Precinct 333

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Liberal outrage as Bush encourages white churches to politic like black churches!

It is no secret that religious conservatives are a core constituency of the Bush campaign, and of the GOP as a whole. So it should be no surprise that the Bush campaign is seeking to activate conservative Christian voters. These efforts have produced much heavy breathing among liberals, who find the notion of white churches doing for Republicans what black churches traditionally do for Democrats to be both illegal and immoral.

The Bush campaign has been encouraging religious supporters to campaign within their congregations. A checklist has been sent to members of churches identified as Republican friendly, asking them to send copies of church directories and urging them to ask their pastors to hold a "Citizenship Sunday", complete with a voter registration drive and a reminder of the duty of Christians to vote. These supporters, who are usually individual parishioners rather than church staff members, are also encouraged to recruit volunteers, speak to church organizations, and distribute issue guides.

In other words, what is being sought is individual participation, not church endorsements. Such things have been customary in the black community for generations. And the Bush appeal falls far short of the pulpit endorsements that we have seen black pastors make over the years, anointing the Democrat candidate with the mantle of "God's candidate" and (here in Texas where we have early voting) loading up charter buses to take folks to the polling station immediately after the sermon.

Perhaps most amusing is this paragraph:
"I think it is sinful of them to encourage pastors and churches to engage in partisan political activity and run the risk of losing their tax-exempt status," said Steve Rosenthal, chief executive officer of America Coming Together, a group working to defeat Bush.

Sinful? Really? Well who are you to attempt to impose your morality on anyone. And since when is political action by individuals, even religious individuals, grounds for punishment by the government. Almost every request is for the individuals to act, not the churches. Those things that a church might do are expressly permitted under the law, or have been in the past when black churches did them. Why are you afraid of white Christian participation?


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