Keith Lunceford, the pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church, on the other hand said he believes churches should have the right to be part of the political discourse.Lunceford
cited the civil cights movement as a positive force for change that sprang out of black churches in the south.He
said that those churches used their public forum to encourage people to vote for candidates sympathetic to civil rights issues and to hold voter registration drives.
"We would not come as far as we have with civil rights if they had to follow the same IRS
rules as we do today," Lunceford
Lunceford worries that the rules for churches are designed to keep religious organizations silent and force them to preach only on certain subjects.He
believes they are meant "to keep churches from having any influence over morality."
And that, Lunceford
said, is an important role for the church to play.
"If churches don't have an opinion on something, then why go to church," he
and Mathews all said they will avoid the appearance of endorsing a particular candidate or political party this November.
I have some who may even vote for Nader," Lunceford