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Monday, October 18, 2004

Kerry Rejected from Speaking at Church

Noticed today this report about Kerry asking to attend worship at Apostolic Life Cathedral. The Rev. E.S. Harper, told them that Kerry would not be able to speak to the congregation...

Harper said that in order to follow the stipulations of his church’s constitution and protect the congregation’s tax-exempt status, he will not endorse Kerry’s candidacy or permit him to speak from behind the pulpit. "My comment was that he is welcome to come, but I don’t feel comfortable with allowing him to speak," the pastor said. "I would recognize him, respect him and tell the audience he’s here. I would treat him like any other guest, like any other distinguished person of honorable position."

And then this report emerged:

A visit to West Virginia by Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry has been put on hold. Kerry was scheduled to attended services at the Apostolic Christ Cathedral in Guyandotte on Sunday. ... The Kerry campaign says the church issue did not affect the decision to cancel the trip.

Has the political pressure on churches that may lean to the left been rising, so that their status as 501C organisations is threatened? Seems like the The Interfaith Alliance is at least placing some pressure on the democrats... as the end of the initial article writes:

The Interfaith Alliance called on John Kerry, his campaign and local and national religious leaders Tuesday to stop politicizing religion and misusing houses of worship for partisan political purposes. ... "Our concern is to protect the sanctity of houses of worship and the integrity of religion," the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Interfaith Alliance, a national political voice of the interfaith movement. "We're not calling for houses of worship to shut down political discussion and education on the issues, but we are calling on all candidates and religious leaders to stop engaging in partisan politics at their houses of worship."

The Interfaith Alliance also report on the discussions of "five major American thought leaders" (can someone tell me what that exactly means, and who decided they were). They identified important themes in this campaign:

The panelists discussed the fact that roles in this election have apparently switched. While President George W. Bush has previously been more vocal and open about religion and Senator John Kerry was reluctant to discuss his faith, in recent weeks Kerry has been more public by speaking from the pulpit at African American churches and Bush has been more private, avoiding religious references and church appearances. But, as Guerriero said, this does not mean that Bush's campaign has abandoned religion. While the president stays more private about religion, he said, Karl Rove and campaign managers targeted certain states where using religion is the primary strategy.

I say Kerry is scared stiff of the conservative Christian, and is trying to play catch-up... in desperate fashion... unashamedly campaigning in church is just the start, giving holier than thou speeches, and quoting scripture as if God were on his side alone. To Kerry that is what this campaign to the conservative Christian has become... convincing them that God is on HIS team.

Links: Patriot Paradox, La Shawn Barber

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