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Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

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Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by Shirina on Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:27 am

Pulpit politics: Pastors endorse candidates, thumbing noses at the IRS

With the presidential election a dead heat and many other races too close to call, hundreds of religious leaders nationwide are urging their congregations to vote for a specific candidate. They break the law when they do so — that's the point — but it's unclear whether there's any real penalty for pastors who make such endorsements from the pulpit.

About 1,600 pastors across the country violated a 58-year-old ban on political endorsements by churches in October by explicitly backing political candidates in their Sunday sermons, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom of Scottsdale, Ariz., a conservative Christian legal organization behind a campaign called Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

The 1954 law they are challenging prohibits charitable groups, including most churches, from making candidate endorsements, but doesn't bar ministers, priests, rabbis and imams from speaking out on other ballot issues, like voter initiatives, or organizing get-out-the-vote drives and education efforts around elections themselves.

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The Alliance Defending Freedom asserts that it's working to further the rights of all religious groups, but it's an explicitly Christian organization, with a heavy representation of evangelical members and leaders. One clue to its philosophy is that it made it Pulpit Freedom "Sunday" — choosing the Christian Sabbath, instead of more broadly embracing the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) and the Muslim day of worship (Friday).

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The Internal Revenue Code specifies that all section 501(c)(3) organizations are "absolutely prohibited" from taking part in, contributing to or making any statement "in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office."

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"This is about restoring biblical authority and a constitutional right for pastors to speak freely from the pulpit without any fear of the government on cultural and societal issues from a biblical perspective. And that includes commenting on the positions of the candidates," the Rev. Dann E. Travis, pastor of Crossroads of Life Church in Binghampton, N.Y., said to cheers from the congregation last week.

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Also of concern to some religious leaders is the alliance leadership's connections to conservative organizations and causes: Its president, Alan Sears, was director of Attorney General Edwin Meese's Commission on Pornography during the Reagan administration, and other board members represent the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, the anti-abortion activist group Susan B. Anthony List and the conservative evangelical ministry Focus on the Family.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday itself was similarly overwhelmingly Christian, with an emphasis on evangelicalism. Working from a list of ministries that signed up in advance, NBC News tabulated that 98 percent were evangelical or otherwise Protestant ministries.

LINK

I have a small stack of forms in front of me, all of which are required to begin the official change of status to a "full time" British subject rather than an American citizen. I've decided that every time I see a story like the one above, I will fill out one form. If I end up filling them all out, I will be gone from this benighted nation, a nation teetering on the brink of Christian theocratic tyranny. Did I not say in another posting that Christians cannot serve two masters, and God's law will trump secular rule of law each and every time? Did I not say that? And no sooner do I say it then a clear-cut example proving my point surfaces.

Yeah, who cares about our tax laws anyway, right? I mean, here we are in a financial crisis with the very real possibility that services and benefits for the poor, disabled, and elderly will be cut. Yet the various churches are not taxed, and some of them hold assets in the billions of dollars. And despite this tax reprieve, they don't even have the courtesy to obey the conditions that allow them to be tax exempt. Instead, they go on a pro-Romney crusade so that they and their Dominionist allies can roll in their version of Taliban hell. And they do this illegally. What's worse is the government is likely to do absolutely nothing about it as more and more Americans believe that the separation of church and state is a one-way street -- the government must stay out of religion, but religion does NOT have to stay out of government.

Our secular law is the only thing standing between freedom and a religious tyranny that will plummet America, complete with its powerful military and immense nuclear arsenal, back to a medieval and ultra-primitive mindset about religion. Oh, and I'm not the only one who is being a bit alarmist about this issue. Just read some of the comments below this story.

And what REALLY pisses me off is that some of these criminal pastors aren't even telling the truth when they endorse a candidate. Take this moron for example:

Pastor Ken Redmond of Abundant Life Worship Center in Midland, Texas, told his congregation they shouldn't vote for President Barack Obama, saying, "Here is your choice: a Mormon or a Muslim"

Thank you, Pastor Dipshit, for exmplifying precisely WHY churches and pastors should not be influencing their congregations on which candidate to vote for. Not only are you breaking federal law, you're LYING to your members. Obama a Muslim? For Christ's sake (literally), if you can't make a point without lying about Obama, then someone should ram that pulpit mic straight up your backside. It is an abuse of power and perceived authority, and it's just as bad as when employers threaten employees with pay cuts and layoffs if they vote for Obama.

Corporations threatening layoffs if Obama wins

So are we living in a dictatorship? Is your boss threatening you with losing your job if Obama wins, or intimidating you to vote for Romney, or coercing you to contribute to Romney’s campaign? No? Well then count yourself lucky.

It seems that in recent weeks several CEO’s of major corporations are doing all of the above. On the surface it seems harmless enough; after all we live in a free country. Right? Your boss can’t tell you who to vote for. Right? Your boss doesn’t have control over your personal life. Right?

LINK

David Siegel Email To Workers Threatens Layoffs If Obama Is Reelected

David Siegel, the founder and CEO of giant timeshare company Westgate resorts, sent an opus-like email to his workers, railing against one-percent bashing and arguing that the president’s reelection would “threaten your job.” In the email, obtained by Gawker, Siegel goes on to write: "If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company."

