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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Bush enlists churchs' support, icky suspicions ensue 

by Karen
This article printed in today's Washington Post outlines the Bush/Cheney election team's attempt to mobilize its religious base. The article outlines strategies sent to Bush supporters to help those supporters involve their congregations in the Bush campaign. The suggested "goals" include turning over membership lists to the campaign, organizing voter registration drives, and hosting partisan pot-luck dinners.

The Post explores the possibility that these activities could put the churchs' tax exempt status at risk. The Bush team counters that all the suggested activities fall well within election laws.

So, like a good Democrat, I got a little fussed when I read the article. Let's explore why.

1. It could be that I'm hopelessly partisan, and that anything Bush/Cheney does, including walk, talk, and breathe annoys me. I don't know, I'm certainly annoyed with the administration, but I'd like to think I have my logical reasons. However, I'm willing to accept any and all suspicion to the contrary and think about it before dismissing it as wrong.

2. I have an active pot-lucking life, and don't want to be suspicious at every invitation I receive; i.e. perhaps I resent Republican encroachment into my social life.

3. I don't want my ward list forwarded to the Bush campaign. Now, I know that kind of behavior is prohibited by the bi-annual reading of "the letter." (My favorite moment in sacrament meeting when the church reaffirms its non-partisan status, and everyone in the congregation thinks the letter is aimed at everyone but themselves.) But let's face it, there's a reason "the letter" is re-read so often.

4. The whole tax exempt thing is a problem. That's one church/state line of separation that I'd like to keep separate. For many reasons, including my tithing-boosted personal income tax refund.

5. I really dislike the implication that the Republican party is home of church-goers and the Democratic party home of sinners. I dislike the assumption that every person on those church lists would welcome inclusion on the Bush/Cheney supporters list. I resent the implication that I cannot be a person of deep faith, and disagree with a majority of the tenets of the Republican party.

So what do you all think...I'm I in the middle of an over-reacting snit, or do we have a problem here....
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