New poll/Old poll

poll%20graphic%20correct%20size.bmpThe new poll question is up:

Do you think a pastor or priest would violate a church's tax exempt status to state from the pulpit: "We have a duty to elect candidates who will protect the lives of the unborn."

My goodness, I don't know what it was about last week's question that engaged so many people, but here are the results...

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If you voted, find your personal brightly colored flag on the map below. Click to enlarge:

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I was particularly intrigued by the huge response from our international friends, particularly from Europe, the bulk of whom thought it would violate law or tax code to distribute campaign literature or didn't know the answer. Click to enlarge map. I've added a close-up map of European votes at the end of this post.

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The answer? I actually got the question from the Priests for Life website, and Fr. Pavone responded: "Yes, people do have such a right. We urge them to exercise it, and we ask pastors not to interfere with it."

If a pastor/church does interfere, campaign literature can still be distributed on cars parked on public streets or parking lots around the church, just not on a church's private parking lot. If a church meets at a public school, as many small Protestant churches do, those parking lots are fair game, too.

Since there was so much interest on the topic, here is a list of do's and don't's for political activities at U.S. churches, provided by Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, and The Alliance Defense Fund. Click to enlarge:

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Close-up of European votes (click to enlarge):

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Comments:

I have no problem with people doing this. If I don't like what the literature is saying I throw it away.
Incidentally, one time we came out of church and there was a flyer on cars about how you could lose 10 lbs per week on this special diet. My kids joked that at 100 lbs this meant that in 10 weeks I would be dead!

Posted by: Patricia at May 3, 2008 9:35 AM


I just want to comment that Jill must be doing something right as so many abortion advocates follow this blog and comment on it. I'm not naming names, but you know who you are.

Stirs 'em up, it does. Makes 'em think. That is good. Good work, Jill.

Posted by: Andy at May 3, 2008 10:43 AM


as to the new question, the options are really great. You're asking what the law is, not what it ought to be. It is what it is. I don't know what the law is, but my opinion is that the pastor or rabbi should say what they want.

Posted by: Hal at May 3, 2008 10:56 AM


I don't think "it's up to the priest or pastor."

If somebody wants to put stuff on one's car, it should be up to the owner of the car, first and foremost.

Posted by: Doug at May 3, 2008 11:17 AM


Jill, look at that map, you've gone global girl!

Posted by: Jasper at May 3, 2008 11:33 AM


Hey, this is sort of off-topic, but I just saw this article on pregnancy discrimination:

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0133056920080501

It seems like that would be a good political topic for pro-lifers to confront.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 3, 2008 11:39 AM


Speaking of getting unwanted flyers...I get those things hung from my front door and stuffed into the storm door CONSTANTLY. It's mostly advertisements for lawn, roofing, and other home services, but I find it really frustrating. My husband and I go out of town with some frequency, and even if we get our mail and newspaper stopped, those stupid flyers build up and basically announce that the house is empty of people for anyone who might be driving past. GRrrrrr.

Posted by: Hieronymous at May 3, 2008 11:41 AM


Hi Hiero,
We get them all the time too. What's funny, is if you're like me, we use the garage for exit/entry, so it can be days before I notice that something's hanging on the front door handle. Try calling your city, they should be able to tell you where you can obtain a "No solicitation" decal for your door or window. That may help, unless you don't want to keep all solicitors away of course.

Posted by: Janet at May 3, 2008 12:11 PM


Do you think a pastor or priest would violate a church's tax exempt status to state from the pulpit: "We have a duty to elect candidates who will protect the lives of the unborn."

Absolutely not. It's a pastor or priest's God-given duty to inform their "flock" about what candidates stand for on moral, ethical and biblical grounds. These are the principals our country was formed on, and the next president will be making many decisions and appointing judges which will effect which direction our country will go.

Ironic....Last week, Hal Lindsey discussed this very thing. In the first part of the video, he brought up abortion as well. He hit the nail on the head on this topic. Here's the link:

http://hallindsey.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=269

Posted by: JLM at May 3, 2008 12:27 PM


Jill,
btw...if you haven't seen this report (link above), Hal talks about abortion at 3:10 into the video, and 4:35.

Posted by: JLM at May 3, 2008 12:38 PM


A Christian pastor has an obligation to speak out against evil and in favor of good. While he or she cannot directly endorse any candidate, he or she should certainly provide literature which explains where the candidates stand on various issues and tells why those issue are important.

Though if you ask me, the whole idea that pastors need to watch what they say or risk breaking laws is very, very, VERY anti-First Amendment. Pastors should be allowed to say whatever they want when it comes to politics. It's insane that we have allowed this system of tax exemption to silence our spiritual leaders.

Posted by: John Lewandowski at May 3, 2008 12:50 PM


Is anybody else seeing ""e;" on the poll question?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 3, 2008 1:11 PM


Rats. I can't write what I see without the computer translating it to html.

I see extra weird characters on the poll question. Does anyone else?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 3, 2008 1:19 PM


Jill,1:19: No, I don't see any weird characters on the poll question, only among the commenters, but that's a different story all together.:)

Posted by: Janet at May 3, 2008 1:26 PM


Janet... lol... I just edited the question to take out the quote marks, which is what was giving me weird characters.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at May 3, 2008 1:30 PM


The only literature ever distributed onto car windshields at my parish is right to life PAC pamphlet with survey results from various candidates, such as mayor or governor candidates.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 3, 2008 2:43 PM


Do you think a pastor or priest would violate a church's tax exempt status to state from the pulpit: "We have a duty to elect candidates who will protect the lives of the unborn."


no.

Posted by: jasper at May 3, 2008 10:10 PM


"Do you think a pastor or priest would violate a church's tax exempt status to state from the pulpit: "We have a duty to elect candidates who will protect the lives of the unborn."

Absolutely not. In fact, that would fall under the protection of the first amendment.

Posted by: Doyle at May 4, 2008 5:12 AM


Doyle, the First Amendment does NOT protect a church's tax-exempt status.

Posted by: SoMG at May 4, 2008 8:05 AM


SoMG,
The IRS does.

Posted by: Janet at May 4, 2008 1:38 PM