After a church/state watchdog group sent as many as 84,000 letters to various faith leaders and churches, warning them to be careful of Internal Revenue Service restrictions that govern all political activities in the country, it claims to have received dozens of abusive responses from those very individuals and establishments, who seem to have been offended by the group’s warning.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said that it had sent out a letter to sectarian leaders and houses of worship across the United States urging them not to endorse candidates from the pulpit.
“We merely want houses of worship to follow the rules, stay out of partisan politics and keep their tax exemption,” Simon Brown, the assistant director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said in a blog post. “And when we explain to clergy what the law requires, we do so in a respectful way.”
However, Brown said that some of the recipients took offense to the reminder sent out by his organization and responded by sending rather fiery messages and emails to express their dissatisfaction. Americans United for Separation of Church and State received at least 45 such responses.
One of the letters was addressed to the organization’s executive director Reverend Barry Lynn and it was rather abusive in nature.
A man claiming to be a Catholic priest himself, wrote, “As for your solicitude regarding our legal well-being, I ask that you shove it up your fat white ass.”
Another faith leader who refused to identify himself wrote the phrase “drop dead” on the document before sending it back. Additionally, others wrote back telling Americans United for Separation of Church and State that they did not intend to comply with the organization’s warning related to tax laws. So much so that one leader used a red marker to write,”Come and get me, I DARE YOU!”
Reportedly, another religious leader simply tore up the letter into pieces and posted it back to Americans United for Separation of Church and State without attaching any additional message.
The organization believes such a reaction from the concerned faith leaders only goes on to prove that they have no respect for IRS regulations that accompany their organizations’ tax-exempt status.
Photo Credits: Speak Up Movement