Friday, June 01, 2007

Complaint filed with IRS after Tampa televangelist compares Romney to Satan.

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post
Posted June 1 2007, 10:44 AM EDT

WASHINGTON _ Florida evangelist Bill Keller says he was making a spiritual -- not political -- statement when he warned the 2.4 million subscribers to his Internet prayer ministry that ``if you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!''

But the Washington-based advocacy group Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should revoke the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status of Bill Keller Ministries, nonetheless.

Keller, 49, who has a call-in show on a Tampa television station and a Web site called, on May 11 sent out a ``daily devotional'' that called Romney ``an unabashed and proud member of the Mormon cult founded by a murdering polygamist pedophile named Joseph Smith nearly 200 years ago.

'' If the former Massachusetts governor wins the GOP nomination and the presidency, Keller's message added, it will ``ultimately lead millions of souls to the eternal flames of hell.''

In a letter to the IRS on Thursday, Americans United called Keller's message a violation of the ban on partisan politicking by tax-exempt religious groups.

Keller, in a telephone interview, laughed off the controversy. ``Let them come after me for making a spiritual statement about Mitt Romney. I would love that,'' he said. ``Bring it on.''

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