Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Taking Back Kansas: Newspaper says Phill Kline's church strategy calls his character into question

The Hutchinson News slammed Attorney General Phill Kline today for taking his re-election campaign into conservative churches.

Kline's church-based fund-raising strategy became known recently when a memo leaked from his campaign.

Writing from the GOP-dominated town of 40,000, The Hutchinson News notes:

The strategy clearly is church-focused, and that makes it dangerous and calls into question Kline's character as well.

Kline might be a dynamic preacher. In fact, maybe he should change professions.

But during an active campaign season is not the time to be making guest appearances at churches. And church clergy are foolish for inviting him, let alone for
organizing fundraisers and committees of volunteers.

Beyond the tax law, actually stemming from, is the bigger issue of separation of church and state. Conceptually this separation does not mean that God and faith should be purged from public life. Rather, it means that organized religion should not overn public life.

Americans respect the separation in our Constitution for good reason. It is for the good of churches, not just for a secular government. We don't want government to control the church, so we can't have the church controlling government.

Kline obviously cares more about getting re-elected than he does about respecting important constitutional principles. Even the people in the pews should recognize that Kline is not in their pulpit to inspire them spiritually - at least not foremost. He is there to raise money and get votes.

The Hutchinson News editorial comes just a few days after an organization of ministers called on fellow pastors to condemn Kline's church fundraising and said his campaign is hurting both Christianity and secular society.

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