Churches pass the collection plate to fight gay marriage

From the Associated Press:

Scores of Maine churches will pass the collection plate a second time at Sunday services on Father’s Day to kick off a fundraising campaign for the lead opposition group to November’s ballot question asking voters to legalize same-sex marriages.

Between 150 and 200 churches are expected to raise money for the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, said Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine evangelical organization and a member of the PAC. Conley is also trying to drum up support for the Maine campaign from religious leaders from around the country.

It’s unusual, but not unheard of, for churches to take up collections for political causes. Maine’s Catholic diocese says it raised about $80,000 with a designated collection in 2009 in its effort to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law, which was passed by the Legislature that year and later rejected by voters. The Catholic Church isn’t actively campaigning this time, instead focusing on teaching parishioners about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

Father’s Day, June 17, seemed an appropriate time to kick off this year’s fundraising campaign because of the day’s focus on family, Conley said. Additional collection-plate offerings at churches are expected in the months ahead.

“The messaging we’re using is that those who are seeking to redefine marriage in Maine believe there’s no difference between moms and dads,” Conley told The Associated Press. “We believe those differences are relevant. We don’t think the differences in the genders are societally imposed roles, and we believe that children benefit when they’re in that ideal environment where there’s a mom and dad.”

Protect Marriage Maine has been in contact with about 800 churches across the state and expects 150 to 200 to participate in the Father’s Day collections, Conley said. They include Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Church of God, Wesleyan, Evangelical Free, Advent Christian and other denominations.


  1. This sickens me.

  2. Good for them!! The list of cooperating denominations gives full flavor to the meaning of ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue :-)

    One slight correction is in order. The news writer says that this is a collecion for a “political cause.” That suggests something utterly partisan (eg., GOP vs. Dems.) when what appears to be occurring here is a simple matter of civic engagement that enlists a broad inter-faith coalition.

  3. MD Catholic says:

    Amen! It’s nice to see the various faith traditions putting their differences aside to take on a common cause. We cannot let our Government tell us that Scripture is wrong!

  4. ron chandonia says:

    I cannot recall such a united media campaign over any public issue as we’re seeing now in the push for same-sex marriage. Today the national press was full of the news that African Americans, who have proven the strongest opponents of the trend, were so moved by the President’s change-of-tune that they are jumping on the gay marriage bandwagon. It is probable that collection funds spent on TV and newspaper ads will ultimately help to pay for still more editorials and “news” stories promoting the very cause the churchgoers oppose. Why keep feeding the beast? Maybe the Catholics have chosen the wiser course here.

  5. Can I donate? It’s too late for New York State, but I would love to hold accountable every state legislator that voted for it, especially the Republican ones. They ought to hide their heads in shame.

  6. MhariDubh says:


    If you’re going to delve into politics, put a coffee can in the vestibule.

  7. Chris Mac says:

    I like the idea of churches putting their money where their mouth is.

    Fran, why does this sicken you?

  8. Surviver says:

    When you gave the title to this article, you bought into the other side’s framing of the issue.

    The proper title is: “Churches pass the collection plate to defend traditional marriage”.

  9. Fran, giving witness to the truth is something Christians do.

  10. Deacon Greg Kandra says:


    When I gave the title to this article, I came up with something that I thought would make more people would want to read it.

    And: churches are doing much more than defending traditional marriage. They are, in fact, fighting an enemy.


  11. Do they expect to keep their tax exemption after this blatant move into political lobbying??
    Why should my tax dollars support a group seeking to impose Christian Sharia on the rest of us??

  12. Oregon Catholic says:

    I am also concerned about our Churches stepping over the line into politics. I have no doubt that IRS tax exempt status is going to be the next big fight brought to our doorstep. I have mixed feelings about it however. I think we might be better off if we cut the pursestrings with the gov.

  13. David J. White says:

    Ah, yes, the desire to keep the churches out of politics. It’s amazing that the Left didn’t discover this concern while the *Rev.* Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other religious leaders were putting the force of their churches behind the Civil Rights movement, not to mention the Antiwar movment, and, in the 19th century, the Abolitionist movement.

  14. Slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights issue of the 60′s — each fought against, each battle lost by those not wanting change. Gay marriage is going to happen eventually. The fight against it will ultimately be a losing one. Society inevitably moves on, it always has, it always will.

    I support same-sex civil marriages. I also support each religion’s right to not allow same-sex sacramental marriages in their churches.

    If this is going to be the norm in church activity, then the tax exempt status needs to be revoked.

  15. The tax exempt status should absolutely be revoked. This is partisan political activity and lobbying, which is not in any way a tax exempt activity. If this is allowed to stand, then full-time political PACS, industry lobbies and the two major political parties are fools for following the law. They ought to just re-incorporate themselves as churches and game the system like the RCC.

  16. It’s not “civic engagement” when you’re raising funds to influence the specific outcome of an election. That’s political activity, whether the object of the fundraising is a human candidate or a ballot initiative.

  17. Amen

  18. Enemy? Way too hostile. We should have no dog in this fight.

  19. Oregon Catholic says:

    In case you’re implying I’m on the Left I’m not. I follow my morals, not a political party. I also didn’t say the Church, as a body of individual citizens, shouldn’t be in politics. I said I’m concerned it’s stepping over the line with respect to the IRS and it’s going to bring down another fight. I think we should keep the fundraising out of the church building.

  20. They’re not fighting for or against anything. They’re shilling and working as spear carriers for a partisan political party whose sole concern is Earthly wealth and secular power. The Church is just another source of PAC foot soldiers and money, and has lost whatever claims to higher authority it used to have when it stood above partisan politics. The guys with the real power in this game are the politicians, not the Church, and they will happily use you for whatever gains they can get, then dump you out the back door with whatever small and temporary legislative bones they feel like throwing you.

  21. naturgesetz says:

    All you people talking about tax-exempt status don’t seem to realize that what is prohibited is endorsing candidates for public office in partisan elections or endorsing political parties. There is nothing against taking stands on public policy issues.

  22. ron chandonia says:

    No doubt you took the same position when the bishops recently urged Catholics to support nuclear disarmament.

    Oh, you didn’t?

  23. ron chandonia says:

    Ssshhh! You’ll spoil their fun!

  24. Chris Mac says:

    Throwing chum in the water, huh, Deacon? Makes sense coming from a man who worked at CBS News. Not fitting for an ordained man in the Catholic Church if what you’re going for is sensationalism.

  25. Deacon Greg Kandra says:


    It’s not sensationalism. It’s the truth. And I think you know that.


  26. Richard M says:

    Of course we do. It’s called the family. And, particularly, children.

  27. Richard M says:

    “Gay marriage is going to happen eventually.”

    Perhaps. But if it does, it will be children who pay the price.

  28. Richard M says:

    P.S. You may not have noticed, but the Church also fought for civil rights in the 60′s.

    It was on the right side then. It’s on the right side now.

  29. I have no problems with bishops “urging” this or that position. When they start partisan fundraising in the sanctuary, I think that crosses a line.

  30. Survivor says:

    Exactly. One only needs to read the 501(c)(3) rules & regulations to figure that out. Of course, that requires one to conduct research and ascertain facts, when it’s so much easier to just rant.

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