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"Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act" (H.R. 235)
alerts@conservativealerts.com ^ | ConservativeAlerts.com

Posted on 05/19/2003 8:10:22 PM PDT by webber

Restore Freedom of Speech to America's Pulpits

ISSUE: Ever heard of the First Amendment?
Apparently, it doesn't apply if you're in church.

There are limits to what your preacher can say from the pulpit -- limits placed there by the government. Now, a bill introduced in Congress seeks to change the law.

If a church speaks out on issues that the IRS deems to be too political, it risks losing its tax-exempt status. But the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act" (H.R. 235) would repeal the authority of the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax status of a church, temple, or mosque whose clergy speak out.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), who introduced the bill, explained how the problem of churches speaking out on political issues arose.

"Lyndon Johnson in 1954 put an amendment on a revenue bill that stifled the ministers, priests and rabbis from being able to speak of moral and political issues," Jones said. "That's not what America's about. America's about freedom. And we've got to have freedom in the churches." He said Johnson's amendment has had a chilling effect that fails to define where their speech is actually protected. He also contended the restrictions have not been impartially enforced.

"I think all churches should be treated the same," Jones said. "They should have freedom to talk about these issues."

ACTION ITEM: All houses of worship SHOULD be treated the same. They should have freedom to talk about any issues affecting any aspect of society -- including politics. Anything else is simply un-American.

As Rep. Jones stated, "This legislation goes beyond party lines and theological debates. We must not allow a government institution to have this kind of chilling effect over America's churches."

Rep. Jones' bill is supported by religious leaders from all faiths, and he now has over 120 co-sponsors on this simple straightforward legislation that will finally give back to churches and other houses of worship what was unjustly taken from them 49 years ago: the freedom to speak however they feel led to speak, whether the issue is construed as political or not.

Go to our site below to ask your Representative to support H.R. 235, the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act":

Write your Representative

NOTE: Please be sure to forward this to everyone you know that wants to see free speech rights apply to ALL Americans, in EVERY situation.

Thank you!




TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Announcements; Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; church; freespeech; hr235; pulpit
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1 posted on 05/19/2003 8:10:22 PM PDT by webber
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To: webber
ISSUE: Ever heard of the First Amendment?
Apparently, it doesn't apply if you're in church.

ISSUE: Ever hear of taxes?
They don't apply if you're in church.

Perhaps they should.

2 posted on 05/19/2003 8:20:34 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Izzy Dunne
They should have gagged Martin Luther King. Faith and politics is a combustible weapon.
3 posted on 05/19/2003 8:23:03 PM PDT by goldstategop ( In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: webber
I'm sure Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan strongly support this bill.
4 posted on 05/19/2003 8:24:38 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Izzy Dunne
ISSUE: Ever hear of taxes? They don't apply if you're in church.

Perhaps they should.

I really wouldn't have a problem with that. I am Treasurer of my church, and we are lucky to break even at the end of the year, and we already have to pay payroll taxes on the secretary.

Tha pastor takes care of his own taxes

Do you know, is there a way we can elect to run as a for profit corporation? we still wouldn't pay hardly any in taxes.

5 posted on 05/19/2003 8:25:42 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: webber
Without preachers and their sermons, there would have been no American Revolution. John Witherspoon, Jonathan Mayhew, Abraham Keteltas, James Caldwell, Peter Muhlenberg and other clergy not only gave Biblical justification to the war but often served in combat themselves. And today, thanks to LBJ, the IRS and some recent Supreme Court rulings, religion and politics are not allowed to mingle.

The founders would not have believed it could happen.

