No Place

Since 1954, there has been a law on the books banning charities, non-profits, and churches from specifically endorsing political candidates or parties.  It is part of what helps them keep favor with the IRS as tax-exempt entities.

Apparently, some pastors feel that the law does not apply to them.  Many have been actively endorsing candidates in this election cycle, and, not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority have encouraged their congregation to back Mitt Romney.  I don’t believe that people attend church to be told who to vote for.  And people then express shock and indignation when a lot of people become alienated from the church and from religion.  For example, if I were a member of Abundant Life Worship Center in Midland, Texas, and I heard Pastor Ken Redmond, from the pulpit, say, “Here is your choice: a Mormon or a Muslim,” I would have gotten up and left.  Not because I am a supporter of President Obama (I am), but because I would have realized that he crossed the line in injecting religion into politics.

Now, I imagine I might get a comment or two to the effect that states that we are a “Christian nation” and founded on Christian beliefs.  Those comments would be inaccurate.  Don’t take my word for it, check out what the 1796 Treaty with Tripoli says:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is
not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no
character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen;
and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against
any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising
from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
existing between the two countries.

But what do our Founders know, right?  I mean, if they wanted us to be considered a Christian nation, wouldn’t they have included words like “Jesus Christ,” “Christianity,” “Bible,” “Creator,” “Divine,” and “God” in the Constitution?  While you will find “God” and “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence, that particular document was just that:  one that declared us independent from the British crown.

It is thought that most of our Founders were deists, meaning that they believed the universe had a creator, but that he does not concern himself with the daily lives of humans, and does not directly communicate with humans, either by revelation or by sacred books (source).  If this is true, then they deliberately wrote the Constitution so as not to include laws based off of religion.

I reside in the school of thought that says that we have a separation of church and state in our country for a reason.  We have no established national religion.  Our Founding Fathers, having been descendents of those who came to this country to escape religious governance, would have not then turned around and imposed religious governance on the people, at least in my opinion.  Our First Amendment is a wonderful thing in that it established our freedom of religion and also freedom from religion.  To me, that means that people have the right to worship how they choose, and also people have the right to not worship if they so choose.

I would like to see the IRS revoke the tax exempt status from any church that can be proven to have waded into the political waters.  And that goes not only for churches who endorse Mitt Romney, but those who endorsed President Obama.

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4 Responses to No Place

  1. I agree. It’s why we left our former church. “Bar the doors against Obama” Ummm, no Church should be welcoming for all, not some.

  2. Pingback: I’ll Never Be President « Our Not So Expert Opinions

  3. Pingback: Loud and Clear « Our Not So Expert Opinions

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