Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Your Church is under Attack!!!
American Center for Law and Justice ^ | April 22, 2006 | Jay Sekulow

Posted on 04/22/2006 9:05:45 AM PDT by AmericaOne

Below is a copy of an e-mail I received from the ACLJ concerning the efforts of the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (Americans United for Communism ;-), "Humble Howard" Dean and others to stop our Priests, Pastors, Ministers and others from silencing our churches on speaking out on issues of Morality and other issues of the day, which any church should have the freedom to discuss without fear of losing their tax-exempt status.

This Petition supports H.R. 235, the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act." The ACLJ is not asking for donations to sign this petition.

Dear AmericaOne,

Don't allow the Internal Revenue Service to close your church and silence your religious leaders!

Recently, I sent you an email to inform you of a vague, half-century-old law which enables the IRS to shut down your house of worship.

This obscure law is being used by Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and others to intimidate churches into silence on moral issues.

Join our nationwide campaign to give our religious leaders back their voice for morality by adding your name to our Houses of Worship FREE SPEECH PETITION.

It all began in 1954 when then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson sought political retribution against an opponent who was assisted in his campaign by two non-profit organizations.

As a bill to revise the tax code was being debated on the floor of the Senate, LBJ pushed a little-noticed amendment that barred all tax-exempt groups - including churches - from participating in political activity.

The penalty: loss of tax-exempt status. A heavy price to pay for exercising their free speech rights.

Today, churches in America ARE paying the price. They are threatened with lawsuits and the revocation of their tax-exempt status. Intimidation is silencing our ministers on crucial topics like abortion and same-sex marriage!

In other words - churches are putting their tax-exempt status at risk whenever they speak out on issues of the day.

We must put an end to this! This is a blatant violation of our First Amendment free speech rights.

But we need your signature to help stop this injustice and protect our ministers and houses of worship. Add your name to our online FREE SPEECH PETITION and make your voice heard!

Religious leaders not only have a constitutional right to address the moral issues of the day, many believe they also have a responsibility to do so - especially in the context of political campaigns.

This country has a rich and welcomed history of turning to churches and houses of worship during the debates of the great moral issues of the day.

Why have we put the IRS - which is designed to collect revenue for the general treasury - in the position of being the speech police?

At the ACLJ, we have an important opportunity to correct the errors of the past. That's why the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act is so vital! But we must have your help.

Lend your name to our FREE SPEECH PETITION today. Your name will be added to tens of thousands of others in this nationwide campaign. With it, we will stand together and protect the rights given to us by our Founding Fathers.

I encourage you to forward this email on to family members, friends, and church members as well to get the word out on this issue!

Thank you for your immediate action to further the cause of freedom.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 109th; aclj; censorship; hr235; irs; sekelow; sekulow
Or, if you would like to send the petition directly to your own Senators and Congressman, instead of all of them, then you could go to the ACLJ's home page. The petition is located on the top of their home page, along with a little box for you to supply your zip code in. Again, the ACLJ is not asking for donations to sign the petition. The link to the ACLJ's website is below:

http://www.aclj.org/

1 posted on 04/22/2006 9:05:49 AM PDT by AmericaOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: AmericaOne

Lyndon B. Johnson also wrote the law that orignially made Churches file for tax-exempt status in the first place. He did it under the guise of protecting Churches. Of course he lying bigoted bastard knew all along he wanted this 'protection' for Churches so he could shut Churches us. Prior to that, Churches were just assumed to be exempt without filing anything. Technically they still are, but most Churches and even tax experts don't realize that, so almost all churches fill for tax-exempt status which puts them under the thumb of government.


2 posted on 04/22/2006 9:36:41 AM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AmericaOne

"efforts ... to stop our Priests, Pastors, Ministers and others from silencing our churches...."

Yes, indeed, we must stop the clergy from silencing the church....


3 posted on 04/22/2006 9:39:39 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Always Right

Our Church has had to pay a fee, although small, every year to maintain the status or face penalties.


4 posted on 04/22/2006 9:53:48 AM PDT by vpintheak (What's worse, and liberal, or a know it all posing as a Conservative?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: gcruse

The goon squad that we elected to represent us in Congress is getting ever more brazen in their efforts to crush freedom in this country. This indicates that their plans are in the latter stages and close to fruition. It's probably too late to stop them.


5 posted on 04/22/2006 9:58:42 AM PDT by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: gcruse

gcruse,

Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I didn't even notice the "silencing our churches" part or where I put it. I'll have to do a better job of editing the next time I post something. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused you or anyone else reading this post.

"...to stop our Priests, Pastors, Ministers and others from silencing our churches..." should read "...to stop our Priests, Pastors, Ministers and others from speaking out...". Below is the entire, corrected paragraph:

"Below is a copy of an e-mail I received from the ACLJ concerning the efforts of the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (Americans United for Communism ;-), "Humble Howard" Dean and others to stop our Priests, Pastors, Ministers and others from speaking out on issues of Morality and other issues of the day, which any church should have the freedom to discuss without fear of losing their tax-exempt status."


6 posted on 04/22/2006 9:58:43 AM PDT by AmericaOne (Borders, Language and Culture - You Don't Have These, You Don't Have A Country)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: AmericaOne
The solution seems obvious to me. Churches should stop using the tax exempt status and then begin to speak freely and often from the pulpit about the issues of the day. With the threat removed they will be free to speak.
7 posted on 04/22/2006 10:13:33 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
Highlander:


8 posted on 04/22/2006 10:24:19 AM PDT by ItsJeff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
The solution seems obvious to me. Churches should stop using the tax exempt status and then begin to speak freely and often from the pulpit about the issues of the day. With the threat removed they will be free to speak.

Good Point. Then they would not have to worry about big brother when they speak about Morality and other issues of the day.

Although any church would likely have to forgo at least some of its charity work, like helping out the needy, etc., since the money that would be raised for these "help the needy" programs would likely have to go to pay taxes instead. We as tax payers would probably end up taking it in the chin with more social spending to make up for the churches not being able to help the needy any longer or as much as they used to.

9 posted on 04/22/2006 10:32:12 AM PDT by AmericaOne (Borders, Language and Culture - You Don't Have These, You Don't Have A Country)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
The solution seems obvious to me. Churches should stop using the tax exempt status and then begin to speak freely and often from the pulpit about the issues of the day. With the threat removed they will be free to speak.

The solution is to give back their tax-exempt status they always had. The idea that churches have to apply and meet government rules is unConsitutional.

10 posted on 04/22/2006 10:34:38 AM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Always Right
The solution is to give back their tax-exempt status they always had. The idea that churches have to apply and meet government rules is unConsitutional.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but there is no constitutional provision to provide any group of any sort tax exempt status. That churches have been afforded such status for a long period of time does not make it wise to accept it if it gets in the way of being a city set on a hill.

11 posted on 04/22/2006 10:38:44 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: AmericaOne
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,"

It isn't difficult to recognize the government has trashed the Constitution and has become a huge public burden.

12 posted on 04/22/2006 10:43:53 AM PDT by azhenfud (He who always is looking up seldom finds others' lost change.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AmericaOne
I'm not entirely convinced that your conclusion necessarily follows. One could equally posit a situation where, when churches decline to take tax exempt status in order to speak to the issues of the day more people take note and join those churches increasing the membership base. Those new members along with an invigorated current membership might begin to donate not only more money but more time as well to the very sorts of ministries you mention. Of course, as I said, that is speculative, but seems equally likely as the result you posited.

And, as far as tax payers taking it in the shorts...even if one were to accept the conclusion you posited, if the churches are paying taxes but doing less charitable works and the result is greater cost to taxpayers then the result will be that the raw value (cost wise) of the work of the church will become apparent AND the preachers will have been free to speak to the issues from the pulpits.

13 posted on 04/22/2006 10:45:22 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Always Right

Churches "have" to be "registered" in China, and their views on the political spectrum are also highly restricted.