6 posted on 05/19/2003 8:26:39 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: Izzy Dunne
Freedom of speech does not stop at the Church, Synogogue, Temple, Mosque door, nor does it stop at the school door. You anti-God Bigots are all alike. You want freedom of speech until it steps on your immoral toes.
7 posted on 05/19/2003 8:34:12 PM PDT by webber (Demon-rats: don't confuse me with the constitution, I have have my own rules.)
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To: webber
Note that this law has in fact been used, but only against pro-Republican churches. When Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson get in front of a pulpit and talk politics, the IRS looks the other way. Thus getting rid of the law would be a good idea.
8 posted on 05/19/2003 8:37:38 PM PDT by ikka
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To: webber
I'm reminded of political speeches in black churches and Democratic Party "walking around" money. I'm reminded of church's involvement in gun control, in the Elian Gonzalez case, in gay rights, etc. Church hierarchies these days tend toward the liberal positions. This is, of course, why they are considering changing the rules. Even if they do change the rules, they won't be applied evenly. You can bet that the Episcopal or Methodist churches will be treated much differently than a fundamentalist non-denominational.

Churches should stay out of politics.
9 posted on 05/19/2003 8:39:38 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: webber
I'm not religious, but I strongly support the right of free speech for everyone, no matter how unpopular their views might be. As long as they are not directly and specifically inciting violence they should enjoy the right to say whatever they want to say. That applies to churches and other public and private places. I'm a stickler for that. So, here's at least one unbeliever who will stand up for your right to preach whatever you want to at your church.
10 posted on 05/19/2003 8:41:32 PM PDT by Billy_bob_bob ("He who will not reason is a bigot;He who cannot is a fool;He who dares not is a slave." W. Drummond)
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To: webber
You anti-God Bigots are all alike. You want freedom of speech until it steps on your immoral toes.

Oh, spare me your sanctimonious drivel, will ya?

Freedom of speech applies to government not being able to take away your liberty because of something you say.
What this article talks about is the IRS taking away your free pass on taxes because of something you say.
It's not that difficult to understand.

11 posted on 05/19/2003 8:46:20 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Billy_bob_bob
So, here's at least one unbeliever who will stand up for your right to preach whatever you want to at your church.

Count me, as well.
But no one has suggested that these folks would be imprisoned for whatever they say in church.
As a matter of fact, the IRS is proposing that they be treated EXACTLY like every other citizen, if they abuse the special privileges they now enjoy.

12 posted on 05/19/2003 9:00:54 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Izzy Dunne
Churches and other agencies dispense BILLIONS OF HELP TO THE POOR, DISADVANTAGED, HURTING ETC.

WITH FAR, FAR, FAR LESS OVERHEAD FOR THE BLOATED BUREAUCRACY THAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EVER THOUGHT OF DOING.

I would be for encouraging more of the same and NOT for transferring more such into the wasted black hole of the Federal bureaucracy.

That said. I think people who give to God to get a tax write-off have already received their reward as Jesus said, in essence. I think giving to God by giving to the poor or however else should be so private that one's left hand doesn't know what one's right hand is doing--as the NT teaches.

The hideous thing about the free speech thing is that liberal churches have gotten away with supporting black and other liberal speakers speaking TOTALLY POLITICAL TALKS FOR DECADES with impunity.

But let a conservative religious leader do it and the liberals scream like the stuck liberal pigs they are.

THAT MUST STOP.
13 posted on 05/19/2003 9:10:10 PM PDT by Quix (MAY BIBLE CODE DIGEST IS UP AT biblecodedigest.com)
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To: webber
SPOTREP
14 posted on 05/19/2003 9:22:03 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Izzy Dunne
Oh, that a BRILLIANT idea. Nevermind the truism that "you tax that which you want to inhibit". Forget the founding notions of separation of Church and State. Ignore the fact that religion does far more for the indigent that government could ever hope to do. Pay no mind to the inevitable IRS assaults on Churches when they are audited. Close your eyes to the reality that unpopular churches (read: kooks) will be targeted for audits (read: government-sanctioned harassment for people based on their beliefs).

Yeah, THAT is what America really needs. /sarcasm>

[expletives deleted]

15 posted on 05/19/2003 9:24:21 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: LiteKeeper
spotrep?
16 posted on 05/19/2003 9:24:35 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Arkinsaw
Churches should stay out of politics.

Hmmm. let's try:

Unions should stay out of politics.
Lawyers should stay out of politics.
Women should stay out of politics.
Judges should stay out of politics.
Minorities should stay out of politics.
Lobbyists should stay out of politics.
Politicians should stay out of politics.
Democrats should stay out of politics.

