More on Wiley Drake

August 18, 2007

On Thursday, I reported for Ethics Daily about Wiley Drake's controversy with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. After Drake endorsed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on church letterhead, AU filed an IRS complaint. Drake responded by asking Christians to join him in prayers cursing AU. In my interview with him, Drake explained about his prayer request:

God's Word says if they continue to attack God's people, God will cause their children to become orphans and their wives to become widows. I didn't say that, God did.
Since then, some important developments have arisen. Drake argued:

I have never have been worried about the IRS. ... They don't scare me. I don't give a rip about the IRS. I don't believe in the separation of church and state and I believe the IRS should stay out of church business.
AU's executive director, Barry Lynn, noted:

A prayer for death seems to be a little harsh just for trying to get the tax laws enforced equally and fairly.
Alice Stewart, a campaign spokesperson for the Huckabee campaign, stated:

We certainly don't condone the evil comments he's made.
Huckabee told the Boston Globe that although he is "not in a position to disavow anyone's support," he does not agree with Drake's approach. Huckabee added that he is more concerned with "the saving of souls, rather than the damning of souls."

AU's blog noted that the Southern Baptist Convention's Baptist Press has apparently not reported on any of Drake's controversial comments, even though he recently served as the SBC's second vice president.

Finally, Drake has sent out a new press release dated August 16 (which he emailed to me). It reads:

Re: Clarification of my personal endorsement of Mike Huckabee

On August 11th I issued the following statement, " After very serious prayer and consideration I announce today that I am going to personally endorse Mike Huckabee"

I would like to clear up any confusion by the following statement.........

"I was speaking only for myself, and even though my letterhead had "First Southern Baptist Church" and " The Southern Baptist Convention" and it was broadcast on the radio station "Crusade Radio", I was not speaking for either of these groups. I said in my statement, "I am going to personally endorse"

Any identification with First Southern Baptist Church, The Southern Baptist Convention, and Crusade Radio was simply my 1st Amendment right to free speech to identify who I am.

I also would like to offer to any political organization equal and/or free air time on my show, "The Wiley Drake Show".
This story just keeps getting more interesting.