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Time to allow Politics from the Pulpit openly as the Left does it anyway

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posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 07:57 PM
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Wow! All this and no one has yet answered why it is that religious institutions alone should be pulled out of exemption under 501(c)3 when all the other orgs currently included should be ignored.

And no, "they aren't part of the topic" is NOT an answer. If we are talking about equality before the law, then either 501(c)3 needs to be entirely scrapped or this is just a vendetta against religious orgs.




posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 08:21 PM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: stormbringer1701

Where and how did the Founders give special protection to churches again?

I can see you've been learning history from Glenn Beck. That wouldn't be my first choice.


No powers were given by the Founders to anything or anyone except to the Federal Government. And the FG's power's were supposed to be strictly limited, as in when in doubt the FG can't do that.

Churches and citizens had every power not specifically assigned to the FG or currently held by the States.

"Giving special powers" was completely alien and anathema to the Founders.



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate

Thanks for answering a question I didn't ask you, LOL.

That sounds so snide, and I really don't mean it to be. You didn't make the statement I'm questioning in my comment, but, thanks for your answer, anyway.

Addressing the points you did make. The "Founders" didn't give any powers to anyone. The "Founders" were men who came together to help build a new nation. The Constitution was designed to create a stronger Union and to provide stronger national powers than the Articles of Confederation had. All the States who became United agreed to the Constitution, ratified it, and joined together at the will of the People.

The song and dance about the "Federal Government's powers were to be limited" is entirely out of context, and is contrary not only to established historical fact but to the Constitution itself.




Article VI, Clause 2: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.


That is known as the Supremacy Clause for a reason. If the Articles had been sufficient to the needs of the People and the Nation, that's what we would have stayed with. We didn't.

The Constitution only says two things about religion and it does so for good reasons. No establishment and free exercise.

Read Jefferson, read Madison, even Franklin and Adams, and you will understand that these people were TERRIFIED of a State Run Church (or a Church Run State).

Churches and citizens, eh? Again, where is the word "church" in the Constitution?

Enough rhetoric, it's wasted here anyway. The answer is NOWHERE. Churches were not given any special or unique status in the Constitution for a reason. RELIGION is given special status; and the FREEDOM OF RELIGION is protected.

If you'd like to better understand the thinking behind the First Amendment's freedom of religion, reference the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom 1786

Particularly here:



And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.


Thomas Jefferson, by the way, you may have recognized his eloquence.
edit on 21Sun, 16 Aug 2015 21:58:51 -050015p092015866 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2015 @ 09:53 PM
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Labor unions are not protected under the freedom of religion provisions of the First Amendment.

Neither are public charities, NGOs, professional organizations, homeowner's associations, or any other varieties of "not for profit" businesses. If they're involved in politics, then they aren't tax exempt.

But none of those are analogous to churches. Frankly, it's specious in the extreme to make that comparison. Religion, what I have referred to as the "business of churches" is protected by the Constitution.

Efforts to collectively bargain are not protected in the Constitution (directly), neither is the business of helping others, or coming together to act collectively in a profession, or working collectively to maintain property and standards, etc. etc. etc.

Churches, as purveyors of RELIGION, are protected under the First Amendment.

THAT is the difference, and why they should not be treated differently from any other entity as part of a bargain for their silence.

They should pay their taxes, and they should have freedom to preach whatever they wish. Period, end of story, complete argument from me.
edit on 22Sun, 16 Aug 2015 22:07:59 -050015p102015866 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 09:30 AM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: kellyjay



You said that the government supports churches,
that is true in the UK for Anglican churches.

However, just FYI
in the United States
the government gives $0.00
to churches, all churches get $0.00
from the government, federal, state, local.
They are exempt from paying the government
to exist (taxation)
but they get zip, nada, nothing at all, even
land from the government.


Maybe you were unaware of the difference
between the UK and the US on this point.

The US government does not in any way shape or form
give any actual support to any church.

We have a thing called the constitution
which forbids the government, federal, state, local
from interfering with religious activities or religion.
It is called freedom OF religion.