Out of all of those groups, I'd have to say that churches and minorities have done the least amount of damage to the Constitution. Get rid of the others first, and then we'll talk about the churches.

17 posted on 05/19/2003 9:30:00 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: ikka
{Note that this law has in fact been used, but only against pro-Republican churches. When Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson get in front of a pulpit and talk politics, the IRS looks the other way.}

You got that right. Al Sharpton's Presidential Campaign is through a vast network of African-American churches. No one is complaining about the "Separation of Church & State." The IRS should either enforce the law on everyone, Jerry Falwell to Al Sharpton, or repeal the law.
18 posted on 05/19/2003 9:32:50 PM PDT by Kuksool
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To: Arkinsaw
Churches should stay out of politics.

Every major social movement in American history has been preached from pulpits. The Revolution, Abolition, Manifest Destiny, Prohibition, the Civil Rights movement...you name it, churches were in the thick of it.

There is no historical nor consitutional basis for your desire for churches to "stay out of politics."

19 posted on 05/19/2003 9:35:23 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: Teacher317
Out of all of those groups, I'd have to say that churches and minorities have done the least amount of damage to the Constitution. Get rid of the others first, and then we'll talk about the churches.

Given the fact that most organized denominations are liberal these days its no wonder they are thinking about changing the rules. Even if they change the rules, they will be enforced differently for conservative denominations as opposed to the major liberal denominations. Tell me I am wrong. Why would you want this?
20 posted on 05/19/2003 9:58:12 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: DPB101
Every major social movement in American history has been preached from pulpits. The Revolution, Abolition, Manifest Destiny, Prohibition, the Civil Rights movement...you name it, churches were in the thick of it.

You think the organized denominations are like the pulpits of old? You are naive if you think the United Methodist Church has any relationship to the old circuit riding preachers of the Lorenzo Dow era. Head on out to the Methodist News webpage and take a look at them. The Denominations are out on Vieques getting arrested, visiting Fidel to try and get Elian shipped back, etc., etc. Why do you want that? What does that have to do with good politics? What does it have to do with God?

They can get involved in this worldly political correct crap if they want. But they should pay their taxes if they want to do so.
21 posted on 05/19/2003 10:01:58 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: ikka
Note that this law has in fact been used, but only against pro-Republican churches. When Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson get in front of a pulpit and talk politics, the IRS looks the other way. Thus getting rid of the law would be a good idea.

The better solution would be getting rid of the IRS.

22 posted on 05/19/2003 10:07:53 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Arkinsaw
You want all civic organizations under the thumb of the state, do you? Every knee must bend? First thing rabid socialists do when they get power is go after religion. It is a competing faith. The Bolsheviks put separation of church and state in their 1918 constitution. They banned religious schools. Then they taxed churches. They then dynamited or closed 50,000 of them. While that was going on, they murdered tens of millions of believers.

Doesn't matter to me what religious people say. What matters is they have the right to say it without the government trying to shut them up. And that is what the left in America has been trying to do for the last 50 years.

23 posted on 05/19/2003 10:16:36 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: webber
And does the government apply the same standards to Moslem congretations?
24 posted on 05/19/2003 10:16:48 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: Teacher317
Nevermind the truism that "you tax that which you want to inhibit".

So many times on this forum we are amazed at what the primary denominations do and are involved in. We are appalled at the Democratic party's abuse of the altar when they blatantly campaign in black churches. We complain bitterly about the "bribes" aka "walking around money" that Democrats hand out to black churches EVERY election. We complain loudly about the ordination of gay clergy and establishment of gay churches. We complained about the UMC getting involved with the Cubans trying to ship Elian back. We complain about the World Council of Churches. We complain about the preachers getting arrested at Vieques attempting to stop our navy from gunnery practice. We complain about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's pseudo-religious organizations. We complain about organized religions taking anti-American stances during the run up to the war and their blindness in regard to liberation. We complain about denominations adopting "gender-neutral" language referencing God.

