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.
22 Replies to “Right-Wing Evangelicals Violate the Law and Campaign From the Pulpit”
this should not surprise anyone. its one the reason I stopped regular attendance at church on sundays. even my pastor preaches politics from the pulpit. it is disgusting
hearing the words of god and the bible and jesus then hearing words of hate and intolerance come out of the same mouth. enough is enough of this bullsh*t. its been going on for years and began to escalate in 2008. hmmm, wonder why? if the catholic church wants to stop losing followers, cut the politics!!! these churches should be losing their tax free status!!!
My liberal neighbor goes to church. His paster does not ever talk politics..but sometimes the congregation wants him to! My neighbor has almost gotten into fist fights over it…at church! Love them…..
Churches can and should speak out on MORAL issues – LGBT rights, war and peace, racial justice, poverty and economic justice. Their social justice groups can and do advocate on NON partisan issues related to those issues SO LONG AS they do not exceed 5% of the church budgets doing this advocacy. NO ONE should ever speak on or refer to partisan issues which does not eliminate open and inclusive ‘candidate forums’ to hear all sides. Churches are governed by the same rules as any non-profit in these regards. ACLU and the United Church of Christ have the same standards to meet. Fine.
The problems lie with conservatives who want that tax exemption the ACLU also gets but want MORE rights than secular nonprofits. If you have first hand knowledge – you were there – turn them in to the IRS. That’s what it takes – being a witness to a violation. They MUST go down. Liberals obey the law to speak to democracy. Conservatives CANNOT get a pass on overturning it.
Violating the laws of god and man ; churches are big violator; Pharisees hypocritical activities; money talks hit them in the pocket they’ll stop their lying .
That’s like asking them to stop worshipping mammon….
Not only do they break our country’s laws – they also are very much against everything Jesus Christ stood for, as depicted in the scriptures.
Me too,mdg5252.stopped for the same reason.
Preaching from the pulpit has been going on for many years. I was married to the daughter of a Baptist minister in San Diego in the late 60’s. I attended Sunday services with her as an interested observer and to witness first hand the hypocrisy of religion.
He would preach love and understanding as usual. We didn’t have the right wing crazy social issues of today – they were more subtle back then.
At Sunday dinner he would casually mention how nice the message was that day and without hesitation would continue to wonder how much the niggahs tithed without missing a mouthful.
His greatest achievemnet however was appearing before the Planning Commision of Claremont Mesa to argue against the building of a Kingdom Hall for Jehovah’s Witnesses describing how the fabric of society would be destroyed with their presence in the community.
Fortunately he was blessed with one lesbian, two alcoholic, and one certifiable children. Yeah, I was married to the one in the straight jacket…
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The problem is that the MORAL issues that you mention also happen to be some of the partisan issues that the current crop of republicans are foaming at the mouth over. It’s been well documented how the social conservatives, over the past 30 years or so, have been able to gain preeminence in the Republican party, aided by the (now not so) covert funding of the corporate oligarchs who see them as useful tools. I would rejoice to have the tax issue of the holy non-profits resolved; alas, there are too many in this country who, because of their childhood religion indoctrination, would fear making or even proposing such a move, whether they consider themselves religious or not – too many armchair x-tians. Those who attend religious services and find themselves exposed to this nonsense should stand up, denounce what is happening, and walk out. But again, too many live in thrall to their childhood religious indoctrination, and are in fear of potential ostracism by their peers.
Ken Blackwell was caught crimson fisted politicking from the pulpit with of all people our sheriff Dave Phalen in usual attendance. Recordings were made by a friend of mine on those dates as I wanted proof positive of this violation of constitutional law. I was asked the demanded of for the recordings but I’m keeping them. I did turn over copies to the Atty. Gen of Ohio and the Feds but nothing happened but Fox News bashing those who stood up for the LAW. And the Fairfield Christian Church (the compound) NEVER got in one bit of legal trouble. The problem is even worse if we tax them as we should, then they have even more power to remove peoples rights than they have now. The Christian Reich Wing MUST be put down to the point where we can drown it in the bathtub! <ode to Grover…
AH the true “TAKERS” in American the Conservatives.
That is their right however awful we think it. But the progressives and now mainstream Protestants ARE and have been speaking out on a very different understanding of morality. Why do you think the Congregational, Episcopalian, Evangelical Lutheran, Disciples etc. all have embraced LGBT equality and even marriage? West coast Methodists are united in their support as well. Were pastors NOT speaking on these issues, we’d be left with just the religious right or confusion over ‘tradition’.
Same was true on Civil Rights. Leadership came out of powerful faith principles.
That said,the “left” churches damned well know that they cannot and must not be partisan – that’s the difference.
Working on issues that reinforce a robust and inclusive democracy – fine. Working on issues that enforce a sectarian, partisan threat to democracy? Not fine at all.
Agree…what turned me off about Christianity is Christians.
There are no Christians in America.
Mark Twain said it best: “There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him–early.”
And: ‘If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.’
Will Durant the Historian once wrote that the Reformation was the triumph of the Teachings of Paul over those of Jesus…and Fundamentalism was the triumph of the teachings of Paul over those of Jesus!
America just has Religious Hypocrites claiming the Mantle of Jesus. Screw them all…
Religion is a racket. Quit funding it with my tax dollars.
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folks, jesus warned us about “devils in sheep’s clothing” who would use his name and god’s good name and his words as a weapon of hate to justify their own racism, bigotry, sexism, and intolerance. these frauds cherry pick bible verses to wage war on all others not like them. we are seeing this more and more with these radical Christians, evangelical zealots, and absolutists. pat Roberts on tv the other day screaming that the world must convert to Christianity or die! isn’t that what ISIS has been saying about islam??? there are bigger threats to this nation than ebola or ISIS invading our southern borders. we have radical christian groups, out of control militias of hate and intolerance, conservative groups willing to sabotage and destroy our nation, its economy, and its people for twisted, backwards, dated ideologies out of the 12th century!! ENOUGH!! we can begin to retake this nation from the conservatives and fake Christians this November 4th. get out and vote for dems!!
Romans 13 was also used as an argument for slavery.
When religious groups seek to impose their own laws or tenets on the populous, they become instruments of oppression. Religious teachings are supposed to be voluntary, which is why we oppose ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The imposition of religious laws on non-believers is a violation of their rights as human beings and denigrates the value of those religious laws that are imposed. My faith (Baha’i) teaches,for example, that we should not consume alcohol. To impose that restriction on non-believers would belittle the sacrifice I am making in honoring my beliefs. Those who truly believe in God know that He does not wish to infringe on the rights of men to make mistakes and to behave in ways that are contrary to His wishes. He wants us to come to Him voluntarily, not by means of compulsion, regardless of its source.
This is a problem of both the left and right! What about Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jackson and Rev. Wright. The biggest joke is placing the Catholics with the Right! Most of them are Democrats – even to the point when I attended a Catholic college, we were encouraged by some of the nuns (in class) to go help with the local Democratic campaigns.
Catholics are dems, catholic leadership is as conservative as you can get. Right up to the pope who is trying to be a democrat
What about Rafael Cruz?
Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jackson and Rev. Wright talked about race. Not who to vote for. Cruz hates you as much as he hates “regular” christians.
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