Quote of the Day: Did You Leave Your Religious Community Because It ‘Left’ You?

 

“The church is not partisan. The Catholic Church is probably a great example of a church that offends both Democrats and Republicans alike.” – – Rev. David Boettner, rector of the cathedral and vicar general of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee.

My heart goes out to all those church and synagogue leaders who try to lead their communities and congregations with integrity and honor. Too often, some of them go far beyond the content that they should be sharing with their members. What drives a religious leader to indulge (and I do mean to use that word) in spreading political positions? Have they considered the implications of acting in this way? I’ve come to my own conclusions.

First, I think there are some leaders who are simply zealots, which I think primarily describes the far Left. They think they are correct in their beliefs, and those people who believe otherwise are terribly misguided at best, or evil at worst. These are the spiritual leaders who are supposed to bring their members to a closer relationship with G-d and each other, but they are certain to offend at least a percentage of their community that believes that church sermons should be politics-free or shouldn’t denigrate their own political views. Preaching politics from the pulpit is arrogant, thoughtless, and inconsiderate; if a religious leader can’t keep his views to himself, he doesn’t belong at the pulpit.

Another reason for religious leaders preaching politics is because they don’t know how to clarify for themselves and their community the reasons for not speaking on politics, but they are also afraid to be disliked or rejected (particularly if a group within the community disagrees with their positions). One aspect of being a religious leader (it would seem to me) is to demonstrate courage in the face of adversity. That means that you may preach on inclusiveness and tolerance, but you won’t voice a political agenda.

There is also the issue of people who want their religious leader to take a public position on politics; in other words, they are trying to coerce them to “speak to their side.” Religious leaders are certainly entitled to their own views, but they are out of line to take public positions on specific political ideas. If their congregants reject that decision to remain neutral, they can simply look for a new church.

Another issue is that people say they want their pastor to help them relate the bible to their own lives. An excellent way to do this is for the pastor not to list off a palette of views, but instead to ask questions of his members, explaining that it is their challenge and responsibility to answer those questions for themselves, as they relate their lives to the words of the Bible.

There are other rationales we can give for preaching politics, and I encourage you to list them in your comments. But I think it’s also helpful to look at the restrictions that the Internal Revenue Service has enacted:

What political activities are prohibited under the Internal Revenue Code?

Religious organizations, as well as all other organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are prohibited from participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office. This prohibition encompasses a wide array of activities. It precludes direct political campaign intervention, including the making of statements, whether oral, written or in an electronic medium, supporting or opposing any candidate, political party or political action committee (“PAC”); creating a PAC; rating candidates; and providing or soliciting financial support (including loans or loan guarantees) or in-kind support for any candidate, political party or PAC. It also precludes indirect political campaign intervention of a sort that reflects bias for or against any candidate, political party or PAC, such as distributing biased voter education materials or conducting a biased candidate forum or voter registration drive.

Must religious organizations restrict their discussion of issues during election campaign periods?

No. The political campaign intervention prohibition does not restrict discussions of issues that are not linked to support for or opposition to candidates. The fact that candidates may align themselves on one side or another of an issue does not restrict the ability of religious organizations to engage in discussions of that issue. That said, a religious organization may nonetheless violate the political campaign intervention prohibition if it communicates preferences for or against particular candidates as part of its issue discussions.

What is the likelihood that a religious leader will be able to be objective, and not take sides, in these types of discussions? Why allow for discussions that are not faith-related and are likely to create conflict within the community?

What conclusions do you draw from these thoughts I’ve shared?

My advice: don’t preach politics from the pulpit.

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  1. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Although some political issues truly are merely political (gerrymandering comes to mind…), many issues intersect with matters of faith. I’m  Catholic, and I follow Church teaching. I oppose abortion. I oppose same-sex “marriage”, and though that is a lost cause, I simply do not view same-sex unions as marriages despite the state regarding them so. I utterly reject the reality-denying transgender ideology. Those are political issues as well as matters of religious teaching – the only way a priest can avoid the charge of preaching politics from the pulpit is to avoid those subjects altogether, which is an abdication of his duty (too many religious leaders do). I just don’t think faith and politics can be neatly divided, and preaching about those political matters is not only correct, it is very much needed in this world which seems to have taken crazy pills.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Regarding the examples you gave, Jean, I agree that it would be wrong to avoid talking about abortion; we are talking about life and death. But do you think it is necessary to bring up SSM, or even the transgender issues? Are there not enough valuable topics to discuss without going into those swamps? I’m not challenging you, but I think it’s important to at least think about whether we might be using our religions as reasons to state personal agendas.

