May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Religious Free Speech, and the Johnson Amendment

There is the notion that Pastors can't speak of political issues from the pulpit. Up until the mid twentieth century, no such idea existed. Pastors endorsed politicians and legislation all the time. What happened was that in 1954 then senator Lyndon Johnson put into a tax overhaul bill an amendment that would silence his political opposition, which was not from any religious institutions.

It said entities who are exempt from federal income tax cannot:
"Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office."

It was meant to quash political free speech of 501c non profit organizations, specifically those that were opposing him in his run for Senate. As it turns out, churches are 501's. Secularists and Atheists, Leftists and the Democrat Party have used it since then to shut down free speech from religious speakers. It's applied to the incorrect notion of separation of church and state, of which, no such thing exists in the Constitution.

Here's a short vid of the history of the Johnson Amendment.

Earlier this year, Houston Pastor of Grace Community Church, Steve Riggle, spoke from the pulpit about Houston Mayor Parker, a lesbian with a partner that advocates for gay marriage. Riggle pointed out Texas and the county which Houston is in overwhelmingly (over 70%) voted for the amendment stating marriage is between one man and one woman. What the mayor had done was, as a representative of the city, gone to Washington DC and as mayor advocated for gay marriage. Riggle stated this was not representing the will of the people.

He wrote a private email letter to her, which of course she released to the press, and the attack was on. Riggle remained quiet throughout the week, did no interviews and did not respond. He said on the Thursday following his letter to her, he would address the issue in his upcoming Sunday message.

Link to the letter and message:
(Just a note, I've seen Pastor Riggle speak, and he's way more dynamic than this. He wanted to make sure his statements were measured and precise. He said it took about 50 hours to prepare this, and ensure it was exactly what he wanted to say.)

It must be understood the State has no authority to silence Pastors or anyone representing a religious institution to speak on political issues and candidates. The State, through the IRS, has tried many times to force pastors to comply, and when a church had to resources to fight back, the State\IRS has lost every time. The reason being they have no authority to do so.

It must be made clear that issues such as marriage and abortion are not political issues, they're moral issues. Atheists, Leftists, Democrat Party, have kept stating these are political issues, the result being, it has become the meme, it's assumed to be true. This lie is the foundation of their attacks to silence free speech from the pulpit. That the Democrat Party is anti religious and anti God was born out during their convention earlier this year when they removed the word "God" from their Party Platform, and that they're anti Israel by refusing to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital.  When these were added back into the platform because of national blowback, it was to a chorus of boos from the convention floor.

The totalitarians of this president's political party and his oligarchy understand, like all totalitarians before them in the past 2000 years, Christianity must be silenced for State rule to be complete and unchallenged.  Applying this unconstitutional amendment, that was part of a power play by one of the most corrupt politicians in US history, is their primary vehicle.

We must encourage our pastors to speak out on moral issues like Pastor Riggle has, and continues to.

No comments: