The obvious question: what about the “separation of church and state” the left loves to quote so much?
With nothing else working, President Barack Obama is asking religious leaders to help him sell the public on health care reform. (emphasis mine)
POLITICO listened in to an Oval Office conference call Tuesday, where Obama, alongside other top administration officials, beseeched thousands of faith-based and community organizations to preach the gospel on new insurance reforms, chiefly the Patients’ Bill of Rights.“Get out there and spread the word,” Obama told leaders from across the religious spectrum on the conference call, organized by Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships.Obama instructed faith leaders to treat the new law as settled fact and use their perches of power to convey that message to congregants and friends. (emphasis mine)
“The debate in Washington is over, the Affordable Care Act is now law … I think all of you can be really important validators and trusted resources for friends and neighbors, to help explain what’s now available to them,” he said.
Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Partnerships, gave activists a rallying cry: “Get the word out there, get information out there. Make use of the resources we’ve described on this call: the website, door hangers, one pagers and so forth. We’ve got work to do.”
DuBois ended the call by giving leaders a point-by-point run down of the new Patients’ Bill of Rights that rolls out on Thursday. “These protections, our families need to know these things,” he said.
While I’m sure the President and his administration would love for churches to preach the gospel of health care reform, per IRS regulations doing so would put them in jeopardy of losing their tax exempt status as this quote from the IRS publication “Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations” clearly states (page 7):
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise tax. (emphasis mine)
So, what gives? Is President Obama saying it’s okay for religious leaders to talk politics from the pulpit? Or, maybe it’s just okay to talk about his side’s politics? Memories of Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger come to mind.
Waiting for the ACLU’s denouncement…