So much for the separation of church and state.
Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and several lawyers of the ACLU will brief hundreds of pastors in the African American community on how they can serve their country in the upcoming presidential election. The Congressional Black Caucus chair expects that this series of briefings will help President Obama’s chances at re-election come November.
“We will have representatives from nine denominations who actually pastor somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million people, and we’re going to first of all equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their 501c3 status with the IRS,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said yesterday on MSNBC.
Burying the nail further into the coffin of church/state separation, Cleaver continued, “In fact, we’re going to have the IRS administrator there, we’re going to have the Attorney General Eric Holder there, we’re going to have the lawyers’ organization from around the country, the ACLU — all giving ministers guidance about what they can and cannot do,” he said.
Though he didn’t quite specify that they would be coaching the pastors on who to lead their congregations to vote for, they’ll be letting them know who they should at least consider as the enemy, and here’s a hint: it’s not the Democrats. “We’re going to talk about some of the draconian laws that have cropped up around the country as a result of the 17 percent increase in African American votes,” he said in reference to voter ID laws, likening them to “poll taxes” on seniors and black voters, recalling the Jim Crow era.
The Congressional Black Caucus chair is confident that this strategy will help Obama, saying, “President Obama is going to get 95 percent of the [African American] vote,” continuing, “We want to let them know that there is a theological responsibility to participate in the political process, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition,” he concluded.
So I guess the new understanding is this: church and state are to remain separate, unless of course the church would like to work for the state. Convenient.