Thursday, June 12, 2008

MN Pastor Challenges IRS Guidelines

I guess we'll see if the IRS is serious about its rules or not.

Gus Booth is the pastor of Warroad Community Church in Warroad, MN. Not much happens there but what Pastor Booth has started will be heard nation wide.

As a delegate to the Republican National Convention, Pastor Booth takes his politics seriously. So much so, in fact, that he has decided the IRS rules that prohibit church endorsement of political candidates are invalid & should be challenged.

So he did.

In May, Booth delivered a sermon telling his congregation not to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama because of their positions on aboortzion. Two weeks later Booth e-mailed Americans United for Separation of Church and State, advising them of his violation of Federal Law & asking for scrutiny, saying:

I am writing you to let you know that I preached a sermon in my church on Sunday, May 18, 2008, that specifically addressed the current candidates for President in the light of the Bible. As you can see from the attached newspaper article, I specifically made recommendations as to who a Christian should vote for.

I have read in the past about how you have a campaign to intimidate churches into silence when it comes to speaking about candidates for office. I am letting you know that I will not be intimidated into silence when I believe that God wants me to address the great moral issues of the day, including who will be our next national leader.

An Americans United press release & an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune have the details. The AU complied & sent a letter to the IRS asking for an investigation, just as they did when churches have endorsed Obama or Clinton. (Click here for text of AU letter to the IRS.)


Gus Booth said...

A friend of mine sent me your comments and I must say that they are the most informative and correct that I have seen to date. Thank you.

Georgia Mountain Man said...

This is becomming an issue all over the country. During the last election in our area, many churches were openly campaigning with signs on their lawns, etc. Several months ago, our local First Baptist Church deacons with the blessing of their pastor, and, apparently the church, bought a full page ad in the local paper condemning the county commissioner over a liquor issue (it is unclear who paid for the ad). The former First Methodist pastor would open the church on election day with instructions to his congregation to come in and pray for Bush only. It will be interesting to see if the IRS does take this seriously.