A Baptist church in Maiden violated federal tax law when its pastor intervened in the presidential election, the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State said Wednesday.
Americans United asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Providence Road Baptist Church, whose pastor, Charles Worley, on May 13 delivered a sermon urging the congregation to vote against President Barack Obama.
In a release, the group stated that during an extended attack on Obamas support for same-sex marriage, Worley suggested quarantining gays and lesbians and allowing them to die. Those statements attracted widespread media attention, but Americans United said the IRS should not overlook his remarks regarding Obama.
Pastor Worleys vicious and mean-spirited assault on gays and lesbians is bad enough, said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United. His pulpit command that people not vote for President Obama is a violation of federal tax law.
During the sermon, Worley referred to our president getting up and saying that it was all right for two women to marry or two men to marry, and added I was disappointed bad.
He then went on to observe Someone said, Who ya gonna vote for? I aint gonna vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover.
In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday, Lynn told the federal tax agency that Worleys action is a clear violation of federal law, which prohibits all 501 nonprofit groups from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates.
Americans Uniteds Project Fair Play encourages religious organizations to learn about the provisions of federal tax law. When churches or other religious groups violate the law, Americans United files complaints with the IRS, the release said.
Worley couldnt be reached for comment on Wednesday.