June 17, 2010; Source: Religious Dispatches | The Alliance Defense Fund aims at undoing the establishment clause of the First Amendment (remember: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”) These are the people who believe in prayer in the schools, religious displays on public properties, and, in this case, religious institutions engaging in partisan electioneering.

The Alliance has recruited H. Wayne Williams, the evangelical minister at Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City, South Dakota, to push the boundary between church and state when it comes to political endorsements. Rev. Williams endorsed Gordon Howie, the “Tea Party Republican” candidate for governor, though Howie lost the nomination.

Plenty of religious institutions have been pushing the electioneering boundary for tax exempt organizations as though they’re going to breach the boundary for churches and eventually for all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The danger in giving tax deductions for “charitable” contributions to political campaigns means a huge diversion of resources away from legitimate nonprofit activities.—Rick Cohen