From Americans United for Separation of Church and State: LINK: Hurricane Gus Update: Church Policking Scheme Is Category 4 Threat to American Democracy
And here are some good reasons Mr Conn provides for why politicking from the pulpit is bad:
The Rev. Gus Booth is one of a handful of clergy who plan to endorse political candidates from the pulpit this Sunday as part of a Religious Right scheme to turn churches into a right-wing political machine.
Booth, pastor of the Warroad Community Church in Warroad, Minn., says he has every right to tell his parishioners how to vote.
“If we can tell you what to do in the bedroom, we can certainly tell you what to do in the voting booth,” Booth told the Religion News Service’s Adelle Banks. “The voting booth is not some sort of sacred cow that you can’t talk about. You’re supposed to bring the gospel into every area of life.”
I don’t know about you, but I would just as soon that Pastor Booth stay out of both my bedroom and the voting booth (certainly when I’m in it).
Apparently I’m not alone. On Wednesday, Baptist Press released a new LifeWay Research poll that had some astounding figures in it.
According to this public opinion survey, 75 percent of Americans do not believe “it is appropriate for churches to publicly endorse candidates for public office.” What’s more, 85 percent think it is not “appropriate for churches to use their resources to campaign for candidates for public office.” Eighty-seven percent do not “believe it is appropriate for pastors to publicly endorse candidates for public office during a church service.”
And ends with this:
Americans know that politicizing our churches is terrible thing to do. It will divide our communities along religious lines, undercutting our secular and pluralistic democracy. If elections boil down to which churches can turn out the most voters from their own pews, the majority faiths will control the government and church-state separation and interfaith peace are sure to fall by the wayside.
Partisanship in the pulpit is also disastrous for religion. It will split congregations, pitting church members against each other and against their religious leaders. And it will open the door to manipulation by unscrupulous politicians. The integrity of houses of worship will almost certainly be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
It's like I said, if Booth wants to endorse a particular candidate and tell people who to vote for, then start paying taxes.
Booth, of course, has a broadly protected right to tell his congregants what to think about a wide variety of religious, moral and, yes, political matters. The Constitution protects his freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I personally don’t want his advice on any of those things. If his congregants do want his recommendations on how best to fold their bed sheets, it’s up to them.
But if Booth’s church wants to keep its tax exemption, it cannot endorse partisan political candidates. That’s a simple rule of the IRS Code that applies to all churches, charities and educational groups with a 501(c)(3) status.