14 posted on 04/22/2006 10:48:02 AM PDT by azhenfud (He who always is looking up seldom finds others' lost change.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
<Churches should stop using the tax exempt status and then begin to speak freely and often from the pulpit about the issues of the day.
You are of course correct. But then, if you do that, the first political issue your church might be interested in promoting would be a flat tax or the Fair Tax - neither of which would have the charitable deduction for yourself or anyone else.

15 posted on 04/22/2006 11:00:03 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: conservatism_IS_compassion
You are of course correct. But then, if you do that, the first political issue your church might be interested in promoting would be a flat tax or the Fair Tax - neither of which would have the charitable deduction for yourself or anyone else.

If it were my church I'd hope the first political issue would be Abortion...as well as the second and perhaps the third. The legal holocaust we have permitted in this nation is an abomination.

After that, I would (were I the decision maker on it) chose to address poverty and adoptions. If the church can show how successfully it can do what the government does so poorly perhaps we could get rid of the onerous and grossely inefficient social welfare projects the democrats have loaded into our government by replacing them through church programs. Get rid of that junk and you've gotten rid of over half the government budget.

If the Church isn't tied to the government through tax exempt conditions and government financing of Church programs then the Church will be free to promote the gospel while they pursue feeding the poor, the homeless and the orphans.

16 posted on 04/22/2006 11:14:43 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
Certainly. My point was, though, that the charitable deduction puts the government in the position to judge what is "charitable" and what is not. And is, on that account, bad law worthy not merely of legal evasion but of opposition.


17 posted on 04/22/2006 11:20:43 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: conservatism_IS_compassion
I agree with you. And the current situation also puts the government in charge of determining what is "political" and what is not. Although the government should not be the "authority" making such determinations it currently does and there seems to be no mechanism that'll change that. Essentially, there are 2 parties with disputes one being the Church and the other government...and one of those 2 parties has the authority to make the decisions. It's neither a fair process nor would the government ever willingly step back from that position.

The simple answer is to remove the hold the government has on the church, trust that God will bless the Church as it stands up for what is right and speaks out into society. We can not allow a tax exempt status to stop or limit us from being salt and light.

18 posted on 04/22/2006 11:31:01 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Desron13

Its NEVER too late...As Winston Churchill said,"NEVER QUIT...NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!


19 posted on 04/22/2006 11:51:33 AM PDT by fishbabe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW

That is what Gene Scott did and he is highly disregarded here. He was smarter than all his critics bound together.


20 posted on 04/22/2006 1:49:47 PM PDT by Spirited
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but there is no constitutional provision to provide any group of any sort tax exempt status. That churches have been afforded such status for a long period of time does not make it wise to accept it if it gets in the way of being a city set on a hill.

It is very much implied in the first Amendment. The power to tax is the power to regulate and destroy. By taxing Churches the government most definitely is effecting the establishment of religion. Tax exempt status for Churches goes all the way back to the Roman era and continued up until know. It was Lyndon Johnson who put the hook in and now the ACLU that is trying to reel it in. Once churches lose the tax exempt status their existant is completely in the hands of the government.

21 posted on 04/22/2006 7:55:50 PM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Spirited
That is what Gene Scott did and he is highly disregarded here. He was smarter than all his critics bound together.

I've never heard of Gene Scott, so I did a google search on him and discovered his own webpage. On the front page of his website it states he talks about Atlantis and the pyramids. Without reading further I suspect any disrespect he receives has nothing to do with his church's tax status and more to do with a conspiracy theory bent. But that is based upon very little examination of both his teachings or the criticisms at this board.

22 posted on 04/22/2006 8:32:01 PM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Always Right
It is very much implied in the first Amendment. The power to tax is the power to regulate and destroy. By taxing Churches the government most definitely is effecting the establishment of religion. Tax exempt status for Churches goes all the way back to the Roman era and continued up until know. It was Lyndon Johnson who put the hook in and now the ACLU that is trying to reel it in. Once churches lose the tax exempt status their existant is completely in the hands of the government.

