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Did you get one of those chain emails claiming that a bunch of churches in Charlotte tried to send gift baskets to representatives at the Democratic National Convention, but the Democrats refused them because they came from churches whose views on women or abortion differed from theirs?

It’s bogus.

A group of churches called “Charlotte 714” apparently did contact the local host committe and offered to provide gift baskets to delegates at the convention. Josh Field, a spokesman for the local host committee, told the Charlotte Observer that the committee had received dozens of similar requests, and “with 6,000 delegates we couldn’t accomodate all the requests.”

Field said it was all a matter of logistics: “in the group’s conversations with the Host Committee, no political or religious reasons were mentioned.”

That didn’t stop some members of the Charlotte 714 group from crying foul and claiming that they were turned away for holding social positions at variance with the Democrats. Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio (and formerly of Baptist Press) reported the church leaders’ assertions, and a chaplain from Northern California named Austin Miles drew on Starnes’ report in writing a blog claiming that the Democrats ignored a gathering of 9,000 Christians who prayed for the convention, but embraced a group of 200 Muslims who did the same. Miles asserted that the well-meaning churches “did not know how much the Dems hate God.” Links to the blog were widely circulated.

A story in the Charlotte Observer reported Sept. 26 that the account was bogus, but the “Dems Hate God” story continues to make the rounds.

It’s bad enough that the political candidates are having so much trouble sticking to the truth. Those who claim to represent God should also be careful about what claims they spread. If a “Dems Hate God” email shows up in your mailbox or on your Facebook page, please stand up for the truth break the chain.

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