[The Anniston Star] 11 Oct 2008--The political endorsement was clear, although the words were carefully chosen.
New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, clearly wanted to inspire his supporters, even his own priests, to back Barack Obama for president. Still, he stressed that his endorsement was personal, not corporate.
”I will not be speaking about the campaign from the pulpit or at any church function,“ the bishop told reporters in a 2007 conference call that drew low-key, calm news coverage. ”That is completely inappropriate. But as a private citizen, I will be at campaign events and help in any way that I can.”
The reaction was different after the Rev. Luke Emrich preached to about 100 evangelicals at New Life Church this past weekend, near Milwaukee.
Veering from Scripture into politics, he said his beliefs about abortion would control his vote.
“I’m telling you straight up, I would choose life,” said Emrich in a text that is being sent to the Internal Revenue Service. “I would cast a vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. ... But friends, it’s your choice to make, it’s not my choice. I won’t be in the voting booth with you.”
Like the liberal Episcopal bishop, Emrich openly endorsed a candidate.
And, like the bishop, he made it clear he was speaking for himself. The difference was that Emrich spoke from a pulpit, not a desk at the top of a church hierarchy.
Legal or illegal? That’s a matter of location, location, location.