    • #2
  3. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Regarding the examples you gave, Jean, I agree that it would be wrong to avoid talking about abortion; we are talking about life and death. But do you think it is necessary to bring up SSM, or even the transgender issues? Are there not enough valuable topics to discuss without going into those swamps? I’m not challenging you, but I think it’s important to at least think about whether we might be using our religions as reasons to state personal agendas.

    Yes, I do think it is important to bring up those matters because they relate to the reality of how we were created, and denying those realities is ultimately destructive of both the human person and a healthy society. “Male and female He created them” – deny that basic reality and chaos, both personal and societal, is the result.

    • #3
  4. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I oppose same-sex “marriage”, and though that is a lost cause

    Something is only a lost cause if people give up . . .

    Update:  Look how long it took the pro-life movement to change hearts and minds about abortion, with the ultimate result being Dobbs . . .

    • #4
  5. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Stad (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I oppose same-sex “marriage”, and though that is a lost cause

    Something is only a lost cause if people give up . . .

    Agreed, but I don’t think any reversal of the legal acceptance of same-sex unions as marriages is going to happen in my lifetime. It can only come about with a real renewal of people’s sense of the reality of how we were created and a real renewal of appreciation and gratitude for that reality. Can that happen? Theoretically, sure. Anything’s possible. But I’m not holding my breath… My stand is to simply not call same-sex unions “marriages”, and I don’t and won’t view them as the same. Nor will I ever acquiesce to the stupidity that a guy calling himself a gal is ever anything but a guy.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I don’t think faith and politics can be separated, nor do I want them to be. The secular world will be okay for a while because it was shaped by people of faith. But that won’t last long. Barbarity will ensue. There is no reason other than faith to not push the guy in the wheelchair off the Achille Lauro.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I oppose same-sex “marriage”, and though that is a lost cause

    Something is only a lost cause if people give up . . .

    Agreed, but I don’t think any reversal of the legal acceptance of same-sex unions as marriages is going to happen in my lifetime. It can only come about with a real renewal of people’s sense of the reality of how we were created and a real renewal of appreciation and gratitude for that reality. Can that happen? Theoretically, sure. Anything’s possible. But I’m not holding my breath… My stand is to simply not call same-sex unions “marriages”, and I don’t and won’t view them as the same. Nor will I ever acquiesce to the stupidity that a guy calling himself a gal is ever anything but a guy.

    I think it can happen if the issue gets returned to the states.  The SCOTUS premise for same-sex “marriage” is about as shaky as the one for abortion . . .

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t think faith and politics can be separated, nor do I want them to be. The secular world will be okay for a while because it was shaped by people of faith. But that won’t last long. Barbarity will ensue. There is no reason other than faith to not push the guy in the wheelchair off the Achille Lauro.

    So if you attended a church whose pastor supported transgenderism and abortion publicly, you would stay with that church? I think when we imagine that issues we believe in are espoused in church, we are fine. But if issues are sermonized that we are against, I think we would object. At least I would.

    • #8
  9. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Stad (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I oppose same-sex “marriage”, and though that is a lost cause

    Something is only a lost cause if people give up . . .

    Agreed, but I don’t think any reversal of the legal acceptance of same-sex unions as marriages is going to happen in my lifetime. It can only come about with a real renewal of people’s sense of the reality of how we were created and a real renewal of appreciation and gratitude for that reality. Can that happen? Theoretically, sure. Anything’s possible. But I’m not holding my breath… My stand is to simply not call same-sex unions “marriages”, and I don’t and won’t view them as the same. Nor will I ever acquiesce to the stupidity that a guy calling himself a gal is ever anything but a guy.

    I think it can happen if the issue gets returned to the states. The SCOTUS premise for same-sex “marriage” is about as shaky as the one for abortion . . .

    Which is what Thomas was getting at in his concurrence.

    • #9
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t think faith and politics can be separated, nor do I want them to be. The secular world will be okay for a while because it was shaped by people of faith. But that won’t last long. Barbarity will ensue. There is no reason other than faith to not push the guy in the wheelchair off the Achille Lauro.

    So if you attended a church whose pastor supported transgenderism and abortion publicly, you would stay with that church? I think when we imagine that issues we believe in are espoused in church, we are fine. But if issues are sermonized that we are against, I think we would object. At least I would.

    No, I wouldn’t stay.

    I probably wouldn’t try to change the church because I’m not a persuasive person. But I wouldn’t stay there.

    • #10
  11. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Stad (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    I oppose same-sex “marriage”, and though that is a lost cause

    Something is only a lost cause if people give up . . .

