Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Freedom of Speech for Clergy

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To the Editor of the SF Chronicle:

55 liberal clergy want the IRS, an arm of the Congress, to stop clergy from endorsing or opposing political candidates. (SF Chronicle, September 9, 2008) Have these clerics not read the first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? It reads in part “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion); or abridging the freedom of speech….”

These liberal clergy want rules and laws passed restricting the free exercise of religion and abridging their free speech. They oppose the Alliance Defense Fund, which says, “Pastors have the right to speak about Biblical truth from the pulpit without fear of punishment.” The Alliance Defense Fund wants to endorse or oppose candidates for political office. I also believe freedom of speech and religion mean the rights of clergy to endorse or oppose candidates from the pulpit.

I am more liberal and radical than most people I know. I even oppose what most of the conservative clergy stand for. In this election they want to oppose candidates who are pro-abortion, stand for gay rights and Democrats running for president. I take the complete opposite view.

Yet I believe in the freedom of the pulpit, free speech and do not want Congress or the IRS essentially telling me what I can say from the pulpit. I believe my liberal colleagues are committing spiritual suicide by urging the government to interfere in what the clergy may say from the pulpit.
Liberal clergy are so fearful of offending their conservative members, losing money and causing trouble, that they remain silent as their rights are violated. I recall the silence of the German clergy in the rise of Nazism and the holocaust.

(let's see if they publish it.)


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