Recently a New York Times editorial took a New York City Catholic priest to task for placing a letter written by six former U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican in a church bulletin; the letter offered support for Mitt Romney.
It was not the parishioners, however, who sounded the alarms: it was a coalition of George Soros-funded groups and the Times. The Soros-funded groups (they were also behind a petition drive) were Catholics United, Faith in Public Life, and Faithful America. Here are a few examples of real church and state violations that the Times showed no interest in addressing:
• In 2000, Al Gore was endorsed by Rev. Floyd Flake in his church
• In 2000, Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton campaigned in synagogues in the Hamptons
• In 2000, the Black Ministers Council of NJ endorsed John Corzine for governor
• In 2010, Rev. Clinton M. Miller asked his Baptist congregation to vote for Andrew Cuomo for governor (the Times reported this though there was no editorial)
In African American neighborhoods, both the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) churches, as well as Baptist ones, have been getting away with political endorsements for years. Indeed, in 1988 Rev. Jesse Jackson took up collections in Chicago churches. No alarms went off.
In April, President Obama called on African Americans to go “to your faith community” and organize “congregation captains” on his behalf. No alarms went off. In June, Michelle Obama told a Nashville AME congregation that there is “no better place” to talk about political issues than in church. No alarms went off.
So why did the alarms go off now? Because a Catholic priest is involved? Also, why can’t white liberals call out black ministers for blatant and consistent violations? Two expressions of prejudice are operative.