Thursday, July 22, 2010

Allegations Fly In Watchdog-Church Dispute

Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, a group founded by the pastor of an Edmond church, violated federal law by promoting a candidate's campaign rally, a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington said Wednesday.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State says an e-mail sent by the group Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ violated federal law because it is a tax-exempt group that sent an e-mail supporting a candidate. The e-mail was about a June 24 event in Warr Acres for Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City. Its headline read, "Rally for Sally on Thursday!!"

Here is an exact quote from the e-mail: "In case you missed it, the homosexual lobby has recruited an individual that has had a sex change operation to run against Rep. Kern. The homosexual lobby from across America will be pouring money into this local race in an attempt to make a statement to the country by knocking out an outspoken Christian, pro-family representative. If they succeed, it will serve as a warning shot across the bough of all elected officials who defend Biblical values. Even if this is not your district, this race will effect you! Once a person is elected to the legislature, their voting impacts ALL Oklahomans."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is asking the Internal Revenue Service to look into the matter.

The Rev. Paul Blair, founder of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ and pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, denied any wrongdoing.

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