21
Feb

civil defense, part two

It’s been an interesting week. 

I was fired by a client who said he wouldn’t work with someone who was “for gay marriage.” I was emailed by someone else thanking me for opening the door to talk about faith with people who wouldn’t have talked to a Christian about these issues before. I’ve been asked to read a lot of articles on a lot of subjects. I was texted with kudos for my bravery and with condemnations for my cowardice.

So, interesting. Because the feedback came from …

14
Feb

civil defense

I’ve long been in favor of separation of church and state when it comes to issues like prayer in schools. (Christians seem to forget it doesn’t automatically equal prayer to the Judeo-Christian God. Force their kids to pray to Allah for a couple of days and the debate would change.)

On this Valentine’s Day, at the beginning of “National Marriage Week USA,” and in the wake of recent legislation on same-sex marriage, I have some other questions to ask about the church’s love/hate relationship with government interference.

Why do …

13
Oct

flag poll

Once a week I create a new poll for the homepage of Christian Church Today. Last week, in light of the September 28 “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” which encouraged pastors around the country to “preach about the moral qualifications of candidates seeking political office,” I asked, “Should pastors be allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit?” As I write this, a full 50% have answered yes.

This amazes me. Never mind that it’s against the law for any tax-exempt organization, including churches, to “participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” Never mind that Romans calls …

26
Sep

In an interesting counterpoint to the July New Yorker article about an IRS investigation of Ohio churches and their support of conservative political candidates, a front-page LA Times article reported this weekend that a more liberal church is now under the same kind of scrutiny.

The article is unapologetically biased in favor of the church in question, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, where Reverend George Regas recently delivered a sermon including a mock debate between President Bush, John Kerry, and Jesus on the war in Iraq.

“Look, All Saints’ politics are pretty clear, and it’s not hard to guess which presidential candidate Regas might have been more sympathetic to,” reporter …

25
Jul

How would Jesus vote?

This week’s New Yorker includes an article about a group of Ohio pastors, including some from our churches, who invite Republican politicians to speak at their churches, form organizations to encourage voter registration, encourage followers to elect candidates such as Ohio secretary of state Kenneth Blackwell, and exhort voters to “shine a light for Godly candidates in the 2006 election cycle.” The article follows a January New York Times article describing the concern of other Ohio pastors about the political influence of these Christian leaders and the use of tax-exempt churches to promote specific candidates and political issues.

So many things trouble me about this. For one thing, I happen to …