Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Pulpit Initiative

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Pastor Gus Booth is a man on a mission who has very little regard for the foundation of American democracy. Pastor Gus, in his zeal to make sure his parishioners have the same narrow-minded view of the current Presidential candidates as he does, has intentionally and with malice aforethought stepped across a line, a line that was established by the Constitution of the United States over two centuries ago to keep church and state separate .

The architects of our Constitution, the compact that holds our nation together, clearly understood the dangers of the state trying to control or establish religion, and they were also aware of the dangers that religious excesses could have on a democratic society.

Churches have received enormous benefit from this separation over the years through having their incomes exempted from taxes. And as long as they kept their focus on religion and stayed away from politics or the business of the state, they got to keep their oh-so-sweet tax exempt status.

The problem for some churches and their pastors is that they feel an obligation to "educate" their members on the "godliness" (or lack thereof) of certain candidates. Christian fundamentalist institutions in particular seem to have an insatiable need to warn their membership of liberals or other candidates who might actually believe in and practice the Golden Rule. They have been stepping closer and closer to the Constitutional line through such subtle acts as having "voting guides" left on windshields during church services, or sprinkling sermons with code words that left those listening with little doubt as to where their pastor stood on issues or candidates.

But all of those subtleties weren't enough to scratch Pastor Gus's itch. Last May he told the congregants at his Warroad Community Church in Warroad, MN, that Christians could not support Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama. Then he sent a press release about his sermon to the IRS to make sure that they were aware that he was pissing on the Constitution. Being a good Christian, the minister obviously hoped for an IRS reaction that would propel him into martyrdom - where the big bucks awaited!

The IRS didn't react quickly enough for the ambitious minister, so he has upped the ante. Tomorrow Pastor Gus and thirty-two other ministers from across the nation will all gleefully jump across the line separating church and state by endorsing or opposing certain candidates from the pulpit. This pile of religious compost is being referred to as "The Pulpit Initiative." These shepherds for the Lord are determined to prove that the members of their flock truly are sheep.

So, at least we now have one clear option for where that pesky $700 billion economic bailout that our country so desperately needs can come from: TAX THE CHURCH!

No comments: