Another Assault on the First Ammendment

This is from an article in today’s New York Times:

Last week, an effort by the campaign to enlist members of “friendly congregations” in distributing campaign information at their places of worship came to light in the form of a message e-mailed to some members of the clergy and other people in Pennsylvania, and legal experts warned that any implicit endorsement of one candidate over another could jeopardize a religious group’s tax-exempt status.

“It looks suspicious,” Daniel Maffei, communications director for the Democratic minority on the committee, said of Mr. Thomas’s proposal.

Nonetheless, House Republicans have introduced a provision called “Safe Harbor for Churches” that would allow religious organizations to endorse candidates without risking their tax exempt status. This provision is attached to a bill on corporate taxes that is on a fast track for consideration.

Although previous attempts to loosen the restriction on political endorsements have failed, sponsors think that this provision will pass the house but will face a test during the House/Senate reconciliation process.

The Safe Harbor for Churches provision is less sweeping than previous proposals to change the rules. It would greatly reduce the tax penalties for either one or two deliberate political endorsements in a calendar year and would also allow a church to make as many as three “unintentional” political endorsements in a calendar year without penalty. It does not define “unintentional.’‘

“Our impression is this means you get three sins with no penance,” said Mr. Maffei, of the Ways and Means minority staff. “That means you can take the last three Sundays before the election and pass out a voter card and still retain your tax status as a church.”

The cock is allowed to crow three times.

5 thoughts on “Another Assault on the First Ammendment

  1. If you preach politics on Sunday you pay taxes on Monday.

    These bastards take in almost 30 billion a year in offerings.  What do they do with it all?  You would think that we would have almost zero homeless and needy people with all the outpouring of generosity.  I guess someone prayed and decided it was better to spend it on political campaigning.  Ministers have taken on the role of union bosses.  Of course, investing in your own politician is always a wise choice.  I hope to get a senator one day.

  2. ***Overheard at Brother Billy Bob Bumpkin’s House O’Worship and Hair Emporium***

    Do you believe God deserves to drive a Porsche?? Do YOU believe that God DESERVES to drive a PORSCHE?!?! YES HE DOES!!!

    And he’s asked ME to drive it for him! Can I get an A-MEN?!?!

    (submission word: father)

  3. My friend Shawn Snyder used to say something similar all the time.  He might have gotten it from a movie somewhere.

    “Give to the Church of Divine Profit; you don’t need that new car, the Lord does!”

    Oh, and as to what they do with the money…why, they use it to build new churches, of course. How else can they spread the word of Dog without new churches?  With every dollar you give, another child’s soul is saved.  And after all, a saved soul is much more useful to the child than a full belly.

  4. For those of us who grew up Catholic (and now joyfully lapsed), the church has always been the union boss.  Fortunately, my parents had much common sense about it all and taught my sister and I to question everything.  I still remember a nun telling me my parents were going to hell for seeing an “X” rated movie – Midnight Cowboy.  They saw it with a priest who just happened to be the chancellor of the diocese.  They all loved it and cried like babies.

  5. Last November the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a four part series on Joyce Meyer who’s home base is in St. Louis. I couldn’t find the links I once had, but I believe this is a quote from one of the articles.

    Joyce Meyer is one of America’s best-known prosperity-gospel TV ministers—preachers who teach that personal wealth can be attained through a strong faith in God and a strict adherence to the Bible.

    Her message ‘keep sending me lots of money and God will take care of you’ seems to resonate with women.

    Family members are officers in her organization. They all live in a gated community (owned by the church), drive luxury cars and draw large salaries.

    The local tax collectors would dearly love to tap into this organization but can’t find a way to do it.

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