Pastors feel heat on tax plan

? Alabama clergy say they understand the moral and theological arguments made by Gov. Bob Riley in his push for tax reform, but many church leaders are wary of talking taxes from the pulpit.

Riley, a Southern Baptist, says Alabamans have a moral duty to overhaul the tax structure to ease the burden on the poor and children. The state must also raise taxes to cover what Riley estimates will be a $675 million deficit next year, the governor says.

Alabama voters will decide the fate of the plan in a referendum Sept. 9.