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Silence of the Pulpits - Why?
11/15/2008 | Penn4God

Posted on 11/15/2008 5:32:16 PM PST by Penn4God

In view of the 2008 election, the Christian churches have been noticeably silent. Is this reluctance due to their fear of losing the tax exempt status?

The recent election highlights this issue quite well. Candidates held moral positions that were in direct opposition to known biblical teachings. Despite the candidates support for issues like abortion, religious leaders allowed these candidates to go unchallenged from their pulpits.

Religious leaders are fearful of losing the tax-exempt status if they speak out strongly regarding moral positions that candidates hold. Religious leaders are not directing their comments from their pulpits to influence decisions about candidates based on biblical truths. The result is the election of a pro-abortion, radical candidate for president that many christians supported.

Is it time to amend the IRS code to allow religious leaders the freedom to speak on current issues that have become politicized? The original intent of this IRS code was to silence churches in Texas who spoke out against Lyndon Johnson. The result has been the muzzling of the church by the goverment. Do we call this a free republic?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: 501c3; censorship; fairnessdoctrine; freespeech; gaystapo; newbie; pastors; politicking; taxes
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1 posted on 11/15/2008 5:32:16 PM PST by Penn4God
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To: Penn4God

Have you seen what has been going on in California? Churches are being vandalized for speaking up against Gay Marriage. Churches led the fight to pass Proposition 8 and now the Gaystapo is punishing them for their votes. So, they haven’t exactly been silent there.


2 posted on 11/15/2008 5:38:22 PM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Penn4God

I told a pastor this just last night.


3 posted on 11/15/2008 5:38:56 PM PST by TommyDale (I) (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: Penn4God

When a guest speaker in a major non-denominational church in Ft. Lauderdale made reference to the beliefs of the candidates and who was more aligned with Christian values, someone in the congregation sent a *certified letter* of complaint, as well as several phone calls with complaints. The pastor made a public apology the next week. Me thinks the churches are being monitored by those who believe in The One.


4 posted on 11/15/2008 5:39:09 PM PST by Bluebird Singing
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To: Penn4God

Is that when the muzzling of the churches happened? With LBJ/ tax code law? It definitely goes against the First Amendment. Many of the militia members during the Revolutionary War came from the churches. Came out of the churches, after a sermon, and joined the fight right then. Including the pastors.

It seems so wrong that the churches are silenced. In fact, must be the next fight. Of course, really only some of them are. Clinton campaigned in the black churches. The liberal ones around here MUST have supported obama (little o, not a Real God).


5 posted on 11/15/2008 5:41:11 PM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Bluebird Singing

Yes, I believe there are spies in churches. Didn’t little o suggest that they do that? I think I remember that from a while back.


6 posted on 11/15/2008 5:42:21 PM PST by bboop (obama, little o, not a Real God)
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To: Penn4God

Look, it’s simple. If you’re a black church, you can say, do ANYthing.......even hosting your favorite lib candidate, especially if he’s black.

Try that in a predominantly white church in middle America; I dare you.


7 posted on 11/15/2008 5:44:38 PM PST by RightOnline
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To: Penn4God
Good argument for the flat tax with no deductions .
8 posted on 11/15/2008 5:45:45 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know F/8 Cav)
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To: bboop

The black churches of Cleveland not only campaigned from the pulpit - they rented charter buses to take people to the poles. Obama materials and merchandise were handed out in the churches. I guess some “churches” get a free pass...but they won’t get it from the final authority, the one they claim to serve.


9 posted on 11/15/2008 5:47:27 PM PST by mom4melody
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To: Penn4God

The Catholic CHurch was pretty vocal about Obama, abortion and the danger to the souls of Catholics who voted for him, as well as threating to cut off Catholic politicians ofrm the Catholic community for supporting him.

AS for the others, most of them were pretty silent or openly supported the Obamanation, or if they opposed him, were given little or no coverage.

Western Christianity is a ripe pumb ready to fall into the bloody, flithy hands of the Muslims.


