The pastor at my church doesn’t do politics. The closest he gets is to pray for the national leadership, as Scripture commands. And before you ask, yes, he did it during all eight years of the Clinton administration. Preaching on politics would divide our congregation, which consists of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Besides, what’s the point of listening to a political sermon, as if most of us do not already have well-established points of view? We don’t need a clergyman to tell us how to vote. We need a clergyman to reveal God to us. If I want politics on Sunday morning, I can stay home and watch the morning interview shows.
Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, is investigating “prosperity gospel” preachers who claim you can live like kings if you’ll send them money, thus allowing them to live like kings. One can argue whether government ought to be inserting itself into doctrinal issues in order to save the biblically illiterate from their gullibility. But the Internal Revenue Service must investigate Trinity United Church of Christ to determine whether it has violated its tax-exempt status by allowing its pulpit to be used for political purposes.
God can judge the quality of the preaching at Trinity. The IRS should step in and judge the quality of the politics. If Rev. Pfleger’s cardinal, Francis George, won’t go beyond a statement criticizing his inflammatory and bigoted remarks, Pope Benedict XVI should consider disciplinary action. As for Obama’s resignation, he must still explain how he could sit in the church for two decades and be indifferent to such inflammatory rhetoric.