For most people there is nothing quite as obscene as an ingrate. Not only because they refuse to acknowledge kind acts of other people’s generosity, even to say thank you or I appreciate what you are doing for me, but because they actually expect and demand more special treatment. America is awash in ingrates whether they are the richest one-percent, the oil industry, or corporations that receive special privileges in the form of taxpayer largesse. Instead of thanking taxpayers for their generosity, they claim not getting more is un-American. One specific group that has no socially-redeeming value to American society or culture epitomizes what it means to be an ingrate, and besides never acknowledging the special privileges taxpayers provide them, they demand more and are attempting to get Catholics on the Supreme Court to get it for them.
It is a source of contention in America, but the idea that churches are allowed to operate tax-free and exist off of other Americans hard-earned tax dollars is, to many Americans, an obscenity of the first order; particularly in a nation founded on secularism. It is horrendous that hard-working Americans are tasked with paying for the services churches use for free, but it is an abomination that many of those churches are using their free taxpayer-funded welfare to force their beliefs on the population. It is too much, apparently, to expect churches to at least acknowledge the overwhelmingly abundant generosity of Americans, or to follow their bible god’s admonition to be in subjection to the governing authorities by adhering to one measly condition to continue receiving tens-of-billions of free taxpayer dollars; no campaigning from the pulpit.
Every year about a month before an election, an ever-growing number of conservative Christian church leaders participate in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” According to their covenant with the United States to continue receiving ungodly amounts of free taxpayer-funded welfare, churches cannot campaign from the pulpit according to a change in the U.S. tax code in 1954. The Johnson Amendment is a legally-passed statute that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with muzzling clergy from raining down hellfire and brimstone to scare their congregants into following religious edicts. However, the organizers behind Pulpit Freedom Sunday do not even contend they are prohibited from preaching religion, they complain they cannot preach Republican politics and are seeking redress through the courts to use taxpayer dollars to campaign for Republicans.
Part and parcel of the Pulpit Freedom Sunday crusade is to videotape right-wing Christian clergy actively campaigning for Republican and teabagger candidates on Sunday (October 5) in defiance of the law and then send the videos to the Internal Revenue Service director and dare him to attempt to enforce the 501c3 agreement and take away their welfare. According to the phony Christian advocates, Alliance Defending Freedom, “Pulpit Freedom Sunday is a strategic litigation plan. Through tactical lawsuits against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Alliance Defending Freedom seeks to restore the right of each pastor to speak scriptural Truth from the pulpit to generate test cases that we can carry to the U.S. Supreme Court to end the unconstitutional restrictions infringing on the rights of pastors to use biblical standards to support or oppose candidates for public office.”
There is a longstanding biblical truth the fake Christians running Alliance Defending Freedom organization refuse to acknowledge in their illegal and sinful drive to bait the IRS into court to allow “each pastor to speak ‘teabagger’ truth from the pulpit.” According to the Christian bible, the one each pastor already has the right to speak scriptural truth from the pulpit until they are blue in the face, Christians are commanded to obey the laws of the land and pay taxes. In Romans 13:1-6 it plainly says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which god has established. The authorities that exist have been established by god. Consequently, whoever rebels against the government authority is rebelling against what god has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes.”
There are several scriptures throughout the Christian bible, Old and New Testament that reiterate the point that Christians are required, on pain of death on judgment day, to obey the government authorities and to pay taxes. Integral to “submitting to governing authorities” certainly includes obeying the fifty year-old Johnson Amendment and the conditions laid out in all 501c3 tax-free agreements with the IRS. Every year for the past five or six years, primarily evangelical Christian clergy have defied their god’s commandment to subject to government authority, and blatantly violated the law allowing the ingrates to receive tens-of-billions of taxpayer dollars they claim is their rightful due in their crusade to rule America by Christian and Catholic theocracy.
There is a very simple solution to the poor conservative beleaguered Christians living off the taxpayers’ “forced largesse” that will allow them to preach teabagger and Republican politics from the pulpit without fear of the dreaded IRS enforcing the fifty year-old Johnson Amendment. Strip their tax-exempt status once and for all. It will save taxpayers well-over $83.5 billion a year in lost revenue and give Republicans and teabaggers a frightened captive audience the clergy can threaten with eternal Hellfire if they do not dutifully vote according to Republican religious edicts issuing forth from the pulpit.
Many people claim the church tax-free status is due to the ‘good works’ they provide for society, but they really do nothing substantial; particularly compared to nurses, police, firefighters, street sweepers, sanitation workers, and teachers who all dutifully pay their taxes that end up providing free-services for churches; many actively advocating eliminating the rights of at least half of America. Besides the loss of revenue at the federal level resulting from the clergy’s double-dipping income tax avoidance scam, every community in America is losing billions in property tax because churches large and small do not pay or even show up on property tax rolls like every home and business owner. Why? Because they are churches, and as such they do not pay corporate income taxes, sales tax, capital gains tax, or investment tax in addition to receiving parsonage and faith-based initiative subsidies; all funded by taxpayers.
Founding Father Thomas Jefferson believed, quite ardently, that taxation to benefit religion was an abomination. He wrote in his Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786; “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money, or forcing of him to support the propagation of his or another’s religious persuasion is sinful and tyrannical. No man shall be compelled to support any religious worship, or place, or ministry whatsoever.” Still, not only are taxpayers compelled to support religious places of worships and ministries, they are being forced to support evangelical ingrates that are blatantly violating a law to give the Catholics on the Supreme Court a golden opportunity to force all Americans to fund Republican campaigns from the pulpit every Sunday.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.