A non-denominational church in the Hill Country town of Leakey has jumped into the presidential race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
“Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The capitalist, not the communist!,” reads the outdoor sign at Church in the Valley in Leakey.
“A faction of conservatives have long believed that Obama is a Muslim, even though he has discussed his Christian faith and often attends Church with First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia,” the Huffington Post’s Sabrina Siddiqui
“Is it protected speech or political hate?,” asked Phil Anaya of the San Antonio TV station KENS, who first broke the story. “And does it have a place on a church marquee?”
Anaya spoke to Church in the Valley pastor Ray Miller, who, he reported:
…declined an interview but did say the sign was solely his idea. He said he changes the sign weekly and this isn’t the first bold statement to be displayed.
The pastor said he feels strongly about the upcoming presidential election and feels the message on the marquee speaks for itself.
Since it is a church, it is classified as a non-profit organization. That means, by law, it can not endorse a political candidate
Anaya’s story was picked up by ABC affiliates around the state, as well as national ABC News, whose Sydney Lupkin reported that “as of 2002 … the Internal Revenue Service reported that only two churches have ever lost non-profit status over campaign involvement.”
Lupkin also noted that the