With regard to columnist Paul Prather’s commentary on China’s “cracking down on religion” and Gov. Matt Bevin’s “urging a group of preachers to ignore federal law ... prohibiting tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns or endorsing candidates, what is striking is the dichotomy in his positions.
On the one hand, he disagrees with China’s repressive policy against religious freedom. On the other hand, he agrees with America’s repressive policy against religious freedom, saying “the federal law regarding this is right.”
Ironically, in the same edition of the paper was a compelling op-ed by Richard Nelson of the Commonwealth Policy Center which makes clear that “the First Amendment protects the rights of pastors to preach unfettered messages without intrusion by the federal government. Churches can deal with the wisdom of whether a pastor should address politics and endorse candidates.”
By the way, Nelson attended the event at which Bevin spoke but did not hear Bevin talk about “endorsements, the art of the spin and the right-and-tumble world of maneuvering for power.”
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In fact, he heard Bevin tell about 125 pastors and church leaders, “It’s not about R’s and D’s, it’s about what’s right.”
William A. Rice