Churches and religious organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

The above is from the Internal Revenue Service’s Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations. Pretty straight-forward. So how does that jibe with this, courtesy of El Paso’s St. Raphael Catholic Church bulletin:

I am asking all of you to go to the polls and be united in replacing our present president with a president that will respect the Catholic Church in this country

Short answer: It doesn’t. It so, so doesn’t. And now Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the IRS for an investigation of St. Raphael.

This is just one example of a church rallying its members to vote for — or against — a political candidate and endangering its tax-exempt status in the process. El Paso has been embroiled in another similar controversy that arose after the city council voted to give health benefits to gay and unmarried partners of city employees. In that case, Pastor Tom Brown allegedly used church resources in an unsuccessful recall of the… Read More

David Barton appeared on Glenn Beck’s GBTV yesterday to talk about the controversial 2012 Republican Party Platform, which he says includes 70 motions made by him. 70!

“It’s all good stuff. I mean, this is worth reading. It’s really good stuff.”

Watch:

(h/t Right Wing Watch)… Read More

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, religious right leaders have to say about Republican senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri this morning. That includes David Barton, who a few weeks ago issued a strong endorsement of Akin.

If you had never heard of Akin before this weekend, you probably have now. In a tight battle with incumbent Claire McCaskill, Akin’s bizarre remarks about rape call to mind failed 1990 Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams. In an interview, Akin said this when asked about abortion in cases of rape:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

Needless to say, Akin’s comments are outrageous and out of the mainstream. Even the religious right, which has supported Akin, has gone silent. But it was the weekend, so we’ll give them a pass. It’s now Monday, though, and we’ll be watching with bated breath to see what they have to say.

In particular, we’re curious to see what Barton has to say. Earlier this month, with the Missouri Republican primary… Read More

David Barton’s sidekick Rick Green has introduced his readership to a law of online discourse: Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies.

After evangelical publisher Thomas Nelson hit the ‘unpublish’ button last week on Barton’s latest book, The Jefferson Lies, Green took to his blog to defend his WallBuilder’s Live co-host. Green goes after the “leftwing bloggers, elitist professors, and downright jealous peers” who he says forced Thomas Nelson’s hand. He does not, however, go after the evangelical pastors who boycotted the book, nor does he go after the conservative Christian scholars who ripped the book’s inaccuracies. Jay W. Richards of the creationist Dicovery Institute? Not a peep about him either. And the folks with the final word on pulling the book, Thomas Nelson, basically get a free pass from Green.

But the rest of you — you leftists, elitist professors and jealous peers — you’re a bunch of Adolf Hitlers and Saul Alinskys.

Writes Green:

Question: What do elitist professors have in common with Adolf Hitler & Saul Alinsky?

Answer: They masterfully use the powerful art of innuendo to falsely defame those with which they disagree.

Definition of Innuendo: A derogatory hint or reference to a person or thing.

The internet… Read More

Social conservatives have long pointed to the constitutional bar on government-sponsored prayer in public schools as the source of many of society’s ills. Just last week, when a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater, some trotted out the “If only we had prayer in schools” argument as a solution for preventing such tragedies.

Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, however, has her own solution. In a post on her Facebook page Monday, she seems to accept the fact that government-sponsored prayer is not allowed in public schools β€” though students are free to pray in public schools as long as it’s not officially sanctioned by administrators β€” and she offers an alternative:

I say have a reading out of Proverbs each day in our classrooms.

No, really, she said it. Here’s her full post:

Formal prayer has been taken out of our schools. How about this idea? Read from the book of Proverbs from the Bible. Proverbs is a book of wisdom. Proverbs is in the Holy Scriptures for Christians and Jews. As for other religions β€” the wisdom won’t do them any harm. This nation was built on Christian and Jewish values and the Bible… Read More