    Agreed, but I don’t think any reversal of the legal acceptance of same-sex unions as marriages is going to happen in my lifetime. It can only come about with a real renewal of people’s sense of the reality of how we were created and a real renewal of appreciation and gratitude for that reality. Can that happen? Theoretically, sure. Anything’s possible. But I’m not holding my breath… My stand is to simply not call same-sex unions “marriages”, and I don’t and won’t view them as the same. Nor will I ever acquiesce to the stupidity that a guy calling himself a gal is ever anything but a guy.

    I think it can happen if the issue gets returned to the states. The SCOTUS premise for same-sex “marriage” is about as shaky as the one for abortion . . .

    To address your main point – you’re right, it could go back to the states if it was decided that the faulty underpinning of Roe undermines Obergefell as well. But I don’t think there’s any appetite for that, despite that being logical. I think such a move would have to happen from the ground up, reflecting the kind of renewal I wrote of earlier. And I think it gets worse, much worse, before such a renewal occurs, if it does at all. Which is why it is so important for religious leaders to speak up, to show the way to a return of sanity.

    • #11
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    No State will save the Church without a corrupt agreement. No Church that needs to have a State save it is worth saving. Usually clerics who promote political ends (regardless of who they favor and except for assuring that the State leaves the Church alone) have infused their faith with secular ideology.

    • #12
  13. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Rodin (View Comment):

    No State will save the Church without a corrupt agreement. No Church that needs to have a State save it is worth saving. Usually clerics who promote political ends (regardless of who they favor and except for assuring that the State leaves the Church alone) have infused their faith with secular ideology.

    I don’t think that priests who reiterate Church teaching about abortion and other such matters have “infused their faith with secular ideology” – far from it. They are reiterating religious principles that predate the state.

    • #13
  14. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    No State will save the Church without a corrupt agreement. No Church that needs to have a State save it is worth saving. Usually clerics who promote political ends (regardless of who they favor and except for assuring that the State leaves the Church alone) have infused their faith with secular ideology.

    I don’t think that priests who reiterate Church teaching about abortion and other such matters have “infused their faith with secular ideology” – far from it. They are reiterating religious principles that predate the state.

    No one is suggesting that a priest not instruct the flock on Church doctrine. And I would go so far as to say that a priest can/should rebuke a politician/deny sacraments based on actions supporting things not in accord with Church doctrine. But I do think that the Church needs to focus on individual, not societal, salvation.

    • #14
  15. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    No State will save the Church without a corrupt agreement. No Church that needs to have a State save it is worth saving. Usually clerics who promote political ends (regardless of who they favor and except for assuring that the State leaves the Church alone) have infused their faith with secular ideology.

    I don’t think that priests who reiterate Church teaching about abortion and other such matters have “infused their faith with secular ideology” – far from it. They are reiterating religious principles that predate the state.

    Exactly.  Biblical texts are quite clear on many of these issues, particularly homosexuality.  Churches and synagogues that disagree with the Bible gloss over them because they choose politics over religion.  Teaching the texts that seem politically problematic is not political, it’s religion properly understood.  That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a loving “hate the sin, not the sinner” type context.

    • #15
  16. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge
    Chris Hutchinson
    @chrishutch13

    I definitely believe there are plenty of religious leaders who go way way too far with preaching politics from the pulpit but I tend to agree with Painer Jean and MarciN. I don’t really see how it is separated. The same as when someone tells me religion shouldn’t be a part of political discourse. Actually, I believe politics is much broader and includes all spheres of community, which I hinted at in a Facebook post. after watching on the Institute of Catholic Culture’s website what I thought was an excellent lecture on discussing faith and politics. It was long, like three hours, but I thought it was worth the time to watch. It’s linked in my Facebook post. 

    • #16
  17. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    No State will save the Church without a corrupt agreement. No Church that needs to have a State save it is worth saving. Usually clerics who promote political ends (regardless of who they favor and except for assuring that the State leaves the Church alone) have infused their faith with secular ideology.

    I don’t think that priests who reiterate Church teaching about abortion and other such matters have “infused their faith with secular ideology” – far from it. They are reiterating religious principles that predate the state.

    No one is suggesting that a priest not instruct the flock on Church doctrine. And I would go so far as to say that a priest can/should rebuke a politician/deny sacraments based on actions supporting things not in accord with Church doctrine. But I do think that the Church needs to focus on individual, not societal, salvation.

    The two are not mutually exclusive, but complementary – individuals living out their faith better society. The Joe Bidens of the world, who profess to be Christians while pushing policies informed more by Moloch than by Jesus Christ, are a menace to society. How much better off society would be if those individuals actually adhered to the faith that they say they follow.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Teaching the texts that seem politically problematic is not political, it’s religion properly understood.  That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a loving “hate the sin, not the sinner” type context.