Now you may have the false impression as many US residents
do that the constitution says freedom FROM religion, but it
does not.
That impression has many thinking that
religion must be forbidden in the public in the US.

When the actual statement is FREEDOM OF RELIGION,
the freedom to exercise one's religion
WITHOUT INTERFERENCE/SUPPORT/RULES/$/
REGULATIONS FROM THE GOVERNMENT/
FEDERAL/STATE/LOCAL.


It is the liberals progressives who have tried
to convince the people and people outside
the US that the constitution says religion
is forbidden to contribute in any way shape
or form to the government. That is out and
out wrong.

The so called separation of church and state
is to protect the religious from the government
NOT the government from the religious.


But liberals and progressives generally disdain
religion or the religious and so have misinterpreted
the constitution.

So there you have it a quick civics lesson on
the difference between the US and the UK,
so you don't think they are the same again.




edit on 9Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:36:33 -0500am81708amk171 by grandmakdw because: deletion format



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
Wow! All this and no one has yet answered why it is that religious institutions alone should be pulled out of exemption under 501(c)3 when all the other orgs currently included should be ignored.

And no, "they aren't part of the topic" is NOT an answer. If we are talking about equality before the law, then either 501(c)3 needs to be entirely scrapped or this is just a vendetta against religious orgs.


Ok I'll be the first one to say it, and I believe many of the libertarians of this site would agree.
End all their exempt status.

Why should taxpayers subsidize a pastors multi million dollar mansion because a church calls it a parsonage?
Why should taxpayers subsidize the charitable givings of rich people?

Here's how it works: Mitt Romney gives a million dollars to the Mormon church, the government gives Mitt Romney his million back on his tax return. This is how the super rich pay lower effective tax rates than the poor schmuck that actually works. (Buffet Rule) Most people spend all their paycheck, and some can put a small amount towards savings. But why on earth should the government foot the bill when some millionaire donates to a symphony orchestra?

Non Profit Orgs. are a scam. The people who run these Orgs. definitely profit.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

... or maybe you don't read what others write and jump to whatever conclusion best fits your narrative. And as usual, you present your mistakes and errors in an entirely unpleasant pedantic format.

I was talking about the UK with Kelly, and I mentioned that there is an official state church (Church of England, not unsurprisingly, Scotland has the Church of Scotland, et. al.).

I never said anything about what the Church receives from the State. Although, as with most things, you're mistaken on that issue as well.

Churches in the US, however, DO receive tax breaks in exchange for their silence on political issues.

What I have said here, what others have said here, repeatedly, ad nauseam, is that I am in favor of removing those tax laws, letting the churches participate fully AS THEY SHOULD UNDER THE CONSTITUTION'S FIRST AMENDMENT.

I absolutely disagree with the rest of your post, unsurprisingly. Read the history of the First Amendment, read the Virginia Declaration of Religious Freedom (the basis for the First), read Jefferson, Madison, or Franklin. These folks were very familiar with a system in which the Church wielded incredible power within the Government (check out the makeup of the House of Lords, even today).

When you're going to offer a "civics lesson" you should really take care to make sure you're not utterly mistaken.

Real understanding keeps us from looking like braying asses.
edit on 10Mon, 17 Aug 2015 10:09:12 -050015p102015866 by Gryphon66 because: Noted



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

Here, for the reading comprehension impaired ...


originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: kellyjay

We don't look positively on the State controlling churches for political reasons, in general.

How do you feel about the UK system, with a State church? I'd think you'd be a bit more familiar or aware or concerned with that issue ... being from living now in Scotland and all.


That's what I said. Now, would you like to apologize for your post, both in substance and in tone?

And also, I would like find out what happened to our agreement to ignore each other?



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: grandmakdw

Here, for the reading comprehension impaired ...


originally posted by: Gryphon66
a reply to: kellyjay

We don't look positively on the State controlling churches for political reasons, in general.

How do you feel about the UK system, with a State church? I'd think you'd be a bit more familiar or aware or concerned with that issue ... being from living now in Scotland and all.



And also, I would like find out what happened to our agreement to ignore each other?

That's what I said. Now, would you like to apologize for your post, both in substance and in tone?


