And the feds have taken notice…

Pastor Brad Brandon’s loves to talk about the scriptures on his daily radio show, but it was what he spoke from the pulpit of his church, Berean Bible Baptist in Hastings, which has the attention of the federal government.

The 11 candidates he endorsed are listed on the church’s website. The list includes Republican Tom Emmer for Governor, eight other republicans, an independent and a constitution candidate.

Brandon responded to a complaint by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State with the most moronic, idiotic, bone headed response conceivable:

“I think it’s very interesting that the Americans United for Separation of Church and State — that is the name of their organization — and yet what they are asking that the government come in and stop me from saying things? How is that separation of church and state?” said Brandon.

Then, he took his stupidity one step further:

“I’d love to see the IRS do something. I’d love to fight this in court and I would love to see a judge look me in the eye and say that the Johnson Amendment is constitutional,” said Brandon.

Good idea. Taunt the judge. Brilliant.

Although perhaps there is hope for the pastor, even if it is bad news for the rest of us. The IRS has so far failed to pursue any of the 100 or so complaints filed this year by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. WTF IRS?

Source

Hat Tip Jaf.

Comments

  1. #1 Bob Butler
    October 20, 2010

    I have to agree with the pastor, it seems to be one sided. The Church can not speak about politics but the State can speak about the church. I wonder if you would be so aggressive if he had spoken at a ball game or at a community BBQ. It is only because he is a pastor that you tar and feathering this guy.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    October 20, 2010

    Bob, the pastor is totally in his rights to talk about whatever he wants to talk about any time he wants to.

    Even endorsing candidates from the pulpit is in his rights. Totally.

    But, it does invalidate his tax status, which is a privilege. A privilege he has abused.

    I am one among a growing number of taxpayers who are tired of paying taxes for these churches, many of which are essentially big business free riding on their tax status. I was in a church the other day that was a conference center. It was hosting a conference for a medical group that had nothing to do with churches. Just a paying customer getting a more competitive rate because the company providing the services does not have to pay taxes on their land.

    Your blog tagline talks about extreme integrity. I’m not convinced you’d know it if you saw it.

  3. #3 MadScientist
    October 20, 2010

    @Bob: The state cannot speak for any church, otherwise that is a violation of the constitution. The state however is obliged to keep churches out of politics and some of the church privileges (such as the tax exemption clause) are, by contract, dependent on the church staying out of politics.

    When Obama says the muslims have every right to put up their building in NYC, he’s not speaking for any church, he is supporting the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. That is one case of the intent of the amendment working pretty much as originally envisioned. We have a case of people wanting to suppress other people’s right to worship whatever skyfairy they please and we have government officials telling the mob that they’re not allowed to do suppress those people.

  4. #4 jaf
    October 20, 2010

    As stated by others above, Bob, you missed the point.
    Tax-exempt status is a privilege, and other groups that have that privilege are required not to endorse any candidates.

    Also, I would like to let you know the difference between “it’s” and “its.”
    It’s = it is. Its = possessive form of it.

    Good grammar is useful if you want to make your point look valid.

  5. #5 Charles Sullivan
    October 21, 2010

    Now is the time to to nail them for breaking the law.

  6. #6 Clark Ketchum
    October 21, 2010

    Alas, Bob is representative of a large group of our fellow citizens that do not understand, let alone have read our Constitution. I’ve been meeting a lot of these folk in the last year or two, too lazy to think for themselves about the consequences of ignoring the separation clause of the first ammendment. Religions exist to push themselves as the one true way (contrary to what your local religious authorities will tell you). To give them undue political power has, historically, been a recipe for disaster. Our founding fathers knew this and wished for us to avoid the problems and bloodshed they witnessed in European history.

  7. #7 Stephanie Z
    October 21, 2010

    I would think that someone who wanted to claim Jefferson’s name would also be willing to claim his description of the First Amendment. Of course, I’d also expect Thomas Jefferson to know that “never mind” is two words.

  8. #8 anthrosciguy
    October 21, 2010

    Bob, here’s the deal. I, and every other American, is paying for Pastor Brad Brandon’s microphone. Even though I am an atheist, I pay for his church. And I ask very little in return, only that he obey the laws — and especially the Constitution — of the United States of America. If Pastor Brad Brandon wants to let me off the hook for paying for his church, he can legally endorse anyone he wants from his pulpit. But Pastor Brad Brandon doesn’t want to do that; he wants the privileges without the responsibility; he wants my money but he doesn’t want to follow the law that allows him to take that money.

  9. #9 Rob
    October 21, 2010

    @StephanieZ:

    I’d also expect someone with the nym to know that Jefferson is the one who coined that phrase and used it in his letters indicating that it was his intent.