Howard Dean to Churches: Give up Religion or Stay out of Politics to Keep Tax Exempt Status
CHELSEA, MI, April 21, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fidelis, a national Catholic based advocacy group, called on Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee to explain himself after telling the Christian Science Monitor Wednesday that "The religious community has to decide whether they want to be tax exempt or involved in politics."
Fidelis President Joseph Cella responded: "Howard Dean's statement makes it clear that he wants to muzzle America's churches and religious groups from professing what they believe on important issues facing our society. When it comes to debates over public policy and issues, Dean should be welcoming the voice of America's churches, not attempting to silence them. Instead Dean has shown utter disregard for people of faith by threatening the historical and treasured role of religious groups and churches in American public life."
"Under Howard Dean's rules, pastors, priests, and rabbis wouldn't have been able to mobilize people of faith to join the civil rights marches in Selma and Montgomery," said Cella.
Dean's statement is the latest in a series of comments directed toward conservative Christians. Just last year, Dean told the San Francisco Chronicled, "they are not very friendly….they all behave the same, and they all look the same."
Cella continued: "Dean's blatant hostility toward any church or religious group calls into serious question his supposed outreach to values voters following the 2004 elections. In essence, Dean is saying that if religious groups want to continue to speak out, then the hand of government is going to exact a penalty. Comments such as these continue to place Howard Dean and the Democratic Party in jeopardy of further alienating religious voters."
To voice concerns to Howard Dean:
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Top Democrat Threatens Churches
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In an attempt to intimidate conservative Christians and practicing Catholics, the chairman of the Democratic Party has issued a threat. The gist of the threat: If you continue to express the views of your religion on public moral issues, we will revoke your tax-exempt status! Howard Dean is declaring war on conservative Christians and practicing Catholics in this nation. In other words, the chairman of the Democratic Party does not approve of Christianity's moral message, and is threatening to punish any church that doesn't comply with his state-sanctioned rhetoric. So now the Democratic Party proposes to tell priests, pastors and rabbis what they can and cannot preach behind the pulpit. Those religious leaders who go along, with what the Democratic Party approves of, will continue to receive tax-exemption status. Those who do not, will have their tax-exempt status revoked, and effectively be punished for their religious beliefs. Yes in deed folks, that's the NEW Democratic Party for you! Any thoughts?