Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And God Said, "Let There Be Tax Exemptions." And They Were Good

Reviewing: I.R.S. rules forbid churches from supporting a political party or candidate. Inviting just one candidate to speak, singling out one candidate for special praise and highlighting a combination of issues tailored to one candidate's campaign are all factors that the I.R.S. considers "problematic."

Nevertheless, as we know here in N.C., Republican Party operatives have been busy collecting church directories, to get all those good Christian names into databases for direct-mail assaults on, say, the weekend before the November 7th election ... stuff saying "The Devil is coming for you, and he's a Democrat!"

Apparently, in Pennsylvania the policitization of religion is running on an even faster track than here in N.C., propelled mainly by the blazing fossil fuel of Sen. Rick Santorum's wedge issue of gay marriage. Religious leaders supporting Santorum have organized the Pennsylvania Pastors Network. On March 6th, the network held the first of a series of meetings to galvanize the churches for Santorum's reelection. At that March 6th meeting, the pastors heard a video-taped message from Santorum which included boilerplate "The Devil is coming and he's a Democrat" fear tactics: "I encourage you to let your voices be heard from the pulpit," Santorum said, urging the pastors to champion Santorum's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. 'Cause God hates queers. Almost as much as He hates Democrats.

After Santorum's taped get-out-the-vote pitch, participating pastors got copies of the senator's book, "It Takes a Family," described by the conservative advocacy group Let Freedom Ring as "thoroughly and soundly grounded in Christian doctrine and Scripture as the revealed word of God."

Amazing what God will reveal to you when your electoral ass is in a tight crack.

It remains to be seen whether El Presidente's I.R.S. will actually enforce the law, or whether they're just blowing unholy incense up everyone's you-know-what.

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