October 6, 2016 12:29 am -

Meet Kentucky governor Matt Bevin. He is encouraging fundamentalist Christian ministers to preach politics from the pulpit in violation of federal law:


Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin urged a group of preachers to embrace political speech at the pulpit by telling them not to fear a federal law that prohibits candidate endorsements by tax-exempt churches.

Bevin called the federal law a “paper tiger” during an address to preachers at the governor’s mansion last month. A group called Kentuckians Against Matt Bevin posted video captured by someone at the gathering. Bevin says no church has ever been punished under the law.

The governor calls the law “an absolute paper tiger and there is no reason to fear it, there is no reason to be silent.”

Martin “Booman” Longman weighed in Appalachia, extremism, and Bevin’s particularly un-American flavor of crazy:

As the Associated Press reports, this law that is supposedly never enforced (and therefore not a law?) has been on the books since 1954, and it states that no tax-exempt organization may participate or intervene in any “political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”

I only need to go back as far as September 1st to discover that Donald Trump was fined $2,500 this year by the Internal Revenue Service for violating the tax code when he made a political contribution via his tax-exempt Donald J. Trump Foundation. That’s a pretty mild slap on the wrist, it’s true, but Matt Bevin wasn’t offering to pay these pastors’ tax attorneys and federal fines.

The thing is, Gov. Bevin is the opposite of hinged, which he made clear in August when he asked his supporters a non-rhetorical question about a future with Hillary Clinton in the White House:

“Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children,” he said. “It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we, through our apathy and our indifference, have given away. Don’t let it happen.”

Do you remember back in 1992 when Jerry Brown told his frothing hordes that their children would need to die if Poppy won a second term?

Yeah, that never happened. Matt Bevin isn’t normal. Both sides don’t do this.

I wasn’t born until the end of the 1960s, so until now I only read about governors proudly advising their citizens to defy federal laws because the folks in DC didn’t have the guts to enforce them. I suppose the end of Jim Crow did seem apocalyptic to some folks but Alabama’s football team is still winning national championships so I think it worked out alright in the end.

It’s weird that we’re getting back to a similarly nasty level of cultural war. The Kentucky pastors will fan out and redeem the nation with Matt Bevin as their Savonarola.

And when Hillary wins, these folks will revert back to law-abiding citizens, right?



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.