Pilot Online reports that Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general urged pastors and other church leaders to speak out politically, telling them that failure to do so concedes the battle over Christian values to "the other side."
"You can speak to any issue in America from the pulpit, full-throated, ears pinned back," Ken Cuccinelli told about 250 clergy at a "Christian Citizenship and Godly Government" breakfast an event sponsored by the Virginia Christian Alliance.
Donald Blake, chairman of the Richmond-based conservative organization, said Cuccinelli was invited to speak because church leaders are looking for assurance that they can talk about political issues without risking their tax-exempt status.
They can, Cuccinelli said, as long as they are careful to avoid explicitly endorsing or advocating the defeat of a candidate on behalf of the church. Pastors can endorse candidates personally as long as they make clear that their church affiliation is given just for identification purposes, he said.
Cuccinelli said it's common for Christians to think "politics is dirty" and avoid getting involved. When that happens, he said: "You just left the field to the other side."
"Pull out a map of Virginia and look where the abortion clinics are," Cuccinelli said. "That doesn't make you mad? You're a calmer person than I am. It makes me mad."