative wing of the Republican Party go? This party hss turned to the left, and it had best change direction.


46 posted on 07/03/2004 12:02:09 AM PDT by backtothestreets
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To: Sola Veritas
No, every Christian should be eager to be constructively organized into the political defense of his faith against secular, organized, state sanctioned attack.

The left has brought the entire might of the federal government to bear against the free exercise of our religious liberties including injunctive power, contempt power, tax power and criminal power. For example, when the left objects to campaigning in churches as illegal, it simply is not illegal or unconstitutional or even undemocratic but is can be contrary to the IRS code for the church to claim tax exemption. It has now become generally accepted that this provision has been enforced only against white churches, leaving the pro democrat black churches (presumably the ones which escaped arson when Clinton was a boy) sole possession of the field.

It is time for us to put entirely out of our minds the bizarre notion that it is somehow improper to engage in politics from the pulpit. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was certainly political activity and it was organized from the black churches, principally King's. The entire anti bellum anti-slavery movement could not have precipitated the War of Northern Aggression without the agitation in northern pulpits. These are favorite causes of the left and they are not seen as dangers to democracy at all.

It is only when democratic congregations of a few souls gathered in the name of their God dare to pose an obstacle to the secularization of America that the Left becomes exercised about the politicization of the pulpit.

47 posted on 07/03/2004 12:19:43 AM PDT by nathanbedford (Don't tell me God is on our side, show me we are on God's side.)
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To: nopardons
And as an aside,up until rather recently,there was written into law,that political office holders had to be Protestant.Sooooooooooooooo...have we always lived in a theocracy,then?

What written law are you referring to? The Constitution clearly states that there should be no "religious test" to hold office.

48 posted on 07/03/2004 12:53:07 AM PDT by Susannah (Friends don't let friends vote Liberal)
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To: ladyinred; Kerberos

Before the California Governor recall election, Clinton was shown live on local tv with Davis in a black church (at the pulpit with the preacher).

Davis also made the church/temple/mosque rounds for weeks prior to the election.


49 posted on 07/03/2004 12:58:52 AM PDT by Susannah (Friends don't let friends vote Liberal)
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To: Susannah

It was a State thing and has been posted to FR several times in the past.


50 posted on 07/03/2004 12:59:19 AM PDT by nopardons
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