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UCCtruths

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Politics in the pulpit... again

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Apparently, Barack Obama is the only one allowed to campaign from the pulpit. This time, Obama was peddling for votes during the service this morning at First Congregational United Church of Christ Christ in Mason City, Iowa. From MSNBC:

Though Obama has been hammering his message of change at town halls across Iowa, he took a reflective turn at the church, saying that running for president wasn’t the only way to bring about change. “You don't have to run for president in order to make a difference. Certainly, those of you here in Iowa who have been bombarded by political messages unfortunately over the holiday season, I hope we are all reminded that all of us have some work to do. And that this is a moment of celebration of the birth of our savior, but it is also a moment of reflection on how we can make a contribution to our community,” he said.
The campaign stop was also covered by the Associated Press:
Obama sat in a pew accompanied by Joann Hardy, one of his Mason City precinct captains, and her husband, Russ, and their family.

He also participated in a church tradition of tossing mittens onto a bare Christmas tree. He joked that as a basketball player, the toss should not pose much of a challenge.

His first underhand throw hit mid-tree. His second was close to the top, and elicited a cheer. But his mitten was quickly overwhelmed by colorful hats, scarves and gloves tossed onto the tree by the other congregants.

Later, Obama shifted to the secular, detailing his plan for tax relief for the middle class and for seniors with incomes of less than $50,000 a year.
IRS rules on candidates speaking at churches are pretty clear but Obama regularly gets a free pass at this sort of thing. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State ignored Obama's political "altar call" in October and decided to apply a different standard to his campaign speech at the UCC's General Synod in June. An IRS complaint was filed, however, against the United Church of Christ after his General Synod speech.
posted by UCCtruths, Sunday, December 16, 2007

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