Do you think that your pastor should be able to preach about political issues on Sunday mornings? Do you think that priests, rabbis, and imams should have the freedom to speak out about political issues during their worship services? Then pay close attention to this article.
I bet you didn’t know that due to a rule in the US tax code regarding the tax exempt status for religious groups, most religious leaders are not allowed to make public political speeches in the United States. That’s right, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the tax code to silence members of the clergy; if these leaders speak out politically, the IRS can deny their church’s tax-exempt status. They and their entire congregation are penalized for practicing free speech. That is un-American.
Are you one of the millions of Americans with the belief that pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and other religious leaders should be able to enjoy freedom of speech while speaking and preaching to their congregations? Do you believe that churches should be able to speak politically without fearing reprisal from the IRS? Then fax Congress today! Demand that Congress changes the law and allows pastors and churches of all denominations and belief systems to enjoy constitutionally mandated freedom of speech without losing their tax-exempt status.
You are probably wondering how the IRS could control religious free speech in the United States? We are a country that prides itself on its democratic accomplishments, yet members of our clergy can’t enjoy freedom of speech without the taxman reaching in their pocket and making them pay for the privilege? That is not the American way.
Here’s what happened: back in 1954 then Senator and future Democratic President, Lyndon B. Johnson, secretly added the “Johnson Amendment” to the US tax code. Johnson was having trouble-securing reelection because of several vocal nonprofit groups. In typical liberal authoritarian fashion, Lyndon B. Johnson used the tax code to silence his enemies and gain reelection. The Johnson Amendment allows churches and other religious organizations to claim tax-exempt status only if these organizations do not publicly promote, endorse, or criticize political candidates or sitting politicians. Essentially, churches must give up free speech to pay for their tax-exempt status.
Clearly, the Johnson Amendment is unconstitutional. Free speech is an inalienable right. Free speech flows from God and nature, not from the government. Therefore any governing body cannot repudiate it. Congress didn’t have the power to silence clergy members. What’s next? Should churches also be forced to give up their right against unreasonable searches and seizures in order to protect their tax-exempt status? Should churches be forced to give up ANY constitutional right simply to attain tax-exempt status? Of course not! Since the Supreme Court has refused to rule on this issue, we must fax Congress and demand the legislative destruction of this unconstitutional provision. Our church leaders must be able to speak publicly about their political views if we are to call ourselves a democracy.
On Sunday, religious leaders across the country demonstrated against the Johnson Amendment by preaching politically from the pulpit. These brave men and women of their respective clergies are standing up to the Federal government and are taking their rights back. It is predicted that more than 1,600 pastors, priests, imams, etc. nationwide participated in the demonstration. We must stand up with them. We must demand that Congress end any and all strings attached to tax exempt status that requires the extinguishment of any constitutional right. We are not Communist Russia, we are not Iran, and we are not Nazi Germany. We are the United States; we are a democracy and with your help we will demand that we start acting like one!
How much power do we really want to give IRS agents? The Johnson Amendment gives the IRS the ability to promote some speech and outlaw speech with content of which the IRS does not agree. The IRS could allow a Catholic priest to use political speech and allow his parish to maintain their tax exempt status because IRS officials agree with the content of that priest’s speech; at the same time the IRS could nullify the tax-exempt status for a Baptist preacher’s church because those same IRS officials disagree with the content of his speech. This is as un-American as it gets!! Fax Congress today and demand this law be changed!
Congress and the United States Supreme Court just expanded the powers of the IRS exponentially by calling the healthcare mandate in the Affordable Healthcare Act (also known as Obamacare) a tax. Therefore, IRS agents are now in control of your health decisions and fiscal decisions; do you really want them involved in your religious decisions? Have you had enough of the IRS? Fax Congress today and let’s start the process of re-constitutionalizing the United States!
Religious leaders and their congregations are standing up to the anti-democratic policies housed in the tax code. Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter. This is a question of fundamental freedoms, not political theory. They are demanding that our government return and adhere to the core principles of the Constitution. We must stand up with them. Conservative-Daily is committed to preserving the rights associated with our Constitution; but we need your help.
Our country is hemorrhaging civil liberties. Every day ignorant voters give away YOUR Constitutional rights in droves because they saw some flashy speech on TV or the Internet. They will forget the flashy speech next week, but you will be stuck with fewer Constitutional rights. Stop that cycle and fax Congress today. No one can give away your rights if you stand up and protect them. Fax Congress today!!