Church sign in Texas urges people to "vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim;" first in a wave of civil disobedience by churches?
By Dakota O'Leary
On October 23, 2012 At 4:20 pm
Responses : 9 Comments
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More and more news has come up of late of churches telling their parishioners which way to vote—typically conservative, typically because of social issues conservatives feel deeply about. We have written many articles over the years about this issue and the movement itself seems to be picking up more momentum.
The latest in a list of offenders is a small non-denominational church in Texas, who posted the below message on their church sign:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State added in a press release today:
Pictures of the sign have appeared on several news website and other sources. Miller told a Texas television station that he displayed the sign because “he feels strongly about the election.”
“This sign is a blatant attempt to intervene in a political campaign,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “I urge the IRS to crack down on this over-the-top law-breaking.”
ABC News reported that the sign “was an obvious reference to President Barack Obama, who conservatives say is a secret Muslim even though he says he is a Christian and attends church with his family.” The “Mormon” reference is to Gov. Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In a letter delivered to the IRS today, Lynn requested an investigation of the matter.
“Miller may indeed have strong feelings about the election, but that does not give him the right to use his tax-exempt church to endorse a candidate,” Lynn wrote to IRS officials. “In fact, Miller’s actions are a clear and flagrant violation of the law.”
Raw Story interjected that the IRS typically does not seriously penalize churches for violating the Johnson Amendment, which restricts non-profits/churches from influencing political elections, which is causing concern among some that other churches will follow suit and start promoting candidates without fear of reprisal.
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Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
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