Pastors like to preach about more than just God

Eileen Mansoorian

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of the fundamentals of this country the separation of church and state?

If you look it up in any U.S. history book you can read all about the origin of this idea. When the British came here from mother England they wanted to practice their religion of choice without anyone telling them not to. So when they won their independence and became a country of their own they didn’t want religion and politics to intertwine. Logically one shouldn’t have any say over the other.

Unfortunately the line of separation has been quite blurry in recent years.

But the most recent case of the line getting blurred was this past Sunday.

On a day where people take time to rest, reconnect with the Big Man upstairs and go to church, more than 30 pastors across the country decided to go against the fundamentals of this country and include either their endorsement or opposition for a political candidate in their sermon as part of the Alliance Defense Fund’s ‘Pulpit Initiative.’ Fitting how this move was made on a Sunday.

In addition to blurring the lines, these pastors also violated a 54-year-old Internal Revenue Service rule which bans all tax exempt churches from participating in a political campaign or endorsing a candidate.

As if breaking an IRS law wasn’t bad enough, these pastors closed their eyes to one of the main roots for the basis of this country. That kind of blatant disregard is a shameful act as citizens of the U.S.

The ADF’s ‘Pulpit Initiative’ is a litigation plan for the ADF to serve the IRS with lawsuits in order for pastors to be allowed to talk about Scriptural subjects in relation to government at the pulpit, as stated on an ADF document.

One pastor who participated in Sunday’s cross-country protest was Pastor Gus Booth from Warroad, Minn. In an article published Monday on National Public Radio’s website, Booth was quoted in May as saying, ‘If you’re a Christian, you cannot support a candidate like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.’

Should I fall off my seat now or wait until I hear someone say I’m not a true American if my ancestors aren’t originally from the U.S.?

In all fairness to Pastor Booth and the 32 other pastors who followed suit on Sunday, I can come to understand how as religious leaders they feel compelled to guide their congregants to make the right decision. The people who go to their churches seek emotional comfort and answers in the chaotic world we live in. As a person who was raised to believe this, I can sympathize with the pastors.

But that’s where my sympathy stops.

These pastors are educated individuals who can read and understand the English language and in turn should be capable of understanding the rules set forth by the IRS. They are very well aware of the consequences of their actions by standing in front of their congregation and, in laments terms, telling people who to vote for and which piece of legislation to support. That is a clear and utter agenda my friends.

To many people a church is a sanctuary. It serves as a place for people to seek refuge, direction and a purpose. The house of God does not serve as a venue for religious leaders to carry out their political agenda.

Pastor Booth was quoted in the same NPR article stating that spiritual leaders need to speak out about moral issues because today’s moral and political issues are the same.

That may be all well and good with propositions about gay marriage on the ballot in November, but the religious leaders in this country should know better than to show their bias and blatantly influence potential voters.