Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Kansas AG to Stump from the Pulpit

According to an internal campaign memo written by Phill Kline, published in Monday's Lawrence Journal-World, the Kansas Attorney General plans to campaign for re-election from the pulpits of various "conservative"churches. He tells his staff to "Get me in their pulpits."

In his memo, the AG also discussed plans to "Get the pastor to invite 5 money people, whom he knows can help."

Of course lawyer Kline knows a church cannot maintain tax-exempt status if it allows fundraising on the premises or actual campaigning from the pulpit. What I do not understand why the churches aren't worried about their tax-exempt status; the law so very plainly prohibits a church from endorsing a candidate.

That's why Kline will likely avoid direct electioneering during his "sermon" and will probably meet prospective contributors offsite.

One has to wonder - will the meetings discuss Jesus's concerns about the poor and needy; or the wants of those who, in Kline's words, "... can drop $1,000 to $2,000."

The thought of a candidate campaigning for office from a Christian pulpit, or any pulpit, makes my skin crawl.

You can call it a "dirt removal implementation device" but it's still a spade. And a stump speech is still a stump speech, even when given from a pulpit.

Hi, Mike.
Why is it that libs decry Republicans or conservatives speak from the pulpit but never decry libs when they do it?
LBJ got that law put in during the mid 50's because he almost lost an election because churchs were openly against him. Why didn't he put that law in when the churchs were openly for him before his record got out of whack with what he said during various campaigns?
Well, Gil, I wish you had been able to come to my church to see the Republican candidate for governor speak. His assistant did ask me for permission to electioneer while he was there, which I said no to.

Churches must walk a fine line when becoming involved in politics. I always try to get at least two viewpoints on a controversy, as I did when I got people from both sides on capital punishment, immigration, intelligent design and other issues.

The church cannot be seen as endorsing any particular view.

And recall that Rev. Billy Graham recently said that when you take a political stand from the pulpit, you draw a dividing line down the middle of the congregation. The pulpit is for spreading God's word and uniting people in hope, not for dividing them.
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