    I agree. The issue that some on this OP are not addressing is what they would do if ideas contrary to doctrine are taught. Would people leave the church or synagogue? Or would it depend on how often this kind of blatant violation occurs? Or what the violation actually was? 

    • #18
  19. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The Church is moral.  When law / culture / politics are immoral then the Church is political.  What it says to that immorality is political, what it does not say to that immorality is also political.  The Church not speaking to immorality is the same as it agreeing to that immorality.  The Church decided not to speak to immorality is when it decided it was irrelevant, and have been treated that way more and more everyday.  This is a sin, especially since its stated purpose is to save souls by making them moral and shepherd them into heaven.  

    I loved my Church and its fire and brimstone priests.  I do not care much for the current hippie dippy love all empathic Church.  

     

    • #19
  20. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Teaching the texts that seem politically problematic is not political, it’s religion properly understood. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a loving “hate the sin, not the sinner” type context.

    I agree. The issue that some on this OP are not addressing is what they would do if ideas contrary to doctrine are taught. Would people leave the church or synagogue? Or would it depend on how often this kind of blatant violation occurs? Or what the violation actually was?

    Well, being Catholic ought to preclude those sorts of conflicts, but sadly in this time of dissent and ignorance it doesn’t. But yes, if I am in a parish where teachings contrary to the Church’s teachings are promoted, I’m outta there. This relates to donations as well – I would not donate at the diocesan level if the bishop is squishy, and I don’t give to Peter’s Pence, the annual papal appeal, because Pope Francis is a squish.

    • #20
  21. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Teaching the texts that seem politically problematic is not political, it’s religion properly understood. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a loving “hate the sin, not the sinner” type context.

    I agree. The issue that some on this OP are not addressing is what they would do if ideas contrary to doctrine are taught. Would people leave the church or synagogue? Or would it depend on how often this kind of blatant violation occurs? Or what the violation actually was?

    I don’t run into that problem because where I go and learn, the teaching is very orthodox and text oriented.  Hard to get political with that unless it’s the politics poking in; the text is unchanged for over three thousand years.  I do have a friend–politically conservative–who goes somewhere less orthodox and she has a big problem with political hobby-horses being preached as if they were biblical or instead of the weekly text.  She likes the community and the involvement, but still has at least one foot out the door and goes there for services but comes to us for classes and any moral-religious questions.  

    • #21
  22. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Regarding the examples you gave, Jean, I agree that it would be wrong to avoid talking about abortion; we are talking about life and death. But do you think it is necessary to bring up SSM, or even the transgender issues? Are there not enough valuable topics to discuss without going into those swamps? I’m not challenging you, but I think it’s important to at least think about whether we might be using our religions as reasons to state personal agendas.

    Absolutely and unequivocally yes. Those are absolutely religious issues that have implications in theology.

    • #22
  23. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t think faith and politics can be separated, nor do I want them to be. The secular world will be okay for a while because it was shaped by people of faith. But that won’t last long. Barbarity will ensue. There is no reason other than faith to not push the guy in the wheelchair off the Achille Lauro.

    So if you attended a church whose pastor supported transgenderism and abortion publicly, you would stay with that church? I think when we imagine that issues we believe in are espoused in church, we are fine. But if issues are sermonized that we are against, I think we would object. At least I would.

    I would default leave or push to have the pastor removed. The support for those are based in underlying foundations antithetical to Christian teaching. If that is skewed to the point of supporting those issues, I would consider his doctrine to be unsound and he not suitable for leadership.

     

    On the other hand, if I had a pastor who was personally pro gun control and spoke from the pulpit on pacifism and he did so by pointing to scripture, I could live with disagreeing with him and think he’s just mistaken.

    But then again, I’ve left a church because of a priest who preached despair from the pulpit and taught as if gun control was the only righteous position. Which it isn’t.

    • #23
  24. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    I agree with what @painterjean has said. I am also Catholic and I have no issue with a priest clearly laying out the moral principles that should form our conscience and guide us in our choices. Abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, so-called same-sex marriage, and transgender ideology are all non-negotiable from a Catholic worldview. I want an orthodox priest to clearly define the Catholic position on these issues, not to tell me who to vote for.

    The Left will constantly say that an orthodox priest stating the Church position on these issues is being political – heck, a large contingent of US bishops make this complaint when a brother bishop upholds Church doctrine. This was made manifest with the recent brouhaha over Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone denying Holy Communion to Nancy Pelosi. The heterodox cardinals that have the ear of Pope Francis (Cupich, McElroy, Tobin) all said that this was a “politicization” of the Eucharist, when in reality it is a pastoral action to try to save Nancy’s soul.

    Susan Quinn: What is the likelihood that a religious leader will be able to be objective, and not take sides, in these types of discussions? Why allow for discussions that are not faith-related and are likely to create conflict within the community?

    With the scenario I have given I think it is very easy for a priest to be objective since he is just teaching what the Church teaches. And all of these issues are faith related because they deal with moral principles. Conflict should be created and one hopes it will tug at the (well-informed) conscience of the individual.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    The Left will constantly say that an orthodox priest stating the Church position on these issues is being political – heck, a large contingent of US bishops make this complaint when a brother bishop upholds Church doctrine. This was made manifest with the recent brouhaha over Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone denying Holy Communion to Nancy Pelosi. The heterodox cardinals that have the ear of Pope Francis (Cupich, McElroy, Tobin) all said that this was a “politicization” of the Eucharist, when in reality it is a pastoral action to try to save Nancy’s soul.

    As a Jew, the Archbishop’s decision made sense to me, too, Scott. Thanks.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think the mistake in putting up this OP (if it was a mistake) is that more people would have gradually discovered that their religious communities had “gone Left” and away from their teachings, so they chose to leave that church. Maybe that’s how I should have written the title–“Did You Leave Your Religious Community Because It “Left” You?” or something to that effect.

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Caryn (View Comment):
    I do have a friend–politically conservative–who goes somewhere less orthodox and she has a big problem with political hobby-horses being preached as if they were biblical or instead of the weekly text.  She likes the community and the involvement, but still has at least one foot out the door and goes there for services but comes to us for classes and any moral-religious questions.

    That’s an intriguing situation, Caryn. I wonder if she’ll eventually leave the other. Do you think she goes to the other synagogue because they don’t require men and women to sit separately?

    • #27
  28. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think the mistake in putting up this OP (if it was a mistake) is that more people would have gradually discovered that their religious communities had “gone Left” and away from their teachings, so they chose to leave that church. Maybe that’s how I should have written the title–“Did You Leave Your Religious Community Because It “Left” You?” or something to that effect.

    That is what has happened to me.  The Democrats left me when I was young.  The Church took a bit longer before I noticed it, but my Catholic Church’s young gay priest support of SSM got my attention and caused me to withdraw later in life.   

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think the mistake in putting up this OP (if it was a mistake) is that more people would have gradually discovered that their religious communities had “gone Left” and away from their teachings, so they chose to leave that church. Maybe that’s how I should have written the title–“Did You Leave Your Religious Community Because It “Left” You?” or something to that effect.

    That is what has happened to me. The Democrats left me when I was young. The Church took a bit longer before I noticed it, but my Catholic Church’s young gay priest support of SSM got my attention and caused me to withdraw later in life.

    Thanks, John. That’s very helpful feedback. And it saddens me to see religious leaders abandon their communities to meet their own agendas. 

    • #29
  30. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    What political activities are prohibited under the Internal Revenue Code? Religious organizations, as well as all other organizations exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are prohibited from participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office.7 This prohibition encompasses a wide array of activities. It precludes direct political campaign intervention, including the making of statements, whether oral, written or in an electronic medium, supporting or opposing any candidate, political party or political action committee (“PAC”); creating a PAC;8 rating candidates;9 and providing or soliciting financial support (including loans10 or loan guarantees) or in-kind support for any candidate, political party or PAC. It also precludes indirect political campaign intervention of a sort that reflects bias for or against any candidate, political party or PAC, such as distributing biased voter education materials or conducting a biased candidate forum or voter registration drive. 6. Must religious organizations restrict their discussion of issues during election campaign periods? No. The political campaign intervention prohibition does not restrict discussions of issues that are not linked to support for or opposition to candidates. The fact that candidates may align themselves on one side or another of an issue does not restrict the ability of religious organizations to engage in discussions of that issue.11 That said, a religious organization may nonetheless violate the political campaign intervention prohibition if it communicates preferences for or against particular candidates as part of its issue discussions.

    So, parishioners that pay their taxes are at risk in their churches if they engage in a discussion and decide a candidate should not be supported or supported based upon their support for a political issue.

    Is that saying the state will allow you to attend services once a week but on the other six days of the week you must not observe or practice your religious beliefs? This has been and is subjectively enforced. I remember Democrat candidates being invited to speak in churches that support their candidacy based upon the issues they support. 

     

    • #30
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