Ok, I’m not sure about this.
I am normally a big fan of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. But what they’ve done here makes me nervous.
Do I want those punks in Waynesville busted by the FEC for politicking from the pulpit?
But I don’t like this.
If it had come down from the FEC, that would be one thing.
But having liberal groups calling for the FEC to bust these guys is asking for conservative groups to come after liberal churches.
That would be us.
Said it before, saying it now. We need to talk about moral principles and let people apply those principles to politics themselves.
Or the next church politics bloggers are mocking will be ours.
----Added the following morning in response to Steve Caldwell's response----
Those rules are for religions.
Not all UUs worship God.
We don't have a single source of authority that everyone goes by, other than one's own experience.
We don't have a creed.
That means that if people want to pretend they don't understand that we are a religion, that's easy to do.
Not having a creed also means that UUism is not in itself in favor of reproductive choice. If most UUs are, fine, but I think the mere fact that almost everyone even WITHIN the religion forgets this distinction speaks to my point.
I think we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
Long-term, I'm not sure there is an upside to using liberal politics as a recruiting tool. Even if it increases our sheer numbers, which I don't think it always does as I've observed that activist types usually leave the moment the church stops making their pet issue a main focus, as congregational decisions are made by majority vote, recruiting people who are here for the politics rather than being here for the religion can only serve to dilute the religion as those people who came for the politics vote to put more and more congregational resources toward politics. Eventually, the people who really want religion may leave.
And our pulpits are partisan at times. I've been in services where the sermon complained about the Republicans in Congress. Joel has been in one where the minister said that if you thought someone could be a good person and a Republican, you were wrong.
People don't know what the rules are and they break them all the time. But we should be holding ourselves to an even tighter standard than the rules.
From an FEC standpoint, from a recruiting standpoint and from a creating a worship service that doesn't have a "Gee, people who think exactly like me sure are nifty" sort of tone standpoint, political issues from the pulpit is a terrible idea.
UUs are smart. Talk about the moral issue and we will get the idea. If you can't frame the question as a moral issue, why are you talking about it in church?