UK Debate Winner: 'We Need to Grip It Very Hard'

Max Read · 04/29/10 10:45PM

What did our cousins in Britain do last night while eating their nightly meal of fish and chips? They watched the final pre-election debate between the leaders of the three major parties, of course! And guess who won?

McCain Preachers Don't Need Your Silly Tax Laws

ian spiegelman · 09/28/08 01:56PM

Do you know what today is? Why, it's Pulpit Freedom Sunday, of course! Oh, you know, the day when Conservative preachers all across the land take to their tax-exempt churches and endorse a Presidential candidate in direct defiance of Federal law. Because these pastors—backed by a tax exempt group of Christian lawyers called the Alliance Defense Fund—think that their free speech should be subsidized by tax-paying Godless suckers like us! Obviously, they should all be investigated by the IRS and slammed with stiff, bankrupting penalties—but that's what they want in the first place. Well, sort of. "The ministers and the conservative group organizing them know they are breaking a 54-year-old law barring tax-exempt organizations from using their sheltered status to support a political candidate. They want to be taken to court, quickly, in hopes of overturning it." They claim that simply because they don't pay taxes, they shouldn't be barred from innocently, "talking to their congregations about biblical issues related to candidates and elections.” And, hey, the pastors and their lawyers haven't even revealed who they'll be stumping for in their illegal Pulpit-based endorsements today. Really, it could be anyone! "The ministers haven’t announced their preferences, although Senator John McCain is expected to be favored. Senator Barack Obama has blurred church-state lines in promising more subsidies for social programs run by religious-based groups. But Mr. McCain has gone much farther, proclaiming America to be 'a Christian nation.' "Taxpayers of any faith should see this as an election-year gambit to dash the pillar of church-state separation. Other clergy, mindful of being spiritual not political ministers, have organized to say no thanks to Pulpit Freedom Sunday. We expect the courts and the Internal Revenue Service to say those preachers are in the right." [NYT]