A Texas pastor is coming under fire – and, potentially, even an IRS investigation – for supposedly violating the “separation of church and state” by telling his congregation to vote against politicians who don’t support the police.
Dr. Ed Young, who leads Second Baptist Church in Houston, slammed “left-wing progressives in office” for his city’s high crime rate during a sermon Sunday, as part of a series he’s entitled, “The Church Awake.”
Young ran down a list of violent criminals who've been let out on bond in the local area, highlighting the violence that's plaguing the city and blasting city officials who don't support the police.
“You see any difference when you put left-wing progressives in office?” Young said from the pulpit. “If Houston and Harris County is to survive, we had better throw those bums out of office, they are not doing the job that we have called them to.”
🔥 Pastor Ed Young took time out of his sermon today to list out the crime statistics plaguing Harris County and the City of Houston under progressive rule. Young instructs his congregation that they must vote out @LinaHidalgoTX @AdrianGarciaHTX and @RodneyEllis for a safe city. pic.twitter.com/JeyyxqSGHH— Merissa Hansen 🇺🇸🕵🏻♀️ (@MerissaHansen17) August 28, 2022
Young stopped short of calling out the Democrat Party, naming any specific lawmakers, or endorsing any Republican or right-leaning politicians as alternatives – all of which would technically violate federal 501(c)(3) tax law against non-profits or charities inserting themselves into politics. The IRS states on its website that charitable organizations including churches “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."
Except Young didn’t do that – in fact, he didn’t tell anyone to vote for or against any candidate or party, but merely called out lawmakers on a particular issue, which pastors and churches on both sides do all the time.
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But still leftists – and the Democrat Party, specifically – weren’t too happy with Young’s statement, accusing him of getting too “political.”
"In the clear presence of being in church and in front of his congregation, this is a clear violation of the church tax guide from the IRS," Harris County Democratic Party Chair Odus Evbagharu whined, saying his group is looking at filing a complaint with the IRS.
“The organization may not intervene in a political campaign. That’s exactly what he did when he’s telling folks to vote for one particular side," Evbagharu said.
Interestingly, those same rules didn’t apply to then-vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris giving a stump speech at a drive-in service in Michigan ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Just like no one held Harris or some 300 black churches in Virginia to the same standard when they ran an entire “Souls to the Polls” campaign that ran during services and openly instructed congregation members to support Terry McAuliffe for governor in 2021.
In fact, Pew Research openly stated in a February 2021 article that “[o]verall, Black Americans are more likely than the larger U.S. public to both say it is important for sermons to touch on political topics, and to hear sermons that actually do,” also noting that “Black adults from all religious backgrounds are strongly Democratic.”
NBC News even ran an entire segment earlier this year flatly titled, “The Democratic Party is a tool’: Black Church leaders remain aligned with Democrats, for now,” a feature highlighting “the ways in which Black Church leaders organize their congregations and provide support for the Democratic party, where their interests align.”
But the shoe never seems to end up on the other foot, as this right-leaning pastor in Texas apparently can’t encourage his congregation to support law enforcement and lawmakers who do.
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