Carol Platt Liebau: More on McCain & Falwell

Sunday, May 07, 2006

More on McCain & Falwell

Here in D.C., safe and sound . . .

Check out this piece from Rev. Falwell. As I read it, it represents an effort to make sure that the Christian right doesn't misinterpret his invitation to Senator McCain as an endorsement. There are several reasons Rev. Falwell would want to clarify this: First, he, like many other conservatives (like me), may honor McCain as a person and a war hero without necessarily supporting him as a presidential candidate. Second, he, better than most, knows that many in his flock/constituency don't support McCain, and their dislike may be intractable. A successful leader knows that, in order to remain a successful leader, he can't "lead" his adherents to a place where they will simply refuse to follow -- and that trying to do so will result in a loss of influence and perceived power.

Or, finally, consider this: If -- just if -- Rev. Falwell actually did really want McCain to win, he knows that his endorsement would immediately turn the MSM -- heretofore the Senator's most loyal and enthusiastic constituency -- against McCain. And he wouldn't want to do that.


Blogger Bachbone said...

One more possible reason: The IRS is taking a hard look at blatant political activity from the pulpit. Churches could lose their tax exempt status if the IRS changes some of its attitudes/rulings.

9:40 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

I don't think Falwell is really worried about this.

So far, the only churches that have been targetted by the IRS are liberal ones that have dared to criticize Bush.

Apparently, turning churches into RNC recruiting stations isn't political activity -- it's what God wants.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

In 2000, a federal appeals court upheld an IRS decision to revoke tax-exempt status of a Binghamton, NY church that opposed Clinton's re-election (AP May 12, 2000).

On March 12, 2004, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint with the IRS that a Westover Hills, TX church held a "Republican fund raiser" at its church.

The American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Christian Coalition conservative Pat Robertson, lost its tax-exempt status. Few would claim Robertson is a liberal.

In Ohio, liberals got extremely worried that some churches were touting GOP gubernatorical candidate, Kenneth Blackwell, who happens to be black, thus taking away some black church pastors' clout, so they filed a complaint with the IRS against the churches touting Blackwell. IRS Commissioner Mark Everson went to Ohio to warn all churches against pulpit political activity. While there, the liberals who filed the complaint were described as "buoyed" by Everson's announcement that, "...nearly three-fourths of the 82 churches and charities that the IRS has probed for their 2004 activities did step over the line..." prohibited by IRS rules (Ohio Public Radio report, March 24, 2006).

And who was it that pushed through the 1954 law banning 501(c)3 organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates? Why, it was that well-known conservative, Lyndon B. Johnson, who then believed that some non-profit organizations were opposing his re-election bid.

Just a few examples that show the IRS isn't "targeting" liberals. It has revoked tax-exempt status from organizations on both sides.

Dang! Facts is strange thangs, ain't they, Homer?

10:25 AM  

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