Church Based Politics May Create an American Religious Divide

June 2, 2004

Source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

On June 2, 2004 Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported, "A plan by the George W. Bush reelection campaign to enlist 1,600 'friendly' houses of worship in Pennsylvania is a misguided attempt to build a church-based political machine that should be dropped immediately, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Americans United asserts that the plan jeopardizes the tax-exempt status of churches and could divide congregations with partisan politics. 'This is the most shocking example of politicizing churches I've ever seen,' said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. 'The last thing this country needs is a church-based political machine. The Bush campaign should abandon this plan immediately. 'By enrolling churches in an election scheme, the Bush campaign is endangering those churches' tax exemptions,' Lynn continued. 'That's bad enough, but the introduction of partisan politics into the pews will also divide congregations and entangle politics and religion in very unhealthy ways.'"