10 posted on 11/15/2008 5:48:08 PM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Reaganesque
Well clearly there are pastors speaking up.

This is another of those scare tactic messages.

11 posted on 11/15/2008 5:49:08 PM PST by joesbucks (Sarah Palin: "I believe John McCain is the best leader that we have in the nation right now,)
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To: Penn4God

hmmmm...


12 posted on 11/15/2008 5:50:01 PM PST by tutstar (Baptist Ping list - freepmail me to get on or off.)
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To: Reaganesque

We are standing with those churches in California—we want them to know they are not alone. Thanks for your words of enlightenment.


13 posted on 11/15/2008 5:50:05 PM PST by truthingod
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To: Penn4God
This is a phoney problem which would not exist if churches were not tax exempt. I don't believe that churches, and related religious entities, should be tax exempt to begin with. They want to have it both ways. But if they are going to benefit from special treatment they will have to dance to the piper's tune.
14 posted on 11/15/2008 5:51:27 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: bboop

The Mainline Protestant churches are run by liberal democrats at the highest levels and are pro-choice. I’m sure they’re deliriously happy that Obama won.

...United Church of Christ, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterian USA...


15 posted on 11/15/2008 5:52:05 PM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Penn4God

I’m sure no one wants me to get on my soapbox but this has been foretold in the Bible about the last days events. The churches are silent because godly preaching is almost non-existent in these days. No one preaches holiness, hell, damnation, true salvation and like items.


16 posted on 11/15/2008 5:52:24 PM PST by pctech
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To: Penn4God

This issue should not go away. The only way to see a change is to put pressure on pastors and religious leaders to step out regardless of circumstances. Guts are the way to go!


17 posted on 11/15/2008 5:53:54 PM PST by truthingod
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To: pctech

However, I did see alot of programs on Christian television that were absolutely anti Obama...

INSP,Daystar etc


18 posted on 11/15/2008 5:54:03 PM PST by JaneNC (I)
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To: VigilantAmerican; All

I am wondering if there will come a time when we Christians will have to meet, quietly, in our own homes and “upper rooms”, as it was done a long time ago, before religion got organized.


19 posted on 11/15/2008 5:54:09 PM PST by jacquej
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To: hinckley buzzard

I agree, maybe the churches should give up the status and preach the word! I am sure Paul would not have cared a hoot about tax stuff when compared with the need to see people’s lives changed with the gospel of Jesus.


20 posted on 11/15/2008 5:56:17 PM PST by truthingod
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To: Penn4God
"In view of the 2008 election, the Christian churches have been noticeably silent. Is this reluctance due to their fear of losing the tax exempt status?"

This hasn't silenced any of the black churches for the past 50-60 years, has it? Where do they think the civil rights movement was born and promoted? Right, Rev. Wright?
21 posted on 11/15/2008 5:57:39 PM PST by FrankR (Operation Tightbelt...he can't redistribute what isn't there...stop all un-necessary spending.)
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To: FrankR

Thanks for the history lesson, you are so right or should I say, “wright”?


22 posted on 11/15/2008 5:59:16 PM PST by truthingod
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To: Penn4God
Do we call this a free republic?

One of the original intents of the 1st amendment was to allow churches to speak freely against the gov't. Many of the original pilgrims came to this land to escape religious persecution by the king, and the founding fathers did not want that to be repeated.

So to answer your question, "NO!"

23 posted on 11/15/2008 6:01:02 PM PST by HusbandMan
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To: JaneNC
Most of the ones I saw never ever mention Obama and his ilk, but I'm limited to TBN. They never say anything controversial on that channel. The likes of Joel Osteen never say anything against O.

I have found it interesting, though, that Chuck Swindoll and David Jeremiah both decided to air programming on end times events. Jeremiah did an overview of sorts and Swindoll has been speaking on Daniel. Two of the biggest names in the business and they both spoke on end-times prophesy items.

24 posted on 11/15/2008 6:01:58 PM PST by pctech
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To: Penn4God

There was a time when church leaders were not afraid to speak out. It was the church leaders who led the successful fight against slavery.

