Skip to comments.Religious coalition: Do away with ban on pulpit politics (Commission Report to Senator Grassley)
Posted on 08/16/2013 1:42:44 PM PDT by xzins
A coalition of church and ministry leaders has submitted a report to Congress calling for an end to the ban on political endorsements from the nation's pulpits.
The 60-page report is called Government Regulation of Political Speech by Religious and Other 501(c)(3) Organizations, and carries the subtitle Why the Status Quo Is Untenable and Proposed Solutions. Authored by the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, the report hopes to bring clarity to current IRS restrictions on political expression by nonprofit organizations.
Fundamentally, one of the main problems is that the guidance related to the law is vague, he expresses. Ministers and non-profit leaders are never quite sure where the lines are and theyre very afraid of those lines because if they cross them the organizations [they represent] can lose their tax-exempt status.
Nevertheless, over the past several years, hundreds of pastors have preached political sermons in an annual "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" effort to get the law declared unconstitutional.
[The study] shows that 45 percent of African-American church-goers indicate that they hear sermons about specific political candidates in their worship services, notes Batts. That same study indicated that African-American Protestant church-goers are eight times as likely to hear sermons about candidates in their church as [are] their white mainline Protestant counterparts.
The report recommends freedom of speech for non-profits and pastors to say whatever they believe is appropriate even when addressing political candidates without fear of IRS reprisal; but also advises preserving the current IRS policy prohibiting use of tax-exempt donations for political campaign activities.
The long anticipated report, with recommendations, has been turned over to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who requested the commission and report.
(Excerpt) Read more at onenewsnow.com ...
1. End ban on free speech about candidates
2. Continue to Prohibit using church donations to fund political campaigns
It has already has been ended in minority dominated churches. They do whatever they want. I think the gag order on churches is crazy. Churches should be able to be involved politics as much as unions or corporations are.
Yep. It is unconstitutional to forbid freedom of speech, and it’s a violation of free exercise of religion to control comments made from a pulpit, and it’s a violation of free exercise to tax someone’s religious donations.
That’s another reason that a the income tax should be repealed. You’re only taxed when you buy.
If Obummer`s govt. attacks our religion,
we will counterattack in like manner.
The gloves are off.
One of the real dangers of churches to liberal politicians is that they are everywhere all over the entire nation.
They are convenient, spread throughout the population, and generally promote traditional values.
If they were to organize, they are exponentially more capable of running grassroots campaigns that any other organizations in the entire nation.
They are a tremendous worry to liberals who realize that they are both a ready-made location for organizing and they are a virtual alternative media when they speak out.
Avoid the IRS trap by not filing for 501(c)3 status.
Lots of times the filing is at denominational level.
In any case, not filing is moot anymore since the IRS requires donations on the paperwork for the 1040 list the names of organizations donated to and the amount, iirc.
Wonder what they’d do if someone wrote in: Kingdom of God.
But, the bottom line is that taxing donations violates free exercise of religion.
Submit a separate form for each $1 contributed. Drown them in paperwork.
First, let’s explore the beginning of the muzzling of the churches. This was made into law, while LBJ was SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, in the mid 50’s. During his re-election, the churches in Texas went against LBJ. In retalliation, LBJ passed this law, forbidding chuches to get into politics, or loose their TAX BREAKS. Now that people have become more aware of this, the churches are again becoming vocal during elections. I think it’s great. I’m hoping that all churches will become more political and finally, our priests and pastors are getting back their cojones
Each and every Church has the authority to ban political speech in its own pulpits.
Guess what. The Bible teaches against sodomy. Against LIARS and whoremongers. It is against stealers, and murderers.
It is even against lusting (Weiner). And stealing the property belonging to another (taxes).
The left is all for these things and more!
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Pastor Peter Muhlenberg actually.
“It was Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation, but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastes 3 where it explains, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted...’”
“Coming to the end of his sermon, Peter Muhlenberg turned to his congregation and said, ‘In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.’ As those assembled looked on, Pastor Muhlenberg declared, ‘There is a time to fight, and that time is now coming!’ Muhlenberg then proceeded to remove his robes revealing, to the shock of his congregation, a military uniform.”
“Marching to the back of the church he declared, ‘Who among you is with me?’ On that day 300 men from his church stood up and joined Peter Muhlenberg. They eventually became the 8th Virginia Brigade fighting for liberty.”
“Frederick Muhlenberg, Peter’s brother, was against Peter’s level of involvement in the war. Peter responded to Frederick writing, ‘I am a Clergyman it is true, but I am a member of the Society as well as the poorest Layman, and my Liberty is as dear to me as any man, shall I then sit still and enjoy myself at Home when the best Blood of the Covenant is spilling? ...So far am I from thinking that I act wrong, I am convinced it is my duty to do so and duly I owe to God and my country.”
Gays will use the IRS to threatened to promote the homosexual agenda or lose their tax-exempt status. I could picture some megachurches rolling over.
I don’t go to church to hear about politics.
I go to hear about about Jesus.
I have a better idea: eliminate the income tax and the IRS.
No they are not. Pastors have no Cojones AND it’s not
their job to push the right politic it is OURS the
all too silent pew sitter. Show me where in the Bible
I’m supposed to sit and just listen to some liberal
pastor trained at a liberal seminary tell the church
that it’s not our place to talk politics as it will upset the offering plate. It IS past time to stand up in the pew and
speak the truth about where we are and what we should do.
The ban is on the PASTOR not the people. We are many.
they are few.
I understand your point, but it does not change that other churches have the rights of free speech, free exercise, and non-establishment.
Some pastors consider it their duty to warn people of pitfalls and to point them in wholesome directions. They see it as their duty regarding any behavior, whether marriage, health, or politics. They think their bible tells them something about all those subjects.
What did Jesus think of Herod?
see post #5
Also see post #5
However, here in Ohio I have a tax free number for purchases made for the church so that we do not pay sales tax on church purchases.
For me, any taking of church money by the government is a violation of free exercise.
It would certainly be easier to swallow if taxing were a bit more equal and all had to pay something, but I know that exemptions will be given on national sales taxes, also.
If states give exemptions, then Congress will give them too.
That for a church is based on the constitution, that government should stay completely out of religion. That for labor unions is based simply on lobbying and power.
But it will happen.
Liberal pastors are the biggest violators of this. They continually mention their political positions in their sermons. This restriction has always been enforced in a one-sided way when it's enforced at all.
Pastors should be FRee to comment upon the passing scene, and publicly praise good men and women who, while in public service, live the Word.
Likewise, pastors should be FRee to chastise those men and women who don’t.
FairTax restores Pastor and Church FReedom of speech.
It is as simple as that.
The question is always asked: “What would Jesus do?”
Now, I cannot possibly answer that question, but with respect to politicians, one can certainly discern who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
Pastors are obliged, IMHO, to shine the light of Biblical truth on our “public servants.”
If your “good guys” are not the same as your pastor’s good guys, find another pastor.
And I understand your point.
Jesus told us to pay taxes. Paul instructs us to submit to those appointed over us.
My beef is churches that make thepolitics and social justice the cornerstone of their teaching. These churches jump the rail, either to the left or right, in very short order.
If my pastor preaches the plain text of Scripture, I will know how to vote without needed to be told how to do so from the pulpit.
Jesus would live a perfect live and allow himself to be hung on a cross.
The former is impossible for someone that is not God. The latter is foolish for my to try, because it will do nothing but ruin my day and accomplish nothing else.
Tell me WHAT did Jesus did. I can find moral teaching in many religions. Only Jesus can save me.
I don’t think we get it, Gamey, about our responsibilities. So often, anymore, pastors are expected to be something akin to activities directors on cruise ships. Programs, programs, programs.
And we can even sanctify those programs by praying, devoting, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with all that, but deep in my heart there’s this sense that it misses the mark for our era. And there’s equally a sense in my heart that “old fashioned tent revivals” isn’t the way, either.
I’m praying about it.
It is as simple as that.
***So often, anymore, pastors are expected to be something akin to activities directors on cruise ships. Programs, programs, programs.***
An offshot of the seeker sensitive movement I’m afraid. Whatever you use to get them in the church, you have too do too keep them in the church.
What I hear over and over fro people exploring new churches is a concern not for the preaching but for the programs. Many pastors have forgotten the charge to preach the word, in season and out.
Exactly, and even the "preaching" is viewed with the entire "service", and it is to be "entertainment".
I don't think we have congregations, anymore. I think they think that they are audiences.
So, even the preaching is affected/infected.
And my heart says that it was the preaching that pricked their hearts in Acts. What I'm thinking is that it has to do with both the preaching and a putting before people of the real gospel.
It all goes back to the line about feeding sheep or entertaining goats.
Many “worship leaders” protest saying people will leave the “worship center.” But is my opinion they can get the same advice from 0prah or Dr Phil that they are receiving at the local worship center.
FairTax does not render all organizations equal. They will become non-profits, without causing them to change their basic business activities. IOW, it untaxes them.
The Internal Revenue Code defines taxable behavior — promoting certain behaviors and punishing others.
The FairTax eliminates the IRC and addresses only retail consumption.
Since churches (apart FRom their book stores, thrift stores, etc. etc.) don’t engage in retail sales activity, the FairTax would have the INTENDED consequence of restoring First Amendment rights to churches and pastors, which the IRC attempts to regulate.
FairTax will not discourage or punish political speech and activity by ANY business or individual!
I believe FairTax, by erasing the linkage between tax policy and FRee speech, will encourage more political discourse and actually strengthen our Republic.
Jesus had quite a bit to say about the leaders of the day. Even though the Jews were under Roman occupation they still had their own inner government. It was called The Sanhedrin the High Priest and Elders of the Temple making the laws and being the judges including the power to order death by stoning.
Except for a few of them they were corrupt and were stealing from their own people as well as selling imperfect sacrifices. They were also the ones collecting Temple Taxes and changing currencies at an unfair rate. That enraged Jesus so much he went through the courtyard turning over tables. They were very often the target of his sermons. They were the ones he was hardest on because they knew better and did otherwise. They seemed to be as oppressive to the people as the Romans themselves.
Jesus cousin John The Baptist was not one to be silent either. He was beheaded for his preaching against the behaviors of Herod specifically the taking of his brothers wife. All throughout history preachers and prophets have addressed the wrongs of leaders of the day.
One of the reasons our nation was founded was so persons could assemble in church and their preachers speak freely even against the wrongs of our leaders deeds or support their right ones without fear of retribution. There was also the freedom not to attend a church at all.
When our nation by it's political leaders is now being dragged to the immoral depths of Sodom and Gomorrah it is a preacher and churches duty to speak of their evil because such a nation can not escape the judgment and wrath of GOD unless it repents. It is not a time to be passive nor non political.
Government has taken over control of what is rightfully the churches domain including what constitutes marriage. Many Christian business owners are now being sued because they refuse to be a party of it by refusing their services to such abominations as gay weddings. Yep it's time for all Christians to speak out indeed. To do otherwise places us on the wrong side of recorded history.
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