The discussion was not on the UK, but on the US
I disagree with your assessment of the US constitution
It was designed to keep the government out of religion
period, stop, end of discussion as far as I am concerned.

However, the liberals/progressives have twisted
it to mean,
if you agree with us and say it in the pulpit,
as does Al Shaprton (the most divisive
money hungry and racially divisive "reverend"
in the US, in my opinon)
your particular brand of religion is ok to
support government policies

However, if you do not agree with
liberal/progressive policy and
you are religious person or a church
then you may not speak of it
in the pulpit or even where someone
might record it in private
we will come after
you and make you regret it.

I did not agree to leave you alone,
I said you could leave me alone if you wish, if you
can not stand to read what I have written because
it upsets your view of the world and how people
"ought" to think or respond to you.
Since you have misinterpreted this several times, I will clarify.
I general I will not respond to people who reply with only insults,
as is your habit a great deal of the time, and is the habit of many
a great deal of the time.

Insults add nothing to the civil discourse
and only degrade the intelligence of the insult writer;
as they seek to try and look like they have
an intelligent addition to the discussion,
which they don't.


edit on 11Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:00:25 -0500am81708amk171 by grandmakdw because: revised



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

You can make this another episode in which you blame "liberals and progressives" for everything that is wrong in America.

That doesn't make it true.

You chose to jump in on a minor point discussed with another individual who was (against T&C) attempting to cite me with something brought over from another totally unconnected discussion. That member WAS from the UK, and my comment WAS to them, not to you, not to the general discussion. However YOU tried to pick on that and made a string of false and misleading statements (not to mention condescending tone).

In regard to the miniscule amount of actual on-topic discussion here:

You can misrepresent what the Constitution says and means, but you're simply wrong in this case:

Here's what the document says:



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;


And what it means is clear. This is the "freedom of religion" that you're referring to, as it is commonly referred to.

What it doesn't mean is that people can hide whatever they wish under the aegis of religion.

What it doesn't mean is that people can feel free to attempt to legislate their own religious values over others.

Again, I don't think you've read this discussion, or if you've read it, you haven't understood any part of what I have said.

Since you choose to reply to me, you get the answer you get. You don't like it, because I don't mince words with you. I haven't insulted you in any way. I don't know YOU. I do, however, have the right to express myself in regard to your posts, as you express yourself in regard to mine. So, don't like the way I communicate, don't hit the reply button.

I see through your ... unique way of expressing yourself, and you don't like that.

Again, I will say to you, before you throw stones, make sure you're not inside your glass house.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

The Constitution was designed to create a stronger Union and to provide stronger national powers than the Articles of Confederation had.


The Constitution was not designed to be the Ruler. It was designed to be the umpire.

No State would have joined the Union on the understanding that the Union was their new master.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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The funny thing is (speaking to the other "theme" of the OP) is that those on the Right want to imply that only they have "God on their side."

They want to imply that all liberals and progressives and Democrats are godless, heathen, atheist, etc.

Which could not be further from the truth, of course. Democrats are just as Christian as Republicans are.

But that doesn't fit the narrative that the right-wing establishment has provided for the acolytes.

I myself am an atheist. I arrived at that place after a lifetime of contemplation. I registered as a Democrat in 2012.

But, I am one person. I am not even typical of Democrats, or liberals, or progressives.

Here's the issue in this thread. Churches agreed to function under the tax code as revised in 1954.

That limits the "political speech" that can issue from that organization/business/church.

The same limits apply to every organization/business/church that chooses to take those exemptions.

The difference is again that organizations and businesses are not covered under the First Amendments "Religion" protection.

The tax law should be repealed for churches, and they should pay taxes like every other entity.

In turn, all restrictions on "political speech" in the church are removed. (Bringing into direct compliance with the Constitution.)



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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originally posted by: Semicollegiate
a reply to: Gryphon66

The Constitution was designed to create a stronger Union and to provide stronger national powers than the Articles of Confederation had.


The Constitution was not designed to be the Ruler. It was designed to be the umpire.

No State would have joined the Union on the understanding that the Union was their new master.



Do you understand that is your interpretation only?