Yet when this comes up we naively mentally picture religion as and old country church being stifled by the mean old government.

Excerpts:
A one-page advertisement in The Christian Century magazine, signed by more than 100 United Methodists, has called on U.S. President George Bush to "repent" of certain domestic and foreign policies, including the use of violence in dealing with Iraq.

The ad, titled, "A Prophetic Epistle from United Methodists Calling Our Brother George W. Bush to Repent," appeared in the magazine’s April 5 issue.

More than half the people who signed the ad, which was clearly labeled "paid advertisement" in the magazine, were clergy. The seven bishops were Melvin H. Wheatley Jr., Judith Craig, Melvin G. Talbert, Joseph H. Yeakel, James S. Thomas, Jesse R. DeWitt and C. Joseph Sprague.


Methodist leaders are applauding the withdrawal of the U.S. Navy from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

The United Methodist General Conference, the church’s top legislative body, has been on record as opposing the Navy’s use of the island for bombing practice since 1980. Opposition also has been voiced by the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries, Board of Church and Society and Council of Bishops, as well as the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico.


People who are gay or lesbian must be welcomed by the church without reservation, say two former bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The denomination should make every effort to find a way to do so without causing division among its members, they added.

With comprehensive hate crimes bills just a few days away from appearing on the Senate's agenda, more than 130 Episcopal clergy have signed a letter calling on Congress to pass legislation to fight hate crimes in the United States.

Full of post-modern irony and a touch of Madison Avenue sass, the "What would Jesus drive?" campaign launched in November by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has already captured the attention of the media--and a broad coalition of religious leaders hopes they can capture the attention of the U.S. auto industry at the same time.

From the Head of the Episcopal Church. I implore the United Nations, supported fully by the United States, to send a peacekeeping force into occupied Palestinian areas for the purpose of ensuring an immediate ceasefire. The United States must impress upon both sides the absolute necessity of this action.

A 13-member delegation of church leaders returned from a four-day humanitarian visit to Iraq at the end of 2002 with a warning that a war would make the United States less secure and result in widespread suffering and death for many innocent people.

More and more and more. Many denominations these days are just essentially leftist front organizations. The average church-goer has not changed, but those who have risen to leadership positions don't seem to reflect those members.

They should decide if they want to be political organizations or churches. Nothing is stopping them from going out and joining or establishing a leftist political organization or communist party. I would prefer that they do that rather than abuse the moral imprimatur that comes with a religious organization to support leftist causes.

This is not your local preacher, this is a huge religio-political machine. The local preachers are not at the controls.
25 posted on 05/19/2003 10:38:29 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Arkinsaw
Touche'
26 posted on 05/19/2003 10:49:43 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: DPB101
You want all civic organizations under the thumb of the state, do you?

They have every right to walk out of the church door and go form a tax free communist party. However they have chosen to take over the hierarchy of the major denominations so they can put a stamp of moral legitimacy, the stamp of God, on their leftist political beliefs.

When Democratic Presidential candidates flock to black churches, hand out "walking around" bribes, and try to act like a stereotype black preacher at the pulpit (see Al Gore, 2000) then you have a situation where the church and religion in general are cheapened.

We threw a fit when Gore was taking cashola from the Buddhist Temple. He said he didn't know he was in a temple. Well, I can understand that, it was more like he was in the backroom of the DNC. He had no business being there. Bill and Hillary had no business shouting against Republican candidates from a black church pulpit. Black churches had no business here in my State loading up their entire membership and using church buses and gas to get them to Democratic polling places. None. That has nothing to do with religion at all.
27 posted on 05/19/2003 10:54:15 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Timesink
The better solution would be getting rid of the IRS.

You have a point there.
28 posted on 05/19/2003 10:59:45 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Izzy Dunne
The conservative columnist Cal Thomas did some calculating once using established facts. The "average" church in America is about 200 people.... if every group of 200 in a church took on the responsibilty to help out 2 poor families (meaning a church of 2,000 would do 20 families) the entire welfare system/"safety net" of ALL governments, local, state, and federal, would be totally unnecessary.

