Us elections are drawing near, and such events are good opportunities for clerics to either get some advantages by getting ‘in bed with power’, or, alternatively, to examine their hearts and play the prophetic role to which God called them.
In a recent article published on his blog hosted by Religious News Service, American ethics theologian David Gushee suggests some rules for political engagement by clergy, in order to avoid being used as mere instruments in a dirty political game. Here they are:
– Clergy should not endorse political candidates, from a pulpit or anywhere else.
– Clergy should not push out essentially partisan voter guides through their churches.
– Clergy should not offer strategic advice to candidates related to how to win a religious constituency.
– Clergy should not calibrate their preaching in order to influence the outcome of an election.
– Clergy should not invite political candidates to speak in their churches unless they invite all major candidates for a particular office.
– Clergy should not use their churches as a base of operations for partisan voter registration campaigns.
You may read HERE the entire post.
* * *
Rev. Dr. David Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He is the author or editor of 20 books in his field, including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, The Sacredness of Human Life, and Changing Our Mind. He was recently elected Vice President of the American Academy of Religion.