Do you think politicians (ministers or not) should be allowed to speak from the pulpit on political issues? Why or why not?

Bobbie Cooper: “Yes, they should be able to speak at churches because the church is where you have a large amount of people and information can be passed on to the people as well as to other churches.”

Sandra Joiner: “I think it’s an easy subject because a lot time when you see a politician is in the church. A lot of our voters would not vote unless the politician comes to the church. A lot of times you can’t get people out to vote, so therefore if they go into the church and speak what they feel and what they are going to do for our community, then maybe more of our people will vote, and we can get some things changed in our communities. George Bush is supposed to be a very religious man, but he will not come to our churches. He did not go to any of the NAACP meetings. He will not come to the African-American churches. I’ve never seen George Bush at a black church.”

Jeff Clark: “I do not believe politicians should ‘use the pulpit’ of the church for their political agendas. If churches allow political speakers, I think it should be other than Sunday services, such as a community meeting, and invite opposing candidates to participate, so the audience does not get a one-sided view. I believe Christians should make informed decisions regarding civic and political issues. To stay informed of the issues, I think they should read the news and attend political forums or attend community meetings like ‘other folks.’ The pulpit is for the messenger of God (as he/she hears from God) to proclaim God’s viewpoint on the issues.”

Felicia Clay: “This is a place where large numbers of people come together. Sometimes if the politician speaks, it might make people come out and vote. In the church, people can learn about some of the issues and can look over the politician for themselves. The black church has been the place where civil rights activists met and where many decisions about communities and politics were discussed. We can hear from the politicians what he or she has to say, and we can then make up our own minds whether we will vote for them or not. The more information and knowledge we get can help make for better decisions.”