Rev. James T. Meeks, a pastor and Illinois State Senator, is running for mayor of Chicago — he has little chance of winning — and the Chicago Tribune ran a front-page story yesterday about how he’s just egging the IRS to go after him:
Nearly every Sunday since announcing his bid for mayor, Meeks has taken to the pulpit to preach to the faithful at the 10,000-seat House of Hope about their religious duty to be civic-minded and support candidates who are guided by Christian values. It’s hard for those in the audience to miss the point that standing in front of them is just such a candidate.
Meeks says he’s long been mindful of the rules laid out by the Internal Revenue Service, but it’s clear he chafes at restrictions that prevent churches and other charitable groups from endorsing and contributing to political campaigns.
“If homosexuals can endorse a candidate, why can’t a church?” Meeks asked in his sermon last Sunday, days after he voted against a same-sex civil union law that the General Assembly passed.
Because homosexuals pay taxes and your church does not.
In exchange for that benefit, you don’t get to endorse candidates.
I don’t get why the IRS isn’t calling his bluff. Or the ACLU. Or Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He’s not denying anything. So go after him.
If churches want to endorse Christian candidates, they’re welcome to. But if they do, the government should get to tax the hell out of them.
Meanwhile, Meeks is one Democrat who won’t have my vote. Besides the fact that he’s a bigot, I have no desire to elect a pastor-in-chief. He’s done nothing to show that he can separate the two worlds.
It’d be nice to have a credible challenger to Rahm Emanuel just to keep things interesting, but Meeks isn’t the man to do it.
On a side note: I don’t understand how anyone who is so focused on social justice can work so hard to prevent gay people from obtaining equal rights. The mental gymnastics that have to go on for that to make sense must be incredible.