Southcrest Baptist Church Accused of Electioneering
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing Southcrest Baptist Church, accusing the church of electioneering according to KAMC. The Freedom From Religion Foundation also sent a complaint letter to the Internal Revenue Service asking that "donations" no longer be tax deductible.
According to KAMC, the complaint goes back to Lubbock ISD school board races where the Freedom From Religion Foundation claims that the church told those in attendance that they needed to pay attention to "local school board elections". The complaint also says that the church displayed information about some of the candidates.
Southcrest Baptist Church responded to KAMC saying they have done nothing wrong.
“Southcrest Baptist Church is in 100% compliance with the federal requirements for 501(c)(3) organizations. A church is not prohibited from advocating for its beliefs in the public square under those requirements. No violations were committed pertaining to these guidelines.“
According to KAMC, a video of the pastor shows him discussing the local school board elections that were about to have early voting.
In a video of an April 24 sermon that was posted to the church’s Facebook page, Pastor David Wilson told the congregation, “If you are in the Lubbock Independent School District, inside the Lubbock Independent School District, the school board elections begin tomorrow. Early voting does.”
He continued, “If you’d like some information on some conservative people that have values probably like you, there are some brochures like this outside.”
The pastor also said, “There are some people that are running for school board that you will not agree with. I can assure you. So, you need to be alert, and please go vote.”
All of this follows a push by the Texas Tribune months ago to collect information about churches that were engaging in politics. The Tribune had asked readers to submit stories to the site about how the church is getting involved in politics.
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