On the January 14 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, while discussing Sen. Barack Obama's speech at the Pentecostal Temple Church of God and Christ in Las Vegas, host Tucker Carlson asserted that "many black churches are basically political organizations."
On the January 14 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, while discussing Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) January 13 speech delivered at the Pentecostal Temple Church of God and Christ in Las Vegas, host Tucker Carlson asserted that "many black churches are basically political organizations." During the segment, which featured Democratic strategist Peter Fenn, Carlson also asserted that "I just think it's immoral to use a church for politics. Period. And I don't care if [former Arkansas Gov. Mike] Huckabee does it, any right-winger does it, I'm against it."
From the January 14 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:
CARLSON: I was impressed, though, very much by, Peter, Huckabee's decision not to get political in church yesterday. All these different candidates go down to South Carolina and Nevada and preach these kind of political sermons -- which, by the way, I believe is illegal -- and Huckabee decides not to. By contrast, I want you to take a look at something that Barack Obama said in church on Sunday. Watch this.
OBAMA [video clip]: We're on the brink, on the cusp of doing something important. We could make history. Not, by the way, just -- you know, I know everybody's focused on racial history. That's not what I'm talking about. We could make history by being the first time in a very long time where a grassroots movement of people of all colors -- black, white, Hispanic, Asian -- rose up, and went up against the princes, the powers, and principalities, and actually won a presidency.
CARLSON: Now, why should you have a tax exemption, Peter, if you're campaigning in a church? Why should that church not pay taxes? I've got to pay taxes.
FENN: Speaking in a church. Oh, I see. So it was fine for Pat Robertson --
CARLSON: No, campaigning in a church. No, it's wrong. And I'm asking not about Pat Robertson, but it was wrong when anybody brings politics into a church.
FENN: Yeah, and, I mean, look. I have a fundamental agreement with you on that, on a basic principle here. But unfortunately what we have is a situation where you have voter guides put under people's windshields, where you have the Pat Robertsons and the Jerry Falwells of the world who turned churches into political machines. So, you know, I don't worry as much about a speech in a --
CARLSON: Really? Are they -- but you know what? You know the truth -- well, hold on. You know the truth, which is that many black churches are basically political organizations, and no one wants to say that, but you know full well it's true. You look into that camera and tell me you know that's not true, because you know it is. And yet nobody says anything about it.
FENN: No, no, no --
CARLSON: I just think it's immoral to use a church for politics. Period. And I don't care if Huckabee does it, any right-winger does it, I'm against it.
FENN: Well, this is the question. I agree -- I agree with that, Tucker. And I -- the thing that I think a lot of times happens is folks use it for social change. You know, and that is very important, because there are, you know -- if you're going to feed the unfed, if you're going to help the poor, if you're going to go out there, then you do it through a church. And so, you know, a lot of that comes very strongly from black churches in this country and white churches. But the point being that churches should not be agents in a political campaign. And that, I think, is -- you know, if that happens, then they should lose their tax-exempt status.
CARLSON: At the Pentecostal Temple Church of God, where Obama was on Sunday in southern Nevada, Pastor Leon Smith of that church said this: "If you can't support your own," he said to the congregation, mostly black, "you're never going to get anywhere." He was saying vote for Barack Obama. Man, I hope he loses his tax exemption.