The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Americans United Wrong to Intimidate Churches

Posted by thelamp on September 28, 2006

Stay out of politics. That was the demand Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy group, issued to evangelical pastors last week.

“Dragging churches into partisan politics is just plain wrong,” proclaimed the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. At a news conference in Washington, D.C., Lynn said that “church involvement in politics damages the integrity of religion and it harms our democracy.”

“That’s a ridiculous statement,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. “The Bible says that government is God’s idea, so His people should be a part of it. The Bible tells Christians not to be silent about issues of righteousness and issues of justice. Americans United is clearly trying to intimidate Bible-believing Christians into silence, and it won’t work.”

Look back in history for a moment and reflect on what this nation’s Founding Fathers believed about religion and politics. There really isn’t much question about what they intended. The men who wrote the Constitution actually believed that religion is essential to good government—not a hindrance to it, not a perversion of it and not a betrayal of it.

Nevertheless, Lynn and his followers have mailed a special election-year alert to more than 117,000 houses of worship in 11 key electoral states. The letters were sent to clergy in Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri and Virginia to counter efforts to mobilize evangelical Christian churches in these states before the Nov. 7 elections.

In the letter, Lynn warned that politically active churches could face investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Maintaining tax-exempt status is important for any not-for-profit organization. So prudent pastors do need to know what they can and cannot do — or say — from the pulpit.

The spirit of Lynn’s communication, however, was not to advise or inform evangelical leaders. It was pure intimidation with the hope of silencing pastors from speaking out on the issues central to our faith.

The Center for Moral Clarity encourages church leaders to guide their flock as required by Scripture. Don’t be intimidated by the Rev. Barry Lynn or his organization Instead, know the regulations and abide by them click here to view the 2006 Fact Sheet on political activities permitted by the IRS.



3 Responses to “Americans United Wrong to Intimidate Churches”

  1. Robert Williams said

    The sad reality many people believe that the concept of “Separation of Church and State” is in the Constitution. Sadly, many are ignorant to what the Constitution says. So, here’s Amendment 1, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Let’s break it down. 1) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The government cannot create a single religion and everyone must follow (ie, Church of England) nor shall they favor a particular denomination (although man chose to have denominations, not God). This also came about because Thomas Jefferson was asked by some pious church ladies that their should be a Chruch of the US of some sort because “we Christians” defeated the King of England; he said no. 2) or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Simply government cannot force its will upon the church or how someone worships God. NO WHERE does it state separate the two.

  2. Robert Williams said

    BTW, if “history” be true, the concept of “Separation of Church and State” was a standard in the former communist Russia. So for those who shout “Separation…”, are you then a communist?

  3. Gary Aknos said

    Barry Lynn is a hypocrite. In June, Lynn spoke out against the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education because it received $150,000 to help cover transportation costs from the State of Maryland. In the same month, Lynn’s own denomination, the United Church of Christ, received $100,000 to help defray the costs of the convention center hosting their convention. Of course, Lynn is silent about his own church.

    Details at UCC

    Barry Lynn is simply being partisan and he’s using the separation of church and state as the means for his partisanship.

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