“People have an idea that the preacher is an actor on a stage and they are the critics, blaming or praising him. What they don’t know is that they are the actors on the stage; he (the preacher) is merely the prompter standing in the wings, reminding them of their lost lines.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
When is a law unconstitutional and defaces the First Amendment? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; is as clear cut as any assertion in the basic law of the land. Yet Donald Trump correct — Lyndon Johnson passed legislation limiting political activity of churches and has lead to the systematic exclusion of religious political speech. Yet the Johnson amendment survived court challenges in 1983, 1990 and 2000, according to Pew. Such perversion of fundamental rights endowed by God and subverted by government illustrates that the nature of politics defies the only legitimate authority, which any society can derive and claim its moral authority upon.
“An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. Their voice has been taken away,” Trump said. “I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans.
The threat of losing tax-exempt status persists as long as the law is in place, and politically-minded religious groups, particularly evangelicals, have regarded it as a suppression of free speech and an entanglement of the IRS in the operation of their religion.”
Contrast this punitive assault on religion with our historic tradition and understand How the Johnson Amendment Threatens Churches’ Freedoms.
“Our nation once had a longstanding tradition of church involvement in the political activity of the day. It was previously commonplace for pastors to preach about political issues and candidates.
[F]or the first century and a half of our nation’s history, ‘election sermons’ were commonplace in which pastors appealed to their congregations to support or oppose particular candidates based on their positions on issues. Religious leaders did not merely speak about moral principles alone – they encouraged church members to take specific action in the voting booth to support those principles.”
With the prevailing anti-intellectualism culture which passes for secular humanism, the political establishment has become hell bent on isolating, marginalizing and restricting the pulpit from engaging in criticism of the government regime. Ploys that prohibit the phony partisan differences divert from the true intent behind the exclusion of God from the public square.
The notion that an artificial and penalizing force of intimidation and corruption like the IRS can displace the free exercise of religious speech out of a contrived and byzantine submission to ridicules restrictions, prove that tax exemption defined by an ungodly administrative system is pure absurdity.
Note that the American Bar Association contends in Nonprofits and Lobbying.
“When many people think about nonprofits and lobbying, they might think of a relationship like oil and water: they don’t mix. There is a widespread perception that nonprofits cannot lobby, or if they do lobby, they are exploiting some kind of legal loophole. The fact is that nonprofits, even 501(c)(3) organizations, which are the most restricted type of nonprofits, may legally lobby. Getting involved in the legislative process and having a say in policy discussions is not just an appropriate role for nonprofits; it is vital. If nonprofits are not speaking on behalf of their often-vulnerable communities, chances are nobody else is either.”
Compare this legal viewpoint with the religious deniers from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, who want you to believe a distorted restraint, When Church Lobbying Becomes Political Campaign Intervention.
“IRS regulations allow 501(c)(3)s to engage in issue advocacy or lobbying so long as it does not function as political campaign intervention. At times, however, the advocacy/lobbying can cross a line to become an indirect way to support or oppose a candidate for public office. “Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate.” Rev. Rul. 2007-41, 2007-25 I.R.B. (June 28, 2007). The IRS will consider all facts and circumstances to determine whether the advocacy is political campaign intervention. Id. Key factors include:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office;
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval for one or more candidates’ positions and/or actions;
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election;
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed in the communication has been raised as an issue distinguishing candidates for a given office;
- Whether the communication is part of an ongoing series of communications by the organization on the same issue that are made independent of the timing of any elections; and
- Whether the timing of the communication and identification of the candidate are related to a non-electoral event such as a scheduled vote on specific legislation by an officeholder who also happens to be a candidate for public office.” Id.”
Can anyone cite a more “politically incorrect” heresy of religious hate than these purveyors that deal in prohibiting constitutionally guaranteed free speech?
David Fiorazo makes a very valid point and cites a classic example to argue the crucial need for pastors to speak out with the bold courage of faith.
“Our hope is for Christian leaders to do what Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church in Germany chose to do; put the Word of God above all things. We must not have any gods besides the one true God. Real faith cannot be silenced by government orders.
If we do nothing and the majority remains silent, the secular progressives win. Then, with God removed from all aspects of American society, they will be the ones to rule, deciding what is right and wrong, true and false, moral and immoral.
As the great Reverend Charles Finney once said,
“God will bless or curse America depending on the course Christians take in politics; they must vote for honest men and take consistent ground.”
Unrestricted political speech from congregations of worship is an inherent function of any multitude of parishioners. Begging for a tax exempt indulgence is like trading faithfulness to the gospels for a place of temporary relief in a fraudulent satanic debt credit financial system.
Government has become the harbinger and embodiment of evil. Most preachers are politically naive or outright deceived about the predatory policies that are promoted on virtually all levels of jurisdictions. Indeed, those who are aware, often lack the courage to speak out and risk the wrath of government retaliation. Sadly, many suffer from a loss of conviction in their own religious beliefs.
The historic origins from the likes of Cotton Mather, Reinhold Niebuhr, Francis Schaeffer to John Howard Yoder did not shy away from preaching on the politics of their day. More well known media and politically active evangelist such as Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham and Pat Robertson have been no stranger to preaching truth to power. However, none of these messages has translated into a compelling national revival of Christian faith that would turn the tide on the moral decline and ruin of our culture and society.
Don’t blame the efforts of the truly committed clergy, the sinner population is multiplying quicker than the dead corpses from the abortion slaughter. The Talmud stranglehold on levers of political power and media fake news issues out a steady stream of anti New Testament bias that denigrates traditional Christian teachings. The introduction of Sharīʿah Law practices to the body politik adds adverse intolerance to the popular abhorrence of time-honored gospel precepts.
While both heretical doctrines lay claim to the same free speech protection as believers in Christ churches, the present war on Christianity has a long lineage of intentional intensity to destroy the moral foundation of American fellowship.
Politics is embedded in every aspect of secular society. Religious assemblages are not second class citizens and possess the distinct right to preach politics in every aspect of their faith.
A nation that abandons their spiritual compass, results in a snake pit of ethical relativism because it denies the basic purpose for one’s existence. Any government that denies churches the practice of political discourse is an Orwellian dictate that is incapable of repentance.
The absence of moral principles is the primary cause for the decline of our crumbling civilization. Temporal laws, regulations and amendments are not founded on legitimate authority. The LBJ sacrilege is systematic of a moral decay and systemic of a failed culture that has turned its back on God.
Even more tragic is when a false prophet, who is an apostate sits in the seat of Peter, and gains acceptance of his anti-Christian liberation theology. Americans need to combat this distortion of the gospels by waging a vigorous dialogue that challenges any attempt to silence unrestricted advocacy of political arguments from the current rostrum of religious shadows.
Without the bravery of martyred believers, today’s spineless cowards will capitulate to the hater’s decrees of redemption and salvation.