Stanley Fish takes on the argument over whether religious leaders ought to be able to endorse candidates from the pulpit or altar or whatever is in the front of their house of worship, and as is his habit, he doesn't come up with a solid position. But in order to come to that non-decision, he has to ignore one major part of the equation. He never really addresses what's at stake for these churches, namely, their tax exemption. Take this section, for instance:

If in the judgment of a pastor the imperatives she urges on her flock are likely either to be weakened or made stronger by the election of a particular candidate, is she not obliged to declare herself on what is only superficially a political issue but is really a religious issue? Wouldn’t she be derelict in her duty if she declined to do so on the reasoning (which she would reject) that religious doctrine has no implications for what one does in the public sphere?
That's a straw man argument. No one, except perhaps the most extreme atheist (not me, I assure you) is arguing that religious doctrine has no implications for what one does in the public sphere. The rules as they exist now are not onerous--you can say practically anything you want from the pulpit except for a candidate's name, and given the kinds of issues we're generally talking about here, it's not difficult to figure out where a pastor falls in most elections.

This is a fair deal for both sides. Churches don't endorse candidates and they get to stay tax-exempt. This bargain has been working pretty well for the last 50 years, and it's only because some hard-right churches want to have their evangelism and politics in the same speech that we're seeing this challenged today. But let's not pretend this is about some higher issue or calling. This is about money, and to ignore that is to ignore the driving force behind this challenge.

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