Today, we have a greater evil than slavery - the gruesome murder of unborn children. The majority of voters just approved of these murders.

And all the present day church leaders can do is worry about their tax-exempt status? I would challenge them to take a stand, no matter what the cost, against this continued barbarism.

And I would challenge all here to think, if this Union exists to allow the murder of millions of unborn children, is it not time to dissolve the Union?


25 posted on 11/15/2008 6:02:55 PM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners.)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
The Mainline Protestant churches are run by liberal democrats at the highest levels and are pro-choice. I’m sure they’re deliriously happy that Obama won.

...United Church of Christ, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterian USA...

I'm an LCMS Lutheran and I HIGHLY RESENT that remark! Before you go making accusations about protestant Churches get your facts straight!

26 posted on 11/15/2008 6:03:49 PM PST by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT)
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To: RightOnline

EXactly, I was thinking the same thing.. black churches were exempt, for democrats, remember Hillary and her black accent.. I cannot remember if that was a church or not..


27 posted on 11/15/2008 6:04:37 PM PST by JoanneSD (illegals represented without taxation.. Americans taxed without representation)
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To: NTHockey

NO. It is time for us to fight for the Union that preserves life.


28 posted on 11/15/2008 6:05:23 PM PST by truthingod
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To: hinckley buzzard

I disagree. Opening up the churches to inspection by the state for purposes of collecting tax allows the state to harass by audit.

Church and state are to be separate and the reason was for the state to stay out of the activities of the church, NOT for the purpose of the church to stay out of the activities of the state.

Libs have upended this basic tenet of our constitutional rights, we need to reestablish that true separation.


29 posted on 11/15/2008 6:06:04 PM PST by antceecee (Palin '2012' Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: Bluebird Singing
Personally I believe there should be no tax exempt status for churches. They should be free to say and support whoever and whatever they want without the foot of the government on the back of their necks.
30 posted on 11/15/2008 6:06:08 PM PST by svcw (Great selection of gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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To: Penn4God
Religious leaders are fearful of losing the tax-exempt status if they speak out strongly regarding moral positions that candidates hold.

If that's the case maybe somebody should remind them of something Jesus said regarding the paying of taxes. After asking who's face is on the coin, He said, "Give unto Caesar that which is Ceasar's and give unto God that which is God's".

31 posted on 11/15/2008 6:06:31 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all.)
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To: JoanneSD

She was “present” in a black church when she attempted to speak in her relating tone.


32 posted on 11/15/2008 6:07:09 PM PST by truthingod
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To: svcw

I disagree. Opening up the churches to inspection by the state for purposes of collecting tax allows the state to harass by audit.

Church and state are to be separate and the reason was for the state to stay out of the activities of the church, NOT for the purpose of the church to stay out of the activities of the state.

Libs have upended this basic tenet of our constitutional rights, we need to reestablish that true separation.


33 posted on 11/15/2008 6:07:54 PM PST by antceecee (Palin '2012' Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: Texas Eagle

I disagree. Opening up the churches to inspection by the state for purposes of collecting tax allows the state to harass by audit.

Church and state are to be separate and the reason was for the state to stay out of the activities of the church, NOT for the purpose of the church to stay out of the activities of the state.

Libs have upended this basic tenet of our constitutional rights, we need to reestablish that true separation.


34 posted on 11/15/2008 6:08:38 PM PST by antceecee (Palin '2012' Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: teletech

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the Mainline church I was referring to. Sorry if I upset you.


35 posted on 11/15/2008 6:09:05 PM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: antceecee

Tell the truth often enough and it shall be the truth!


36 posted on 11/15/2008 6:09:35 PM PST by truthingod
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To: truthingod

Thought it was worth repeatin’!


37 posted on 11/15/2008 6:12:15 PM PST by antceecee (Palin '2012' Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: Bluebird Singing
someone in the congregation sent a *certified letter* of complaint, as well as several phone calls with complaints.

