Thursday, January 17, 2008
Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced that it has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a Nevada church whose pastor allegedly called for the election of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. In what will almost certainly be only one of many such complaints this election season from Americans United and others, the request asserts that Pastor Leon Smith of the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Las Vegas said to his congregation on January 13th that "if the polls were open today, I would cast my vote for this senator." Pastor Smith also allegedly said "I want to see this man in office." Pastor Smith made the comments shortly before a visit from Senator Obama to the church. Americans United apparently learned of Pastor Smith's comments from a Las Vegas Review-Journal article about Obama's various campaign stops in Nevada.
(Full Disclosure: The firm with which I am Of Counsel has represented Amercians United for Separation of Church and State.)