Obama Aide Blasts Republicans From MLK Pulpit
On the Sunday before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett visited Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to give a political speech, in support of her boss (Barack Obama) and congressional Democrats.
“Teachers, and firefighters, and policemen, whose jobs are now in jeopardy because Congress–well let me be specific–because the Republicans in Congress,” Jarrett told the crowd
Jarrett also brought up Osama bin Laden’s death in order to praise the president. “We all sleep a little better at night knowing Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants are not plotting a terrorist attack against the United States,” Jarrett said.
Then she pivoted to Iraq: “I saw so many soldiers returning home from their last tour of duty in Iraq, in time for the Christmas holidays.”
At the end of the service, after Jarrett had delivered her remarks to the congregation, the church held a voter registration drive.
Here’s a link to TV coverage of Jarrett’s speech.
Whether Jarrett knew it or not, it was against the law for the church to allow a political speech from its pulpit.
The U.S. Tax Code says tax exempt organizations, including churches and religious organizations, 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.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status.
The Tax Code does allow churches to hold voter registration drives, but only if they don’t favor or oppose a particular candidate or group of candidates.
What do you think? Will the church once pastored by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lose its tax exempt status for allowing speeches as blatantly political as the one Jarrett gave?