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Baptists Angry at Bush Campaign Tactics
AP ^ | 7/3/04

Posted on 07/03/2004 7:04:00 AM PDT by truthandlife

The Southern Baptist Convention, a conservative denomination closely aligned with President Bush, said it was offended by the Bush-Cheney campaign's effort to use church rosters for campaign purposes.

"I'm appalled that the Bush-Cheney campaign would intrude on a local congregation in this way," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

"The bottom line is, when a church does it, it's nonpartisan and appropriate. When a campaign does it, it's partisan and inappropriate," he said. "I suspect that this will rub a lot of pastors' fur the wrong way."

The Bush campaign defended a memo in which it sought to mobilize church members by providing church directories to the campaign, arranging for pastors to hold voter-registration drives, and talking to various religious groups about the campaign.

Other religious organizations also criticized the document as inappropriate, suggesting that it could jeopardize churches' tax-exempt status by involving them in partisan politics.

Campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said the document, distributed to campaign staff, was well within the law.

"People of faith have a right to take part in the political process, and we're reaching out to every supporter of President Bush to become involved in the campaign," Stanzel said.

One section of the document lists 22 "coalition coordinator" duties and lays out a timeline for various activities targeting religious voters. By July 31, for example, the coordinator is to:

_Send your church directory to your state Bush-Cheney '04 headquarters or give to a BC04 field representative.

_Identify another conservative church in your community who we can organize for Bush.

_Recruit 5 people in your church to help with the voter registration project.

_Talk to your pastor about holding a citizenship Sunday and voter registration drive.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the effort "is a shameless attempt to misuse and abuse churches for partisan political ends." Lynn said his organization would be "watching closely to see how this plays out in the pews."

The Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, a Washington advocacy group that has been critical of the Christian right, said the document was "totally inappropriate."

"We are alarmed that this initiative by the Bush-Cheney campaign could lure religious organizations and religious leaders into dangerous territory where they risk losing their tax-exempt status and could be violating the law," Gaddy said.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said "efforts aimed at transforming houses of worship into political campaign offices stink to high heaven."

None of those groups, however, has been as supportive of the Bush administration as the Nashville-based Southern Baptists.

Bush spoke to the Southern Baptists' recent national convention, by video link, for the third year in a row. Outgoing SBC President Jack Graham called the president "a man of personal faith whose leadership is great for America."

On Friday, Land said: "It's one thing for a church member motivated by exhortations to exercise his Christian citizenship to go out and decide to work on the Bush campaign or the Kerry campaign. It's another and totally inappropriate thing for a political campaign to ask workers who may be church members to provide church member information through the use of directories to solicit partisan support."

TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: baptists; bush; land; richardland; sbc
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To: Coop

I caught that!

61 posted on 07/03/2004 6:16:49 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Monthly donors make it happen. Become a happening Freeper today!)
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To: Porterville
I'm a Sourthern Baptist -- and certainly not a Democrat -- and I thought this was inappropriate, too. Anyone using the church directory for solicitation purposes, especially for my vote, is far beyond acceptable. The Bush campaign should be smarter than this.
62 posted on 07/03/2004 6:18:40 PM PDT by FourPeas ("To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. " T. Roosevelt)
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To: Porterville

Where the hell are you located? Do you know ANYTHING about Baptists? Go run your mouth somewhere else.

63 posted on 07/03/2004 7:18:20 PM PDT by m18436572
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To: truthandlife
[The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the effort "is a shameless attempt to misuse and abuse churches for partisan political ends." Lynn said his organization would be "watching closely to see how this plays out in the pews."

The Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, a Washington advocacy group that has been critical of the Christian right, said the document was "totally inappropriate."]

I am waiting for these Commies to condemn RATS campaigning in liberal churches.
64 posted on 07/03/2004 7:30:35 PM PDT by Kuksool (Get your souls to the polls in November)
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To: Coop
Coop, I'm not directing any of this at you, I would just like to make a few comments and let you know I agree with you.

I grew up Southern Baptist. Twenty five years in a church my family helped build. After we ran several liberal pastors off, the board of deacons finally had a majority of liberals and then they ran my family off. When I say 'liberal pastors', I mean young men fresh out of seminary that didn't believe in the Virgin Birth or the KJV of the Bible being the Word of God. Luckily, I found an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. I've never met a whiny member yet.

