Thursday, June 12, 2008

Minnesota Pastor Challenges IRS Limits On Church Political Involvement

In Warroad, Minnesota, pastor Gus Booth, a delegate to the Republican National Convention, is openly challenging IRS restrictions on church involvement in political campaigns. In May, Booth delivered a sermon telling his congregation not to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama because of their positions on abortion. Two weeks later Booth e-mailed Americans United for Separation of Church and State 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.

Yesterday a press release from Americans United and the Minneapolis Star Tribune report on developments. Yesterday, AU wrote the IRS urging them to investigate (full text of letter).