Hummm....well, I think you have a valid point regarding an implied exemption in the First amendment, although clearly not everyone will agree. As far as what is historical dating back to Rome, if we're to be consistent with complaints regarding the Supreme Court looking to Europe for precedents, it would be equally wrong to look to Rome or any subsequent events external to the US for reason to apply a tax exempt status to Churches. I believe you are correct regarding LBJ being the initial culprit in setting the groundwork to undermine the current status, however I disagree that the churches will be under the control of the government were they to lose their tax exempt status. It seems to me that the most commonly used power to control the church has been the threat of losing their tax exempt status...if they renounce or lose it then that control is no longer in place and they would be free to speak truth to the nation. Of course the ACLU would seek other avenues to silence the Church, but they would have lost their current weapon.

23 posted on 04/22/2006 8:40:33 PM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
This seems to be a move by the Democrats to silence the religious right. They seem to forget all the speeches made from the pulpits of black churches. Jesse Jackson, Sharpton and Bill Clinton do a lot political campaigning from the pulpit. The sword cuts both ways. If not, there is a dirt simple cause to bring action under the equal protection clause.
24 posted on 04/22/2006 8:46:58 PM PDT by Myrddin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin
You are 100% correct...the democrats are royal hypocrites. What they fail to grasp is that if they try to control the churches too much they are going to begin renouncing their tax exempt status and begin to speak out AGAINST them. And it won't take all of the churches to do so. Picture the outcry that'll occur if even 10% of churches renounce their tax exempt status and those 10% of all pastors begin to speak out against the evil in our society...much of it the party platform of the democrat party. Before too long the democrats will be begging churches to take up the tax exempt status in an effort to shut them up...can you picture the backpedaling the ACLU would have to do at the beck and call of their democrat masters?
25 posted on 04/22/2006 8:53:51 PM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
it would be equally wrong to look to Rome or any subsequent events external to the US for reason to apply a tax exempt status to Churches.

Just look at the US then. Look at all 50 states and see that all of them exempt churches from taxes including property tax. The US federal government has never taxed churches, but they are now using this registration issue to silence churches.

26 posted on 04/23/2006 6:14:03 AM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Always Right
I do agree with you that the government is seeking to control churches. The democrats see the religious right as the backbone of the republican party and in their drive for power they'll do anything they can to hinder or break that backbone as they perceive it. If that means they attack Christianity they have no qualms about it.

My point is simply that the churches are already muzzled by submitting to the tax laws, even though the democrats are again hypocrites on this and regularly speak from pulpits of liberal churches. The problem for the Right is that to stop the democrats from doing so would be opening up an avenue of attack on all churches and not just the ones the hypocrite democrats are abusing. The democrats are money driven (they serve mammon)...they can not conceive in their wildest nightmares that churches would give up a tax exemption in order to speak out on the issues of the day and to denounce the democrats for their hypocrisy. As I mentioned earlier, if even 10% of conservative churches did so and began to speak forth on issues such a abortion, poverty, taxes and of course the gospel it might shock the nation. If I knew of a solid church that renouced their tax exempt status to free the pulpit from government control I'd attend there.

27 posted on 04/23/2006 8:31:19 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: highlander_UW
If I knew of a solid church that renouced their tax exempt status to free the pulpit from government control I'd attend there.

Well there are quite a few churches that elect not to apply for 501c3 status. Oddly, if you read the law and IRS publications, they make it fairly clear that churches are considered tax-exempt even without applying. Most churches apply for tax-exempt status because they think they must.

28 posted on 04/23/2006 8:38:13 AM PDT by Always Right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Always Right
Well there are quite a few churches that elect not to apply for 501c3 status. Oddly, if you read the law and IRS publications, they make it fairly clear that churches are considered tax-exempt even without applying. Most churches apply for tax-exempt status because they think they must.

More of them should make their freedom from the IRS muzzle known. As for the tax-exempt thing in the code, I wasn't aware of that.

29 posted on 04/23/2006 8:44:05 AM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson