Vision, Mission, and Strategy


Hillbilly Politics

Bill Haslam

On Sunday, a group of Tennessee preachers will step into the pulpit and say the only words they’re forbidden by law from speaking in a church.

This Sunday, seven Pastors in Tennessee, 4 of which are in the Nashville area, will endorse a number of candidates for office in this district (TN-05). Among the candidates endorsed will be former Mayor Bill Haslam who is currently running for Governor of the state and David Hall, a businessman who is aiming to oust Rep. Jim Cooper from his Congressional seat.

The article linked above calls it IRS baiting. I call it reasserting our civil rights. The article author looks at this from a one sided view citing “a line between church and state.”

But many mainstream churches recoil from the idea of erasing the line between church and state.[…]

Other ministers and organizations have weighed in on the subject, including Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Land said the church endorses many of the ADF’s initiatives, but “we think the mixing of the sacred nature of the church with the exceedingly worldly nature of politics is … unseemly.”[…]

Lewis Lavine, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville, is familiar with the balancing act churches and other nonprofit groups must maintain when they stray near the political arena.

“We have separation of church and state in this country for a reason,” Lavine said. “There should be parameters, and there should be common sense.”[…]

The ADF’s polar opposites, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued a statement this week calling pulpit-based lawbreaking “the worst idea ever.”

“Clergy serve as spiritual advisers, not political bosses. Pulpit politicking violates federal tax law and offends the vast majority of church-goers,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the group’s executive director.

“The nation is already bitterly divided over politics this year. … Now, Religious Right political hacks want to haul that divisiveness into America’s houses of worship.

Of course, calling political opposition, Religious Right political hacks isn’t the least bit divisive, is it? Oh no, not divisive at all.

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