reported that the Republican Party's efforts to obtain church directories in North Carolina has caused consternation in some quarters. "The North Carolina Republican Party asked its members this week to send their church directories to the party, drawing furious protests from local and national religious leaders.
" The GOP's action fits in very well with what it has been doing for some years. The Republicans found out that it paid to wear your religion on your sleeves. All of a sudden they became devout Born Again Christians, champions of bigotry, full of zeal to demolish the barrier between church and state. Their attempts to cull church directories to look for supporters and volunteers should not surprise any one.
- During the 2004 presidential race, the Bush-Cheney campaign sent a similar request to Republican activists across the country. It asked churchgoers not only to furnish church directories to the campaign, but also to use their churches as a base for political organizing.
- The tactic was roundly condemned by religious leaders across the political spectrum, including conservative evangelical Christians. Ten professors of ethics at major seminaries and universities wrote a letter to President Bush in August 2004 asking him to "repudiate the actions of your re-election campaign," and calling on both parties to "respect the integrity of all houses of worship."
And so it goes.*****