IFAS | Freedom Writer | March/April 1998 | mcclelland.html

Car dealer lures clergy into politics

LaMesa, California Bob McClellan owns the local McClellan Buick Pontiac GMC dealership. He is also a member of the El Cajon city council. For several years, McClellan has manned a booth for Wallbuilders at the Christian Coalition's annual Road to Victory conference in Washington, DC. Wallbuilders is the company owned by David Barton, a producer of videos and books that attempt to debunk the constitutional provision for separation of church and state.

Now McClellan is promoting political activism by members of the conservative Christian clergy. In half-page ads in the Southern California Christian Times, McClellan posts a notice announcing: "Attention Pastors!" Next to a picture of a 1998 Buick Century, McClellan writes: "I believe it is time that people of character get involved in politics. I want to help you become more aware of the resources available to elect good people to public office."

The ad offers pastors a free dinner at a local resort hotel. One attendee told the Freedom Writer that McClellan shows Wallbuilders' video depicting America as a Christian nation. The Freedom Writer inquired whether McClellan had considered putting free copies of Barton's audio cassettes in the Buick's tape decks, but McClellan was out of town and unavailable for comment.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.