Americans United Asks IRS To Investigate Oklahoma Church That Endorsed McCain

October 3, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate an Oklahoma church whose pastor called for the election of Republican presidential candidate John McCain from the pulpit last Sunday.

The Rev. Dan Fisher, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, Okla., trumpeted his endorsement in a press release issued by his church. The church release says, “After comparing and contrasting the candidates’ views with the Bible, Pastor Fisher unabashedly proclaimed that he believes Christians cannot, in good faith, vote for Barack Obama and must cast their votes in favor of John McCain.”

The Oct. 1 press release was disseminated by e-mail to news outlets in the state.

The Oklahoma pulpit endorsement was conducted in conjunction with an organized Religious Right campaign to violate federal tax law.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Religious Right legal group in Scottsdale, Ariz., urged pastors to defy federal tax law by endorsing or opposing candidates during a so-called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” on Sept. 28. Under the IRS Code, churches and other 501(c)(3) tax-exempt groups may not intervene in elections.