Dr. Wiley S. Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in California, did something wrong. He wrote on church letterhead that he was endorsing Republican Mike Huckabee for president. Then he said the same thing on a church-affiliated radio show.
That’s illegal. Churches cannot endorse political candidates. So Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is asking the IRS to investigate (PDF).
“Although Drake may express his personal views on political candidates,” [AU's Executive Director Barry] Lynn wrote to the IRS, “federal tax law prohibits such endorsements by religious leaders acting in their capacities as officials of non-profit religious organizations. The IRS has repeatedly warned non-profits not to use organizational resources to intervene in elections.
Drake immediately put out a press release. He’s calling for Christians to use Imprecatory Prayer against AU… In other words, to literally curse them:
“In light of the recent attack from the ememies (sic) of God,” he wrote, “I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer.” An imprecatory prayer is one that asks God to curse, injure or kill one’s adversaries.
AU explains a little more about their fate:
In a section of his press release called “How To Pray,” Drake includes a long list of biblical citations that call on God to smite enemies. For example, the alleged enemies of God “shall be judged,” “condemned,” and “his days be few….” Additionally, supporters should pray that the enemy’s “children be fatherless, and his wife a widow,” and “his children be continually vagabonds, and beg; let them seek bread also out of their desolate places.”
Lauren Smith, AU’s Communications Assistant, responded with this gem:
Drake singled out my boss, Joe Conn, and colleague Jeremy Leaming, for “they are those who lead the attack.” I had the misfortune of listening to “The Wiley Drake Show” all week, but was otherwise spared Drake’s vengeance.
Good thing, too, because losing my teeth, having my bones turn to oil, and seeing my “fatherless” children wander for eternity in “desolate places” sounds terribly unpleasant.
Crazy pastors always bring a smile to my face. Especially when they are going to get the smackdown from the IRS.
(via The Visitor’s Card)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Wiley S. Drake, First Southern Baptist Church, Mike Huckabee, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Barry Lynn, Imprecatory Prayer, Lauren Smith, Joe Conn, Jeremy Leaming[/tags]