Colorado evangelicals are on the political outs. At least that’s what Salon.com reporter Mike Madden says. Madden visited Colorado Springs’ legendary New Life Church on Sunday, and found that Pastor Brady Boyd was less-than-partisan during his sermon, a phenomenon that the Colorado Independent noted last month.
Boyd is the replacement pastor for church founder Ted Haggard, who left New Life in 2006 mired in a gay sex and meth scandal. Haggard was a vocal supporter of President George Bush, and is credited, along with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, with fueling the Republican evangelical fire in the past few years. But Boyd has taken a more watered-down tack to election-year politics:
I want to talk to you at least for a couple of minutes here about the election, Boyd reportedly said during yesterday’s sermon. It’s this Tuesday and I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to Wednesday. I’m tired of political ads. I’ve had it — my bandwidth is maxed out on political ads.”
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, Boyd continued. You pray, fast and vote for whoever God tells you represents your values. We have a biblical worldview here, so vote for candidates who are going to do that — who are going to uphold the biblical worldview we all have.
But while Boyd hedged on the national election, he stood firm on Colorado’s Amendment 48, a ballot initiative that seeks define an egg as a person.
“If you’re not interested in any other issue on the ballot please, please, go to the polls on Tuesday — if you have not voted yet — and vote yes for Amendment 48,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.” Salon.com’s Madden went on to say that Boyd probably violated “the terms of the church’s tax-exempt status” with that last statement. However, that’s not true. Church leaders may endorse nonpartisan ballot amendments or issues, but not candidates, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Madden painted Boyd and his McCain-supporting congregation as painfully out of touch with the rest of Colorado. The state recently moved from red to purple to blue territory, and Amendment 48, for its part, is down in the polls.