MIAMI – The Bush-Cheney campaign (search) is asking religious supporters to hand over their church directories so that Republican volunteers can use their names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to shore up support for President Bush (search).
A survey by the Annenberg Center (search) finds that GOP support has strengthened among evangelical and born-again white Protestants since Bush took office. Fifty-one percent of people who identify themselves that way now say they are Republicans, compared to 43 percent in 2000.
The Bush-Cheney campaign says approaching churches is relatively new. Some church leaders say while it may not be illegal, it is most certainly unethical and violates their members' right to privacy.
"Let us pray for successful ventures of our nation and health and prosperity," said Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese in southeast Florida. "That is what the church is for, it is not to have partisan politics."
But the Bush-Cheney campaign is not backing down. Among other things, the plan encourages congregation insiders to write to their local papers, organize registration drives and recruit more volunteers.
Go to the video box at the top of this page to watch a report by FOX News' Orlando Salinas.