Thursday, October 19, 2006
Phill Kline Hits the Jackpot
When RSR pictures Jesus, we see a very mild mannered sort of guy -- a-turn-the-other-cheek, let-those-among-you-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone, the-meek-shall-inherit-the-earth type who abhorred violence.
In fact the only time we can recall that the Son of God got really riled up (naturally, we claim no special expertise here) was when he encountered money changers in the Temple. Matthew (21:12-13) tells us that when Jesus came into Jerusalem, he
entered into the temple of God, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.
He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!"
Now, here in Kansas our Attorney General, Phill Kline, is one of those born-again, holier-than-thou politicians who, in the immortal words of Outkast, likes to think his shit don't stank.
Our top law enforcement official wants to follow Biblical law on gays and abortion -- going so far as to subpoena the medical records of teens who have had abortions in the state -- but when it comes to the temple of God, our boy Kline sees not a house of prayer, but a slot machine primed for the big payoff.
A memo leaked from the Kline campaign demonstrates how he mixes religion and money as part what the Lawrence Journal World calls "an aggressive strategy to raise campaign funds and win re-election."
Get the pastor to invite 5 ‘money people,’ whom he knows can help,” Kline told his campaign staff in a detailed, four-page memo titled “church efforts.”
Former Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan, who recently resigned as Kline's special assistant, is talking about the issue:
“When you use your faith to shuttle money into your for-profit corporation, that bothers me. Especially when you are there, certainly giving voice to your faith, but with the credential of being the attorney general,” Stephan said in an interview with the LJW.
And he’s particularly upset about an instance where a church made donations to a business owned by Kline’s wife, Deborah, reports the LJW.
Stephan said he was told by someone that after Kline spoke this summer at Light of the World Christian Center in Topeka, the minister asked congregants to write checks to the church, and then the church would write a check to SWT communications, which produces radio spots about historical events that are sold across the state.
Kline, whose memo says he can preach at several churches each Sunday if their services are scheduled at different times, never goes to Las Vegas. Too much sin there.
But then he can pull the levers at Kansas churches anytime he wants.
The only thing that might ruin that sweet setup is the second coming of Christ (or, perhaps, a sufficiently wised up majority of Kansas voters.