Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently sent a letter to the IRS to encourage the IRS to monitor, censor, and control Pastor Paul Blair’s sermon. Pastor Blair is pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Pastor Blair, along with almost 100 other churches, participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday. What did Pastor Blair do that was so egregious that AU would want to turn him in to the IRS? Well, Pastor Blair preached a sermon that compared the positions of the candidates for office in light of Scripture and then made a recommendation as to how his congregation should vote based on that biblical evaluation. Pastor Blair preached a sermon very similar to that preached by Timothy Dwight, a minister and President of Yale, who in 1798 urged his congregation not to vote for Thomas Jefferson for President. And Timothy Dwight is just one historical example of pastors who preached similar sermons opposing or favoring candidates for office.
It’s ironic that a group that has “separation of church and state” in its name would argue and agitate for government-controlled churches. AU wants pervasive and ongoing monitoring and surveillance of churches by the IRS. That’s not separation of church and state no matter how you look at it.
If the IRS does audit Pastor Paul Blair, ADF will stand with him and other churches to defend his right to speak biblical truth from the pulpit.