Rev. Barry Lynn blasts religious politicking: Churches aren’t political action committees

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 18:35 EDT
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Rev. Barry Lynn, the Founder and Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said Tuesday that people didn’t go to church to learn who to vote for.

His organization has filed complaints with the IRS over preachers who have recently told their congregations not to vote for President Barack Obama.

“There is no guarantee under the First Amendment that you can say anything you want and keep your tax exemption,” Lynn explained. “A lot of people think, well doesn’t the Constitution guarantee tax exemptions for churches? It does not. No Supreme Court case has ever said that either.”

“When you get the valuable privilege of a tax exemption, which means somebody is paying the tax you’re not paying, the one and only thing you can’t do is turn your religious institutions into what amounts to a political action committee supporting or opposing a candidate.”

Lynn said his organization was not at all partisan.

“We are concerned about the principle here,” he said.

Lynn said it was wrong for Michelle Obama to go to the North Carlina Council of Baptist Churches and give what was essentially a campaign speech weeks before the 2008 elections.

Watch video, courtesy of CNN, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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