by Max Brantley
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has filed a complaint against Robert Smith and his World of Outreach Church in Little Rock for his recent sermon urging church members to vote for John McCain. David Koon of the Times reported his intention to do this last week. He delivered the sermond Sunday.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, urged the IRS to act swiftly in this case.
“Bishop Smith knowingly and flagrantly violated the law and has even dared the IRS to investigate him for it,” Lynn said. “I hope the federal tax agency promptly takes him up on that.”
Smith has pitched this as a matter of religious freedom. He's either an idiot or a liar. It's a matter of the law. Smith is free to endorse McCain or anyone else from the pulpit. He simply should be willing to accept that donations to his church no longer qualify for tax deductions if the church enters partisan politics.