Because of the Johnson Amendment, pastors aren’t supposed to endorse candidates from the pulpit unless they’re willing to lose their church’s tax-exempt status.
But E.W. Jackson, a Christian activist who’s hoping to be the Republican challenger for Tim Kaine‘s Senate seat, doesn’t give a damn about the law. Or at least not the principle of it. He went ahead and filmed a campaign ad inside his church — Chesapeake’s The Called Church — telling Christians that they needed to vote for him.
Because who cares about the spirit of the law?
“Please, go out and vote on June 12,” Jackson said. “My name is the third on the ballot … Remember, you are voting for a Christian. I know and love the Lord. You’re voting for a pastor and a churchman.”
Jackson went on to assert that not to vote is “a sin against God,” insisting that Christians must “vote your Christian values” by supporting him.
“If you do this, we will never have to be concerned about the kind of leadership we get in Virginia,” he said. “Because when Christians rise up and get involved and get informed and go out to the polls and vote your Christian conscience … Vote your biblical values and we will make sure that the commonwealth of Virginia remains a place that we can be proud of and that God will be pleased with.”
Got that, Virginia? Not voting is a sin against God, and not voting for Jackson would be a violation of your Christian values. (Even though Tim Kaine is a still-devout former missionary…)
If a Democrat ever made a similar ad, the Right would go batshit crazy. But I doubt you’ll hear much GOP opposition to Jackson for trying to guilt-trip Christians into voting for him. As far as scandals go, Republicans do much worse on a daily basis.
In case you’re wondering, one poll shows that a head-to-head matchup between Kaine and Jackson would have Kaine winning by 24 points. So maybe we should all be rooting for Jackson to win the primary. He’d be a disaster for his party.
(via Right Wing Watch)