Falwell Says Pastors Can and Must Address Politics
- Allie Martin and Jenni Parker Agape Press
- 2004 13 Aug
Christian activist Dr. Jerry Falwell is planning a seminar for pastors on "Politics and the Pulpit," to be held this September at the school he founded. Although he says he is currently under attack from the left on this very issue, the outspoken evangelist insists it is imperative that America's pastors vocally instruct their congregations on the key issues of the day.
The head of Jerry Falwell Ministries says he has once again come under fire from the liberal organization called Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. That group, led by Barry Lynn, has filed a number of complaints with federal agencies, alleging that the prominent evangelical leader improperly engaged in politics by endorsing President Bush's re-election in an online newsletter.
Speaking recently on the Family Research Council (www.frc.org) program "Washington Watch Weekly," Falwell said he welcomes the scrutiny of the Internal Revenue Service or any other federal auditors. "We follow the rules. We live by the law and the regulations," he said, noting that his organization employs numerous attorneys for this very reason.
"We would challenge the IRS, the Federal Election Commission, anyone, to take us to court. We love to litigate these matters," Falwell added. "That's what lawyers and courthouses are for."
According to the Christian activist, Americans United and similar groups that make such allegations are simply engaging in "scare tactics" in an effort to silence conservative Christian pastors. He says Barry Lynn, who calls himself Reverend Lynn, is "about as reverend as an oak tree" and is actually a former operative for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"His goal is to frighten pastors," Falwell says. He believes Lynn is hoping church leaders who read that a complaint has been lodged against an outspoken minister like himself will be intimidated. "That's supposed to put the fear of God into 80,000 conservative evangelical pastors between now and November," the ministry leader explains, "so they will not speak out on the moral social issues and drive their people to the polls."
According to Falwell, the left has influenced many people, including some in the U.S. legislature, to believe falsely that America's clerics have to maintain unconditional silence on issues such as abortion, homosexual rights, pornography, and other societal ills. For that reason, he is urging pastors to attend the upcoming "Politics and the Pulpit" seminar to learn about their rights under the law, and their moral imperative to speak the truth.
The Politics and the Pulpit conference will be held at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, September 26 - 29, 2004.
Visit Falwell Ministries at www.falwell.com
© Agape Press, 2004, all rights reserved