Siegel has a history of injecting himself in to critical political events. In the “The Queen of Versailles,” the documentary chronicling Siegel’s quest to obnoxiously build the biggest house in America, the Florida real estate mogul claims he was “personally responsible” for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential victory. He also goes on to say that his tactics for helping Bush win “may not necessarily have been legal.”

(And in a continuation of Siegel's email to his employees, he ends it with this:)

"You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about."

Audio Reveals Mitt Romney is Behind Employer Layoff Threats if Obama Wins

In audio of a conference call, Mitt Romney can heard instructing employers on how to tell their employees who to vote for, and the consequences to their job if Obama wins.

Audio can be found here.

Koch brothers threaten to fire employees if Obama wins

The billionaire Koch brothers this month threatened to fire many of their more than 50,000 employees if they dare to vote for President Obama or any other Democrats in the 2012 elections.

The Kansas-based Koch brothers, who run a multi-national group of companies called the Koch Industries, sent a voter information packet to 45,000 of its Georgia Pacific subsidiary this month, threatening that “many of our more than 50,000 US employees and contractors may suffer the consequences” if they vote for Democrats. The packet also included an op-ed by David Koch endorsing Mitt Romney and one by Charles Koch slamming Obama, reported the monthly magazine, In These Times.

Lacks Enterprises CEO offers voting advice in memo announcing employee bonus

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The president and CEO of Lacks Enterprises is warning his company's 2,300 employees their paychecks will be smaller if President Barack Obama is re-elected.

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Wait, you know what? I just don't care. Being an American essentially means you have the choice between corporate fascism or religious fascism, and most of the time, they work hand-in-hand together to control our lives while giving us the illusion of freedom.

Democracy? No ... coercing and threatening people into voting for a particular candidate, whether from the pulpit or the board room, is indicative of the WORST kind of banana republic, Third World elections we're used to seeing in places like Mexico or Nicaragua. Even if Obama should win, it is quite clear that the religious and business world will work together to ensure Obama is turned into either a puppet for Big Business and Big Religion ... or they will turn him into a lame duck. If Romney wins, well ...

But it is quite clear to me that America as we know it is pretty much dead. We just haven't quite figured it out yet.

You know ... I don't think I'm going to wait. I'm going to fill out ALL of the forms today. This country is a sewer with a thin coating of flowers on the surface to disguise the stench.
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by tlttf on Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:59 pm

Strangely should/hopefully Obama win again then the CEO's will carry on as they have been for the last 4 years. As to Pastors getting involved and misquoting the facts, that's freedom for you Shirina, sometimes it's cruel but freedom of speech is what we all want to attain isn't it. On the bright side people that believe the guff spouted by any religious group are likely to vote for the person hiding and appealing behind a religious barrier. ie; Romney, so it's doubtful there will be any great change to the final result. Hang in there Shirina, America can't afford to lose too many people not burdened by religious hypocrisy!

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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by Shirina on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:27 pm

Well, the issue with the pastors is that they are forbidden by law to endorse candidates from behind the pulpit. They know this but flagrantly ignore the law in favor of their self-imposed "God's" law. If they endorse political candidates, they are supposed to lose their tax-exempt status. It's not about freedom ... if they want to endorse candidates, their organization can pay taxes. Everyone ELSE who meddles in politics - from the candidates themselves on down to the private citizen -- must pay them.

And, if pastors are willing to disobey the law in this case, where will they draw that line?
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by Guest on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:05 pm

Shirina wrote:
… the issue with the pastors is that they are forbidden by law to endorse candidates from behind the pulpit. They know this but flagrantly ignore the law in favor of their self-imposed "God's" law. If they endorse political candidates, they are supposed to lose their tax-exempt status. It's not about freedom ... if they want to endorse candidates, their organization can pay taxes. Everyone ELSE who meddles in politics - from the candidates themselves on down to the private citizen -- must pay them.

Federal law is clear. As a matter of fact, authority to impose and regulated income tax, personal and organizational (including corporate), is granted to Congress (enact income tax laws) and the executive branch (enforce income tax laws) by the United States Constitution.

Gangsters flaunted federal tax laws in the 1920s and 1930s. Al Capone was not sentenced to federal prison for murder; he went to the big house for tax evasion. These pulpit pimps are gangsters; federal investigators should hunt them down and put them away just like they did with Capone.

And just what does the Bible say about all of this? Let’s check the Greek Bible, God’s Law fulfilled, and find out for ourselves.

Greek Bible:

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists authority resists the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive condemnation upon themselves.

For rulers are not a cause of terror for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same, for he is the minister of God to you for good.

But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a revenger (avenger) to execute wrath upon the one that does evil.

Romans 13:1-4

Perhaps if these “pastors” (they’re really not), or more accurately, self-appointed mini-gods, invested time and effort into (1) understanding the Bible, and (2) living according to Jesus’ and his apostles’ teachings, they would teach, oh, say, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from their pulpits on Sunday mornings. Betcha Jesus didn’t teach anyone to endorse candidates in his name.
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by willingsniper on Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:02 am

Tax them all. Over, and done.
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by Shirina on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:29 am

Sniper ... where have you been?! *poke*
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by willingsniper on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:48 am

Hi Darling, Did I leave my belt at your place?
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by Shirina on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:48 am

It's over there by the bed.
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Re: Evangelical churches willfully breaking the law

Post by willingsniper on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:31 am

It's so hard to remember anything else with you there.
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