Cal was only talking about evangelical churches too...didn't put liberal churches in the equation. (but hey, those churches have donors like Al Gore--so they'd have no money anyway...).

The personal interaction of local deacons interacting with families would no doubt too help these poor attain jobs, get off of drugs and alcahol and rise out from poverty too...

Something to think about, eh?
29 posted on 05/19/2003 11:09:36 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: webber
bttt!
30 posted on 05/19/2003 11:10:49 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma
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To: Arkinsaw
So you don't like what some churches do. Tough. Doesn't mean we should censor every church.

I didn't care if Gore raised money at a Buddhist temple. I did care that there isn't equality under law and only Democrats can do it.

31 posted on 05/19/2003 11:53:15 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: goldstategop
They should have gagged Martin Luther King.

Why, because he helped bring down segregation? Here's a brilliant segment of his "I have a dream" speech:

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. -- http://bcn.boulder.co.us/government/national/speeches/spch3.html

In 1963, those words were sorely needed in this country. In any case, he wasn't asking for the destruction of our government, rather that it lived up to its promise. That promise is so prominent in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
King was one great American because he demanded that we honor what we believed instead of merely paying it lip service. The icon of King may be used in ways with which we disagree, and King himself may have allowed that to happen. But gagging him would have been one of the least American things one could ever do in this country.

It's important not to mix King and Malcolm X up in any way. I've listened to several Malcolm X sermons, and I've got to tell you, King was a healer, while Malcolm X was a destroyer.

Conservatism in 2003 should not be about going back to the old racist days where gagging was literal, as this lynchings by state map shows over the period of 1882 and 1927:

This reminds me of a great story about firearms ownership and how important it is to our freedoms known as the Battle of Athens, Tennessee.

32 posted on 05/19/2003 11:54:38 PM PDT by risk (Boy, you can't vote here today!)
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To: Izzy Dunne
ISSUE: Ever hear of taxes?
They don't apply if you're in church.

So freedom of speech is based on your tax return?

33 posted on 05/20/2003 4:11:44 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.crimsonblog.com)
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To: Izzy Dunne
--ISSUE: Ever hear of taxes?
--They don't apply if you're in church.

The whole purpose of tax exemption is to protect the church from having the tax man declare doctrine. Of course the IRS interpreted the laws to be selective control for them.

If you do not like a church, you can just tax it to death, Churches normaly run pretty redline, living from donations.

Churches tend to be conservative, the liberals love the gag laws as it keeps the conservatives down. Just having a political meeting in your church can cause the IRS to cancel your tax status. When they do, they rule that you have been a money maker all along and say that because you had tax status, you accrued land, so they take the Church and the land too.

Pretty heavy hand, and a big hammer hanging over the pulpet if they say anything politicaly incorrect.

Just like the gun laws, where the government shall not infringe on the right to bear arms being twisted into the government says what you can and cannot have, and then registers what you buy, the tax laws have been twisted so hard they now are the very thing the law was written to prevent.
34 posted on 05/20/2003 4:46:47 AM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong)
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To: Izzy Dunne
Freedom of speech applies to government not being able to take away your liberty because of something you say. What this article talks about is the IRS taking away your free pass on taxes because of something you say. It's not that difficult to understand.

You are completely right, comrade. In the Soviet Union there was the absolute freedom of speech. (Only not AFTER the speech).

35 posted on 05/20/2003 4:57:10 AM PDT by A. Pole
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To: DPB101
So you don't like what some churches do. Tough. Doesn't mean we should censor every church.

Church members are free to go out and join political parties, speak out on anything they want, campaign, vote for anybody or anything. But the church as an institution and a hierarchy has no business money-changing, politicing, taking bribes, or using its influence and funds to bus people to Democratic polling places.
36 posted on 05/20/2003 5:11:52 AM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: webber
Without preachers and their sermons, there would have been no American Revolution. John Witherspoon, Jonathan Mayhew, Abraham Keteltas, James Caldwell, Peter Muhlenberg and other clergy not only gave Biblical justification to the war but often served in combat themselves. And today, thanks to LBJ, the IRS and some recent Supreme Court rulings, religion and politics are not allowed to mingle.

