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Bad Actor: Presumptuous Prelate Hopes His Partisan Ploy Plays In Peoria – And Elsewhere

For the past few days, my inbox has been overflowing with emails about Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky.

The Roman Catholic prelate last week wrote a letter that he ordered all priests in his Peoria, Ill., diocese to read during services over the weekend. The missive purports to offer guidance about tomorrow’s election. Read more

Cardinal Mistake: Bishops’ Conference President Hectors Church Members To Go Political

It’s still hard for me to believe that in light of the sluggish economic recovery, ongoing worries over jobs and mounting home foreclosures that most Americans are interested in a protracted discussion over access to contraceptives.

Yet here we are. The issue simply will not go away, chiefly because some misguided clergy won’t let it die. Read more

Pulpit Perversion Sunday: The Religious Right’s Partisan Scheme To Politicize Churches

On Oct. 2, a few fundamentalist clergy around the country will observe “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” They will take to their pulpits and endorse or oppose candidates in defiance of federal tax law, which prohibits nonprofits from intervention in elections. Read more

Partisan Politics In The Pulpit: The LDS Church Says No

It’s not often AU can say this -- but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on to something.

The LDS church has made a point to remind its senior leaders to remain politically neutral in the upcoming elections.

“The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” church president Thomas S. Monson and his senior counselors said in a letter sent to top church leaders recently. The letter was also posted as a statement on the church’s website. Read more

Polluting The Pulpit?: Virginia Attorney General Urges (Right-Wing) Churches To Be Political

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been a thorn in Americans United’s side for the past few years. A staunch ally of the Religious Right, Cuccinelli seems to have no problem using government to promote right-wing theology.

His 2010 memo on government-sponsored holiday displays was less than helpful. Americans United had to issue a statement warning that towns that took his advice without additional legal counsel might get sued. Read more

Forgive Us Our Debts?: Political Church In Iowa Faces Bankruptcy

Politicizing churches is a bad idea for lots of reasons. Not only it is illegal for non-profit organizations to endorse or oppose candidates, it also can divide congregations and lead to other types of problems.

Exhibit A is Cornerstone World Outreach, a church in Sioux City, Iowa. Last year, Cornerstone Pastor Cary K. Gordon decided to use his house of worship to launch an effort to recall three Iowa Supreme Court justices. Gordon was angry that the three, who faced retention elections, had voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. Read more

Pulpit Politicking Panned: Once Again, Americans Say No To Church Electioneering

In the run-up to last month’s elections, Americans United had to work overtime to combat church-based electioneering.

The Alliance Defense Fund and its allies in the Religious Right were working to persuade pastors to endorse or oppose candidates from the pulpit during Sunday services. AU repeatedly reminded pastors and congregants that such actions are a violation of federal law. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all 501(c)(3) non-profit groups are barred from intervening in campaigns by endorsing or opposing candidates. Read more

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