Pulpit Politicking a Problem for Both Parties
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Rep. Walter B. Jones' Feb. 24 Commentary Forum piece "Addressing the muffled bully pulpit" mischaracterizes the position of Americans United for Separation of Church and State concerning political activity in houses of worship.
Specifically, Mr. Jones accuses Americans United of a partisan bias in criticizing houses of worship for engaging in illegal politicking. Here are the facts: Americans United has engaged in a project for several years that informs churches of the law as it relates to churches and politics. When instances come to our attention of churches ignoring federal tax law and working for or against a political candidate, we report the most egregious examples to the Internal Revenue Service for review.
Our efforts have been strictly non-partisan and even handed. In recent years, we have reported ministries for endorsing Democrats, Republicans and third-party candidates.
Our first project in this area began a decade ago with a complaint against Jesse Jackson's use of a church in Chicago for fundraising during his presidential campaign. …