Law-Breaking Pastor Calls On God To Smite His Accusers

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance Reform, Election 2008, GodstuffLeave a Comment

Wiley S. Drake recently used Church letterhead — and his talk show broadcast directly from his First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, CA — to endorse Mike Huckabee for president.  But some atheist jerks at Americans United for Separation of Church and State ratted him out to the IRS, who are now investigating the church’s tax-exempt status.

How did Drake — a pastor, former national Southern Baptist leader, radio talk show host, and author — respond?   Why, as any good Christian would: by imploring his congregation to pray for the immediate, painful deaths of his enemies:

Drake said Wednesday he was "simply doing what God told me to do" by targeting Americans United officials Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming, whom he calls the "enemies of God."

"God says to pray imprecatory prayer against people who attack God’s church," he said. "The Bible says that if anybody attacks God’s people, David said this is what will happen to them. . . . Children will become orphans and wives will become widows."

Imprecatory prayers are alternately defined as praying for someone’s misfortune, or an appeal to God for justice.

"Let his days be few; and let another take his office," the prayer reads. "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

[UPDATE:  A copy of his press release is here.]

Dude, you can’t be a religious organization and campaign and expect to maintain tax-free status!  That’s the law.  Section 501(c) of the tax code lists who is exempt from paying taxes, and it includes:

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation,
    organized and
operated exclusively for religious, charitable,
    scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational
    purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports
    competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the
    provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the
    prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net
    earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder
    or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is
    carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence
    legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and
    which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the
    publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on
    behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office

So far, God has failed to smite the people at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

UPDATE:  Eugene Volokh has more.