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Media Looks Into Meeks Gray Area Between Preaching and Politics

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 13, 2010 6:50PM

2010_12_13_meeks.jpg The Rev. James Meeks has been a state senator for over seven years and he's blurred the line between politics and preaching long before he was elected to serve in Springfield. So why does it seem like he's only being asked about how he strikes a balance between rendering unto Caesar and God what is theirs now? We're guessing his mayoral campaign has something to do with it.

The Tribune asked that very question over the weekend, reminding readers that churches are prohibited from engaging in political activity, especially from the pulpit. And Meeks's sermons, which often tout empowerment and raising awareness of how his congregation can affect the political process, walk a gossamer-thin line.
Meeks, for what it's worth, said that he's mindful of the ground rules laid out by the IRS.

"I don't think I violated anything," Meeks said. "I think anybody who is a good Christian should be a good citizen, and a good citizen should be a person who understands politics."

Meeks isn't the first preacher to dip his toes into politics or become an activist for social change, nor will he be the last. And, while Meeks says he's cognizant of the rules telling him what he can and can't do from the pulpit, his choice of words aren't the nuclear option of other preachers who openly advocate for politicians from the pulpit as "God's candidates."