Friday, January 18, 2008
It's reassuring to see that Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is as serious about instances of partisan pulpit endorsements when it comes to Democratic candidates as it is for Republicans. Two days ago, it asked the IRS to investigate a Las Vegas church whose pastor introduced a surprise appearance by Barack Obama by announcing his intention to vote for him.
What will be worth keeping an eye on, especially if Obama eventually wins the nomination, is whether the IRS is as evenhanded in its enforcement as AU is in its watchdog efforts.
Update: Melissa Rogers has a very informative discussion of partisan pulpits with regard to a Wisconsin pastor who took out a full page ad in the WSJ basically challenging the IRS to come and get him. Definitely worth a read if you're interested in the freedom of speech and religious practice issues at stake in the IRS' enforcement of tax-exempt status.