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Tom: Churches Wrong To Be Political

This information flyer was circulated by a Coeur d'Alene pastor who emphasized that the primary election was "important!" -- and was careful to point out: "I need to remind you that this is not a political campaign for any particular candidate but is sent as a help to each of you as you make your decision and vote." You can see the other side of the flyer -- for the governor and other statewide races in the comments section.

Chairman Tom Hearn/Coeur d'Alene School Board: I just finished reading the Press articles summarizing the election results. Three things struck me. Did you ever notice how many of the far right people who ran for office, and some of whom won, are newcomers to the area? Most native Idahoans I know are very independent but not far right in their politics. Secondly the far right is organized and disciplined and gets out their votes. Voter apathy and lack of a disciplined organization is killing the moderate Republicans and Democrats. Third, when is somebody going to challenge the practices of certain churches and pastors who repeatedly get involved in partisan and non partisan political issues? I attend church myself and I have no problem with people who attend church having political views and being involved in community issues. In fact we have a moral obligation as individuals to do so. But churches sending out voter guides? I think pastors should not use their pulpits for partisan politics and people, particularly from the religious community, should challenge pastors who persist in such behavior.

Question: I know of 2 churches in which the pastors directly or indirectly let members know whom they favored in the Tuesday elections. Is that right or wrong?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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