OK to speak at church but can’t electioneer
A letter writer asked why Americans United for Separation of Church and State was not actively involved with prohibiting Democratic candidates from visiting churches, as they recently did in Las Vegas (“OK to share pulpit?” Feb. 20 Letters to the Editor). The insinuation was that AU favors the Democratic Party when it comes to electioneering.
The truth is, AU is against any form of partisan politicking in houses of worship, whether it be by Democratic or Republican candidates.
Under federal law, religious leaders are prohibited from instructing their congregations whom to vote for on Election Day. That is called electioneering. However, the IRS has said there are other things religious leaders may do, such as discuss issues and encourage people to learn where candidates stand on issues.
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The IRS also says houses of worship may invite political leaders to speak before their congregations as long as no overt electioneering occurs. Of course, during an election year we know politicians are looking for face time in churches. But as long as they do not specifically state “Vote for me,” they are free to speak.
Churches on both the left and right invite candidates during election cycles to speak before their congregations. In past cases in which these appearances took on the air of campaign rallies with partisan overtones, Americans United has asked the IRS to investigate. We are evenhanded here because no party is above pandering for votes in houses of worship.
Vickie Sandell Stangl, Andover
President, Great Plains Chapter of AU for Separation of Church and State
Home a blessing
Though we all hope for a day when no children in our community are in need of protective custody or emergency shelter, we are blessed, in the meantime, to have the Wichita Children’s Home. Touring through the WCH’s new building recently, I could clearly see how very thoughtful the effort was to create a well-equipped, efficient facility that would also be warm and welcoming.
Huge kudos go to CEO Debbie Kennedy and her dedicated staff, WCH board members and capital campaign volunteers, as well as every donor who made this new facility possible. Their hard work and generous gifts have ensured that vulnerable young people are well cared for and safe, and for that we all should be grateful.
Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita
Good for Chick-fil-A
I appreciated reading about how Chick-fil-A at Central and Rock has put little “chicken coops” on the tables for people to put their cell phones and other electronic devices in turned off (March 2 Eagle). If they can make it through a meal without looking at these devices, they get a free ice cream cone. It’s a good way to get family and friends to spend time together with true face time. What a brilliant idea.
This is one more good reason to eat there. I also like very much the fact that Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday, creating a day of rest for its employees. Sunday has to be the biggest chicken day in this country.
Can you imagine the money the chain loses by being closed? Obviously this is one company that is not all about money. Good for it.
Judy L. Young, Wichita
Thanks for help, meal
For years I have worn clothing depicting my World War II data. Few notice.
Recently at a fast food store, a very nice young lady helped me in ordering my complex food. When it was time to pay, I found out she had already paid for it – and then disappeared.
Thank you, nice lady. Thank you very much.
Elmer Pinkerton, Wichita
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