It looks like Rick Scarborough, head of the Texas-based far-right group Vision America, is back on the stump preaching the merits of a politicized pulpit. But, judging by attendance at the most recent event held by Scarborough in Overland Park, near Kansas City, Mo., pastors may be tiring of this cynical game.
The Scarborough-designed event, billed as the “Crusade to Save America,” was held to give the Kansas county’s district attorney, former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, a podium from which to speak about his faith.
Kline is no stranger to far-right electioneering. As Kansas attorney general, he attempted to subpoena 90 women’s medical records and charged an abortion provider with more than 30 misdemeanors. The charges were thrown out hours later by a court.
Most troubling, though, is this:
In late September 2006, an internal election campaign memo from Kline to his campaign staff was leaked to the The Interfaith Alliance and quickly was picked up by bloggers, resulting in much discussion and controversy. In the memo, Kline tells his staff how to form a campaign committee for him at each church that will educate and register voters, “encourage people to contribute and volunteer,” and network with their own email lists.
Scarborough and Kline’s actions are in stark contrast to Rev. Rick Warren’s, which we wrote about Monday. Let’s hope evangelicals follow Warren’s example — making explicit that his roles as a pastor and a public citizen are separate — rather than Kline and Scarborough’s.