This “quote” is running around the church/state blogosphere. There is a valid point here, but saying “Ministers should stop preaching politics” is wrong on many levels.
- Define “politics”. Does that mean churches can’t be involved with discussions about how local and/or state taxes affect their neighborhoods? Really?
- Churches are bigger than their ministers. Churches far too often suffer from bad leadership. Attacking the whole church because of a preacher without a personal/public filter is (to quote Obama) using a hatchet for a job that requires a scalpel.
The primary problem with this “quote” though, it really a lack of precision which stems from understanding the First Amendment. Churches have historically, and should forever, be interested in the “politics” of their neighborhoods and neighbors. It is part of what it means to be a citizen to have a vested interest in the “polis” (the city). But, preachers are specifically prohibited from using the pulpit to advocate for a specific political party and/or political candidate. Christians of all stripes should and can agree with that policy. A lot of wind is being blown over this lack of clarity and precision.