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Every denomination needs one of these...

No Wall of Separation for the United Church of Christ

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If there was any doubt about the objectivity of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, this will clear it up.

As I've posted a number of times in the last few weeks, AU has given Barack Obama and the United Church of Christ a free pass to campaign from the pulpit during a United Church of Christ church service in Iowa, to give a campaign speech at the UCC's Iowa Conference annual meeting and to campaign from the stage at the UCC's General Synod in Connecticut (complete with campaign tables at the entrance).

Apparently, Americans United has flip flopped on their own standards for separation. Last November, AU got their shorts in a knot because Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson spoke in front of a church and filed an IRS complaint:
The election is over and Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson has conceded defeat to Democrat Mike Beebe.

But Americans United for Separation of Church and State says one issue remains undecided.

The group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether
Hutchinson's appearance and speech at a Hot Springs church last month violated the constitution's separation of church and state principle.

Lakeview Assembly of God hosted Hutchinson on Oct. 15. The church ran an ad in the local newspaper that read: "Come hear Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Asa Hutchinson Speak."
Unlike the Obama speeches at church events, Lakeview Assembly of God reportedly invited Mike Beebe to speak to the church as well (one of the IRS requirements for a church to host a candidate).

Rev. Barry Lynn, the Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, claimed recently that AU's complaints to the IRS have been evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Still, that doesn't explain how the United Church of Christ keeps getting away with crossing the line between church and state... unless it's because Barry Lynn is himself an ordained minister in the UCC and Obama is a proud member of the UCC. When the UCC was the beneficary of a $100,000 state of Conecticut grant to bring the General Synod to Hartford (the same General Synod that Obama campaigned at), Lynn expressed some concern but ultimately did nothing in response. Barry Lynn's interpretation of the "wall of separation" looks less like a wall and more like swiss cheese.

It's not all bad though - AU's blog recently referenced that “over the weekend at a rally in Columbia, S.C. with media mogul Oprah Winfrey at his side, Obama quoted scripture in telling the audience of 29,000, 'Look at the day the Lord has made.'"

Thomas Jefferson would be so proud.
posted by UCCtruths, Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Thank you for publicizing this - AU is crooked and it's about time more people realized it.
commented by Anonymous r.kreicyk, 3:53 PM  
I frankly am not a fan of much of what I read on this site, but your point here is compelling. AU should be consistent and challenge religious over-reaching by the right AND the left. Either it's wrong for both sides or right for both sides, but certainly there should be no double-standard.
commented by Blogger Tom, 11:56 PM  

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