Amen to that.

This has been a bill that I've been watching for quite some time. But are you sure the HR # is correct here? It used to be H.R. 2357, I believe.

37 posted on 05/20/2003 5:18:00 AM PDT by NH Liberty
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To: webber
Freedom of speech does not stop at the Church, Synogogue, Temple, Mosque door, nor does it stop at the school door. You anti-God Bigots are all alike. You want freedom of speech until it steps on your immoral toes.

Give up your tax exempt status and you can have all the freedom of speech you want. To hide from the taxes that everyone else pays you give up your right to deal in politics from the pulpit.

38 posted on 05/20/2003 6:17:30 AM PDT by Dave S
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To: webber
I am at a loss as to why churches are tax-exempt now.
39 posted on 05/20/2003 6:18:54 AM PDT by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: webber; biblewonk
There are limits to what your preacher can say from the pulpit -- limits placed there by the government.

If anyone is limiting what can be said from the pulpit, it's the church itself, and that's only because the church doesn't want to render to Caesar.

When all is said and done, it's a matter of faith.

40 posted on 05/20/2003 6:53:39 AM PDT by newgeezer (fundamentalist, regarding the Constitution AND the Holy Bible)
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To: newgeezer
If anyone is limiting what can be said from the pulpit, it's the church itself, and that's only because the church doesn't want to render to Caesar.

When all is said and done, it's a matter of faith.

Reminds me of preachers that have their wives and daughters review their "messages" to make sure there is nothing offensive there. That has nothing at all to do with the government and these "preachers" are more than happy to hide behind government rules.

41 posted on 05/20/2003 7:21:47 AM PDT by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrissssstian)
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To: newgeezer
I think we're missing the hidden purpose here. There are muslim clerics across this country, that are talking about jihad. Talking about our society and how they should tear it down and install sharia law. This is what is being talked about. Not whether my local pastor is talking about the Book of Daniel, the Second Coming, and how todays political make up sure looks like the end days.

My pastor can talk about the ME, our actions, etc, in relation to the bible. He cannot tell me to take up arms against our own government.

There are some christian sects that speak of ZOG, and to overthrow our own governments. But mainly, I think they are seeking to deport those muslim clerics that speak warmly of jihad, violence, and the "inevitable" spread of Islam.
42 posted on 05/20/2003 7:30:19 AM PDT by Ugly Truth
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To: webber
This bill is nothing more than an attempt by houses-of-worship to have their cake & eat it too.

First, churches are not at all prevented from speaking aout on any moral or politcal issue of the day. Those who claim they are are either woefully misguided or lying.

However, if they are registered as a 501(c)(3), i.e. non-profit, church then they are forbidden from endorsing candidates, most political lobbying, etc. This is the same exact rule/law for every single 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S. from the ACLU to the NRA.

It's not required anywhere in U.S. law that a church register as a non-profit organization. If a church does want to endorse a candidate, lobby, etc they can either deregister themselves or form a 501(c)(4) -- which is exactly what the ACLU, NRA and thousands of other organizations have done.

Instead, supporters of this bill want to carve out a special exemption for themselves -- and not other non-profit organizations -- so that they won't have to pay taxes but can still engage in political activity when, again, the real answer is to deregister or register with the IRS in a slightly different manner.

43 posted on 05/20/2003 8:14:32 AM PDT by gdani
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To: Izzy Dunne
Izzy Dunne -- for taxes and against churches. What the heck are you doing on FR? Apparently you haven't heard of non-profit organizations . . .

BIG BUMP for Rep. Walter Jones Jr. of North Carolina. He's an outstanding congressman and maybe we can get this bill passed.

44 posted on 05/20/2003 8:55:35 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! At least for the present . . .)
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To: Ugly Truth
Sorry, but I can't find the point of your post.

I think we're missing the hidden purpose here. There are muslim clerics across this country, that are talking about jihad. Talking about our society and how they should tear it down and install sharia law. This is what is being talked about.

