press 399430 to Smite Enemies

Yesterday, Americans United for Separation of Church and State called for the IRS to investigate the First Southern Baptist Church (of Buena Park, CA) because the pastor there, Dr. Wiley Drake, issued a press release on church letterhead that endorsed Mike Huckabee and "[h]e also endorsed Huckabee on a church-affiliated radio show and featured a Huckabee campaign official." From Americans United:
“Federal tax law is clear,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “Churches and other non-profits may not endorse candidates, if they want to keep their tax exemption. I am confident that the vast majority of Americans do not want to see their houses of worship politicized.”

“Although Drake may express his personal views on political candidates,” Lynn wrote to the IRS, “federal tax law prohibits such endorsements by religious leaders acting in their capacities as officials of non-profit religious organizations. The IRS has repeatedly warned non-profits not to use organizational resources to intervene in elections.

“Use of church letterhead to endorse a candidate for public office appears to violate the provisions of federal tax law that prohibit non-profit intervention in political campaigns,” Lynn continued. “Drake’s endorsement of a candidate on a church-based radio show raises the same concerns.”

So what did this press release say?

“I announce,” said the pastor, “that I am going to personally endorse Mike Huckabee. I ask all of my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters to consider getting behind Mike and helping him all you can. First of all pray and then ask God, what should I do to put feet to my prayers.

“Do what God tells you to do,” Drake continued. “I believe God has chosen Mike for such an hour, and I believe of all those running Mike Huckabee will listen to God.”

On his Aug. 13 internet radio show, “The Wiley Drake Show,” Drake reaffirmed the endorsement.

Drake said, “I believe Mike Huckabee is, indeed, a man that I can endorse. As Second Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, I put out a press release to that effect. And a lot of people are calling me and saying, ‘Well, Wiley, wait a minute. Why are you endorsing Mike over the rest of the fellas?’…. Mike Huckabee is a son of God; he loves the Lord, and I believe, no matter what the constituents say or the Party says, he is a man of integrity who fears God, and in the finality of things will say, ‘Okay, God, what do you want me to do?’ And I believe he will listen to God.”

On August 7th, Drake also issued a press release (on church letterhead) saying that he would "form an Exploratory Committee to determine if…. ‘The Wiley Drake Show’ should endorse and encourage Southern Baptist and other Evangelical Christians to support Mike Huckabee for President of the United States." The show and the church have the same phone number and the studio for the show is in the church basement.

In response to the request for inquiry, Drake didn't scoff. He didn't say "well, crap". Noooo, of course not! Dr. Wiley Drake decided instead to try and harness the power of his deity to rain curses upon his "enemies". And induce much head-shaking and mockery on Teh Internets:
MEDIA ADVISORY, Aug. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- In light of the recent attack from the enemies of God I ask the children of God to go into action with Imprecatory Prayer. Especially against Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I made an attempt to go to them via Matt 18:15 but they refused to talk to me. Specifically target Joe Conn or Jeremy Learing. They are those who lead the attack.

Imprecatory, btw, means: "to invoke evil upon; curse". Uh-huh. So the "good pastor" is calling for prayers to curse his "enemies", eh? Interesting.

In his latest release, Drake named specific Americans United staff as targets, communications director Joe Conn and communications associate Jeremy Leaming. Apparently because they were the contact people listed on AU's first press release asking for the IRS inquiry. According to AU, in his call to arms press release, Drake says:

Drake includes a long list of biblical citations that call on God to smite enemies. For example, the alleged enemies of God “shall be judged,” “condemned,” and “his days be few….” Additionally, supporters should pray that the enemy’s “children be fatherless, and his wife a widow,” and “his children be continually vagabonds, and beg; let them seek bread also out of their desolate places.”

“Let there be none to extend mercy unto him,” Drake quoted, “Neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.”

And we shall know them by their love, right? Yep. Uh-huh.

Anyway, all you have to do is call (from the ChristianNewswire link):
Please join us, with Bible in hand, and let us do battle against the enemies of God.

Everyday telephonic prayer meeting (for those who want to pray)

Every Day 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. Pacific time zone

Call- 1-605-772-3900
Put in access code # 399430

(Come on the telephone line for a few minutes or all of the time, but let us all pray.)

It's never been easier to smite thine enemies!

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