It's very refreshing to see these pastors preach with conviction from the Bible and they do preach about politics without any hesitation. My pastor was even asked to head the Citizen's Committee to have the 10 Commandments installed in a government building in our county. He passed on the offer to care for his ailing mother, however, his brother-in-law headed the committee and this monument was installed on Sept. 11, 2003. Please note that this was after the Roy Moore problem and with the help of conservative legal advise, our monument was installed with dozens of satellite TV crews filming, overflow attendance and not a mention on the national news. You can check the American Heritage Foundation Rock info HERE . Be sure and read all the interesting documents on this monument. One of our local county commissioners asked my pastor to head this up.

We also discuss school prayer with our young members and let them know that if they are ever told they cannot bring their Bible to school or they are not allowed to pray in school, to contact us for the proper legal council. Our first law regarding education in this country was to teach kids to read the scripture. Ye ol Deluder Law.

I'll wrap up this rant with the thought that if we plan on defending freedom in this nation, then Christians must get in the fight. I am originally from Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. This county is named after General Peter Muhlenberg and here is an excerpt from how he mixed politics and religion.

"In January of 1776, Muhlenberg sent word for his congregation to gather for his farewell sermon. Ascending his familiar pulpit, he preached from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. The sermon glowed throughout with devoted patriotism as the man of God told his people of his own resolve to fight and, if need be, to die for his country. He closed his message with these words: "In the language of holy writ, there is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but the time for me to preach has passed away." Then in a voice that re-echoed through the church like a trumpet blast, he exclaimed, "And there is also a time to fight, and that time has now come." After pronouncing the benediction, Muhlenberg threw off his clerical gown and stood before his people in full military uniform. Stepping down the aisle, he ordered the drums at the door to beat for new recruits. The whole village gathered at the church to learn what strange event had turned a quiet church meeting into a scene of bustle and excitement."

This is a Christian Nation and the opening statement of our first official governing document makes it crystal clear that this nation if founded on Christian beliefs and we have only become a great nation because we mix politics and religion.

The Mayflower Compact,
(November 1620)
IN The Name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country a Voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. In WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth and of Scotland, the fifty fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.

Churches should be interested in winning souls for Christ but also preserving the political environment that many of our forefathers fought and died for so that our religious institutions could flourish.

Thanks for letting me rant, but I have to log off now and go practice my part for tomorrows patriotic musical cantata at my church. I'm narrating
65 posted on 07/03/2004 7:36:42 PM PDT by DocRock
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To: Conspiracy Guy
OK kool, I agree with everything you said. Churches can organize or become part of the process to whatever degree they see fit.

That said, I personally don't relish the though of anyone in my church hadning over lists at the bequest of some politico, for a number of very obvious reasons... legalities aside.

Actually we're arguing over a non-issue. Nobody in my church would do such. My apologies for arguing a non-issue.

God bless and keep you.

66 posted on 07/03/2004 7:46:12 PM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: Sir_Humphrey; AAABEST; UncleJeff; Alia; k2blader; sandlady; Lord_Baltar
FYI, on this subject. I got this via email.

Dear [GraniteStateConservative],

The Bush-Cheney '04 national headquarters in Virginia has asked us to identify 1600 "Friendly Congregations" in Pennsylvania where voters friendly to President Bush might gather on a regular basis. In each of these friendly congregations, we would like to identify a volunteer coordinator who can help distribute general information to other supporters.

I'd like to ask if you would like to serve as a coordinator in your place of worship. We plan to undertake activities such as distributing general information/updates or voter registration materials in a place accessible to the congregation.

If you are interested, please email Luke Bernstein at your name, address, phone number and place of worship.

If you have any ideas, questions, or concerns please do not hesitate to e-mail me or you can call me at 717-233-4066.


Hey [GraniteStateConservative]-

I received an email that stated you were interested in helping organize your church on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign. I would love the chance to talk with you. When and what is the best way to reach you?


Celia Phillips
Bush/Cheney '04
1045 Elm Street, Suite 401
Manchester, NH 03101
tel: 603.625.2874
fax: 603.625.0355

67 posted on 07/03/2004 10:34:33 PM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: Owen
"Southern Baptists" aren't necessarily Southern, and Southern Baptist churches aren't necessarily located south of the Mason - Dixon line.

In fact, there are Southern Baptist churches all over the world.

68 posted on 07/03/2004 10:49:09 PM PDT by Chunga
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I would not give anyone's name without permission. I receive all the BC campaign material. They have been suggesting ways to get others involved. They do not suggest SECRETLY sending anyone's name. That would only alienate the person. Church member or not.

Best wishes and God Bless us all.

69 posted on 07/04/2004 5:28:10 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Monthly donors make it happen. Become a happening Freeper today!)
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