You're close as to "why?" Most pastors in the mainline churches are in their positions at the pleasure of the people in the pulpit. As a pastor, you have to be pastor to all the people, not just those who agree with you. In every congregation there are one or two liberals (Don't ask me how they can be both liberal and Christian). They don't see the contradiction. Mainliners do not "encourage" conservative preaching these days. Sad, but true. Pastors have to stick to Scripture, but one can do pretty well using Scripture alone to make a moral point.

38 posted on 11/15/2008 6:14:00 PM PST by WVNan
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To: antceecee

I understand that the so called church and state separation was to keep the state out of churches but what we have now is intimidation of churches by the government because of the tax exemption.


39 posted on 11/15/2008 6:15:55 PM PST by svcw (Great selection of gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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To: Penn4God

Kinda reminds you of; “You have relatives in the old country,yes?”


40 posted on 11/15/2008 6:16:10 PM PST by Uncle George
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To: Penn4God

>In view of the 2008 election, the Christian churches have been noticeably silent.<

Because they are aware that they gave to Ceasar that which belongs to God.


41 posted on 11/15/2008 6:19:17 PM PST by 353FMG (The sky is not falling, yet.)
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To: svcw

Exactly - so churches need to remain tax exempt.


42 posted on 11/15/2008 6:21:36 PM PST by antceecee (Palin '2012' Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: Penn4God

If the restriction on free speech was enforced to the degreethe ambiguity of the law allows, it could motivate anough ministries to lobby for it’s appeal. But a frog is best boiled slowly.


43 posted on 11/15/2008 6:25:20 PM PST by daniel1212 (I sent unto you all my servants the prophets,... saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing)
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To: teletech

“I’m sure they’re deliriously happy that Obama won.
...United Church of Christ, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterian USA...”

In all fairness, don’t leave us Catholics out. There are many of us who got an obamism (not my original expression) when the messiah was elected. Some of them are slowly realizing that they bet on the wrong horse.


44 posted on 11/15/2008 6:27:49 PM PST by 353FMG (The sky is not falling, yet.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

I say let the churches pay taxes, then they can say what they want.


45 posted on 11/15/2008 6:29:15 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: Penn4God
Is it time to amend the IRS code to allow religious leaders the freedom to speak on current issues that have become politicized?

What do you think the odds of that happening under the Obama presidency, with an almost filibuster proof Senate and big majority in the House?

46 posted on 11/15/2008 6:32:01 PM PST by TheBattman (Pray for our country....)
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To: luckystarmom

I do not believe that the government should not be able to take God’s money. They have enough of their own.


47 posted on 11/15/2008 6:34:28 PM PST by truthingod
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To: truthingod

*correction* The government should not take money from the church for any reason.


48 posted on 11/15/2008 6:36:20 PM PST by truthingod
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To: svcw

There never was a need fr any non-profit to forsake it’d tax exepmy status in order to execise full freedom of speech until the 501(3)(c) was put though.

Now, any 501(3)(c) non-profit can lose their tax exempt status if they, as an org., officially support a candidate or conduct political campaign activities to influence elections to public office, but members and even the leader or pastor (but officially not as rep. the org.) can do such. Public charities are permitted to conduct a limited amount of lobbying to influence legislation.

The 501(3)(c) restriction are a recent invention, put thru by then Sen. LBJ in order to prevent opposition from a secular nonprofit. It is an unconstitutional restriction of freedom of speech, but few feel much curtailed by it, and it assures givers their donations are tax deductable. And good evidence exists that churches need not be 501(3)(c) but are defacto tax exempt.

Non profits can be formally involved in politics by registering as 501(c)(4 which allows a broader ability to lobby for legislation.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)#Poli...

Here’s the IRS summary of 501(c)(3) organizations:

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

The IRS summary of the term “exempt purposes” is:

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.


49 posted on 11/15/2008 6:40:14 PM PST by daniel1212 (I sent unto you all my servants the prophets,... saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing)
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To: daniel1212
Yes, but churches are intimidated by the government.
50 posted on 11/15/2008 6:43:51 PM PST by svcw (Great selection of gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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