By Nathan Barton
For two-thirds of a century and more), the “Johnson Amendment,” a provision in the FedGov tax code that applies to all 501(c)(3) organizations and even religious groups that have NOT accepted the mark of the beast (501(c)(3) status) has been taking away the recognized freedom of religious grounds in the Fifty States. Groups that are recognized as such, and those who choose that “most-favored tax status” (such as charities and educational institutions as well as religious ones) must refrain from endorsing, opposing or financially supporting political candidates.
It was a “gift” (in the German sense of the word, at least) of that scum-sucking piece of Progressive “humanity” and shame of Texas, Lyndon Baines Johnson, when he was in Congress before he became president and gave us the Great Society and the Southeast Asian War. But I’m off subject.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to deep-six it, and apparently has (with help in Congress, of course) started that process.
A lot of people don’t like it.
Christianity Today has a headline “Hundreds of religious groups call on Congress to keep Johnson Amendment”. (Of course, as is often the case, Christianity Today violates the Ninth Commandment in its headline – showing its hypocrisy in the very first line. They are referring to a letter sent to Congress a few days ago [pdf] which was actually signed by 99 “religious groups” – “Christian” and Hindu and Jewish and even Islamic. (Islamic Society of North America, a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.) But they are joining various non-profit groups. In fact, a paper “NonProfit Quarterly” (which apparently DOES make a nice profit for its publisher but is about non-profit organizations) came out with an article in March. It touted how critical the Johnson Amendment is for non-profit entities in general, not just religious groups, honoring a coalition to fight to keep the Johnson Amendment alive and kicking (a lot of people) through the good offices of the IRS.
Thanks, by the way, to Chuck for finding this – it sure isn’t in the Mainstream Media, or even in much of the Alternative Media. Like him, some things are more gross than others, about this letter, and the attitude behind this letter. (Remember “houses of worship” as they use it here doesn’t refer to a meetinghouse, but to the people meeting there – and especially their “religious leaders” who control their assemblies and such.)
First, “They… warned the integrity of churches and other places of worship [synagogues, mosques, etc.] would be tarnished if they were tied to political campaigns.”
Ah, yes, like all those churches that hosted Miz Hillary (and the few that hosted The Donald and Bernie). And all the hoplophobic and hoploclastic church groups out there. Not that many churches have much “integrity” – well, the buildings do, but the people in them (especially the priests and pastors and imams and mullahs and rabbis and everyday people in the pew) certainly don’t, do they?
Second, “If houses of worship endorse candidates, their prophetic voice, their ability to speak truth to power as political outsiders, is threatened.”
Debby and I both immediately thought of the Jewish prophet Samuel. He actually endorsed (to the point of anointing them!) two kings of Israel, and according to the books named for him, HIS “prophetic voice” and HIS “ability to speak truth to power” certainly wasn’t threatened, even when he was an “insider” instead of an “outsider.” We could also list a few Catholics and Protestants over the years: Luther and Calvin, Knox and a dozen popes – who endorsed or outright nominated and put into power all kinds of kings and dukes and premiers – to say nothing of a few French cardinals and the odd Papal Legate.
But when you get right down to it – “what ‘prophetic voice’ and how much ‘speak truth to power’ do the vast majority of religious groups in the Fifty States today have and do? Even before the Johnson Amendment, they had learned the bitter lesson of John the Baptizer, who criticized the marriage activities of one of the Herods. In fact, he was so upset he lost his head over it! Not going to find many in the Fifty States to voluntarily get shorter just to stand up for God and morality.
Third, “The credibility and integrity of congregations would suffer with bad decisions of candidates they endorsed. Tying America’s houses of worship to partisan activity demeans the institutions from which so many believers expect unimpeachable decency.”
Again, Samuel comes to mind: Saul (his first annointee) was truly a disaster: a “failed king.” And again, can someone point out to me just where all these congregations with such high “credibility and integrity” and “unimpeachable decency” are?
The truth is, these religious groups don’t WANT liberty – they don’t WANT free speech. They want the excuse of the IRS boogyman to keep them from speaking out against the immorality and evil deeds and hideous desires and plans of America’s politicians. Or much of anything else that might be controversial and might threaten those collection baskets being filled each Sunday (or Sabbath or Friday).
They love their chains. And so they are begging the politicos in DC to keep them bound tightly around them – and their followers. They reject that great gift of the Creator – liberty, and lick their masters’ hands and the chains that bind them.
Of course, if they were to follow the words of Simon Peter (the leader of the Twelve after Jesus’ resurrection – and according to Catholics, their first pope), they wouldn’t worry about the Johnson Amendment or anything else that government tries to do to them. He said, “We must obey God rather than men.” Old-fashioned and not politically correct, I guess.
By the way – an afterword – The letter is supposedly signed by 99 groups, but running down the list, it seems that many are just state chapters of some kind of national or regional organization. There are an abundance of Baptist groups, but the few I recognize are very small, progressive, and far from “mainstream” as even Baptists go. And it is quite interesting to note that many of the very progressive denominations didn’t even have an affiliated organization or ministry listed on the letter. But some very large and prominent groups (like the Episcopal Church) DID sign on.
Mama’s Note: I don’t see any reasonable difference between some church leaders promoting individual political people or policies and the almost universal church enthusiasm for the “troops,” various wars, and especially the government wars on liberty over almost everything else. As far as I’m concerned, the organized religions of the world and most of their members, are very comfortable with the non-voluntary government at every level – and happy to use that comfortable relationship to feather their own nests as often as opportunity presents itself. Integrity? Don’t make me laugh.