Surely you don't really think LBJ had any such noble purpose in mind.

Not whether my local pastor is talking about the Book of Daniel, the Second Coming, and how todays political make up sure looks like the end days.

Huh? I don't think anyone's suggesting the IRS rules make any of those topics the least bit off-limits.

My pastor can talk about the ME, our actions, etc, in relation to the bible.

But, if he wants to maintain tax-exempt status, he'd dare not preach about why, for instance, it would be a great idea to vote for Candidate A and/or a terrible thing to vote for Candidate B.

He cannot tell me to take up arms against our own government.

Passing this bill will not change the fact that conspiracy is a crime. The bill has nothing to do with crime. We're talking about tax exemptions and limits on free speech, about preachers and churches having the freedom to suggest that their congregations vote for or against specific political candidates or parties. Again, the only thing "silencing" churches today is their own lack of faith (some probably call it stewardship). My advice to all faithful churches is this: If something needs to be said, say it. The Lord is faithful; He has always provided for His own in their time of need.

There are some christian sects that speak of ZOG, and to overthrow our own governments. But mainly, I think they are seeking to deport those muslim clerics that speak warmly of jihad, violence, and the "inevitable" spread of Islam.

Maybe I totally missed the point you were trying to make in your post.

45 posted on 05/20/2003 8:56:01 AM PDT by newgeezer (there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. --Rom 13:1b)
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To: JohnnyZ
He's an outstanding congressman and maybe we can get this bill passed.

Are you for extending the bill to cover all 501(c)(3) non-profits or do you think that churches should be granted special considerations that others wouldn't receive?

46 posted on 05/20/2003 9:01:35 AM PDT by gdani
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To: gdani
In principle, for all. I'm not sure what other manner of organizations (beyond the ones listed on this thread) fall under each category, but it's easy to see that my priest should be able to go to the pulpit and tell the congregation that they should not vote for John Edwards because he supports abortion.
47 posted on 05/20/2003 9:11:16 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! At least for the present . . .)
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To: gdani
Not one person here has said anything that could be construed as advocating the repeal of all federal taxation to bring the nation back to its beginnings where this discussion could not even have been imagined.

We have become so inculcated with the notion of duty through taxation as to accept it as easily as baseball, and apple pie.

48 posted on 05/20/2003 9:19:43 AM PDT by Old Professer
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To: webber; All
"The language in this bill is a bit different than the language of the last. The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act deals with the freedom of speech and nothing else," Congressman Jones explained following the introduction of the bill. "I wanted to address some of the concerns from last year's debate. This issue is focused on the free speech of America's pastors, priests and rabbis. It isn't about campaign fundraising, it never was. This new language fully expresses that."

The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act would allow religious leaders to speak from their pulpits however they see fit without fear of losing their tax-exempt status. The bill was introduced with thirteen original cosponsors, including Rep. Robin Hayes of North Carolina's 8th district; the Majority Whip, Roy Blunt; and the Majority Leader, Tom DeLay.

http://jones.house.gov/html/010903.html

49 posted on 05/20/2003 9:23:16 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! At least for the present . . .)
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To: JohnnyZ
In principle, for all. I'm not sure what other manner of organizations (beyond the ones listed on this thread) fall under each category, but it's easy to see that my priest should be able to go to the pulpit and tell the congregation that they should not vote for John Edwards because he supports abortion.

Then you should tell your priest to either deregister as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or to register as a 501(c)(4) & pay some taxes. It really is that simple.

It's what every single other non-profit organization that wants to involve themselves in the political process has done --- and it doesn't require passing any new laws.

However, if the bill was amended to include all 501(c)(3) orgs, it would mean that the ACLU, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, etc could all lobby, endorse, etc without paying any taxes. That would be the consequence of extending the bill to everyone.

As it is now, non-profit churches are treated exactly the same way as everyone else under these laws -- isn't that what people always say they want? -- for churches to be treated the same as everyone else?

50 posted on 05/20/2003 9:24:23 AM PDT by gdani
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