No one here, not me, and certainly not the Constitution states that it is a "Ruler" ... what an ineffective logically fallacious way to say it!

The Constitution is and was and will be clear on what is the "supreme law of the land."

You have no basis to say what States would have done outside of your own opinion.

I can say, on the other hand, with the facts of history backing up my statement, what the States DID DO, and that is that they RATIFIED the Constitution as it is with the First Ten Amendments intact.


edit on 11Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:39:47 -050015p112015866 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:42 AM
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Maybe it's just me. . .

But the Constitution was written to LIMIT government control.

And here we are, using the Constitution to justify limits on free expression.

Churches should be free to say what they want to say.

Period.

Any tax "law" that limits their free speech is unconstitutional to begin with.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-Jan-2015



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
Wow! All this and no one has yet answered why it is that religious institutions alone should be pulled out of exemption under 501(c)3 when all the other orgs currently included should be ignored.

And no, "they aren't part of the topic" is NOT an answer. If we are talking about equality before the law, then either 501(c)3 needs to be entirely scrapped or this is just a vendetta against religious orgs.


Isn't 501(c)3 pretty much just FOR religious organizations and churches? I may have missed something.

Seems So...



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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... and to me ...

The loose association of States under the Articles of Confederation was not sufficient to the needs of a NATION.

The PEOPLE sent representatives to create a new NATION.

It is ridiculous to claim that the document that actually CONSTITUTES a government is designed only to LIMIT that government.

The First Ten Amendments, aka, the Bill of Rights was added, immediately to address concerns about "too much central power" and to insure the "rights of the People."

It was sold (and ratified) as a set. It was ratified by the States, and by every State that has joined the Union has known what they were agreeing to.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

Well yeah.

They came from England which had an official state religion ... "The Church of England". They didn't want that for America.

So it's funny to me when you hear "This is a Christian nation!" or see people pushing the ideological ideals in government -- government was meant to be secular and non-religious for a good reason...our founders saw what a state-sponsored religion can do back home in England.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Nope, not just churches.



SEC. 501. EXEMPTION FROM TAX ON CORPORATIONS, CERTAIN TRUSTS, ETC.
(a) EXEMPTION FROM TAXATION.—An organization described in subsection (c) or (d) or section 401 (a) shall be exempt from taxation under this subtitle unless such exemption is denied under section 502, 503, or 504.
(b) TAX ON UNRELATED BUSINESS INCOME.—An organization exempt from taxation under subsection (a) shall be subject to tax to the extent provided in part II of this subchapter (relating to tax on unrelated income), but, notwithstanding part II, shall be considered an organization exempt from income taxes for the purpose of any law which refers to organizations exempt from income taxes.
(c) LIST OF EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS.—The following organizations are referred to in subsection (a):
(1) Corporations organized under Act of Congress, if such cor- porations are instrumentalities of the United States and if, under such Act, as amended and supplemented, such corporations are exempt from Federal income taxes.
(2) Corporations organized for the exclusive purpose of holding title to property, collecting income therefrom, and turning over the entire amount thereof, less expenses, to an organization which itself is exempt under this section.
(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.



posted on Aug, 17 2015 @ 12:09 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

I agree, and you said it far more eloquently than I have managed thus far.

I'm more of a facts and figures guy.

I have no idea what the whole issue of the thread is, frankly.

Get rid of the tax code for churches. Let them say what they choose.

Of course, churches should pay taxes. Like every other person and organization.

As far as the exemptions et. al. for "not-for-profits" and charities? /shrug I have no real opinion except ...

They are not purveyors of religion. Religion is protected under the Constitution. Their religious speech should be protected. Their speech should be protected. Their right to assemble should be protected. Period.

They've agreed to register under the current 501 tax code. They've agreed to take tax breaks. Part of those tax breaks is that political speech is not part of religious presentation. They want to break the agreement, fine. They can't have it both ways.

There is nothing in the Constitution about churches; there is no "tax exemption" for churches.

Now ... I do know that POLITICAL ACTION should not fall under the aegis of religion, but that is a different argument.
edit on 12Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:13:45 -050015p122015866 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)




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