Editorial

Land of the Free or not so much?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained," President George Washington said during his first inaugural address in 1789.

Wednesday, the president issued an executive order that does a number of things, but this column will only address one: that of allowing churches to exercise free speech when it comes to campaigns and political activity. The order in essence removes the Johnson Amendment freedom hating penalties that churches have been subject to for taking a stand on moral/political issues.

The 1954 provision of the federal tax law, crafted by a young Lyndon B. Johnson prohibited all [501 (C)(3)] non-profit organizations from being able to speak in favor or in opposition of political candidates. Overtime that restriction has grown to include issues such as abortion, same sex marriage and others.

Supporters of the amendment argue that it is needed in order to prevent churches from influencing elections through campaign spending while shielding the names of their donors. But surely no one really wants churches giving a list to the government of everyone that gives tithes and offerings to the local church [sounds like Nazi Germany, Stalin's U.S.S.R., Mao's China and radical Iran?].

Those, such as myself, that oppose the amendment say that the constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion easily outweigh their fears and freedom's demand is "self-evident."

All reasonable people, including many of this nation's founding fathers knew that our system of government is the best in the history of mankind, but ONLY if we remain a virtuous nation.

Alexis de Tocqueville hit the nail on the head when he wrote in his Democracy in America, "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there... in her fertile fields and bound less forests—and it was not there... in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there... in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."

America is very much in danger of ceasing to be good. Can you name another massive voter bloc that has been entirely left out of public debate on politics and policy...all under threat of penalty by the government? If an immoral politician (do you want the whole list or just the top three) asks for us to vote them into office and give them power, or if an immoral law/policy comes before us for consideration, who has more moral obligation and authority to point out evil than the church? If an issue comes to the ballot, why shouldn't the church be able to use their collective voice to respond?

Why shouldn't the church be able to counter the onslaught currently underway against traditional American Judeo-Christian values - the very same values that made us great and allowed us to live under the blessings of heaven? Why shouldn't life-giving believers be allowed to collectively raise their voice against the murder of millions? Why shouldn’t the collective voice of churches, mosques, synagogues, etcetera be able to be heard when secularists of the left are attempting to destroy the very foundations of our society that were birthed form the dogma of our faith?

Why is it important for the Freedom of Religion and Speech to be returned? Why is it important to vote your faith? Because real faith that is not a mask you wear for a couple hours on Sabbath. Real faith is part of YOU, YOUR LIFE and YOUR WORLDVIEW. If not, then it is merely a farce, church brainwashing and man-made tradition.

We live in a world where people are irrelevant and the raging governmental machine demands to be worshipped as a sacred idol. Our minds are being conditioned to believe that our needs are not supplied by God, but rather by the nanny state. We are taught that good is bad and bad is good. Abortion is healthcare, all things are relative, marriage is whatever you want it to be, meritocracy is evil, and that individual worth must always take a knee to collective control and mandated redistribution. Faith says otherwise.

Now, speaking to those that would exploit the relaxing of regulation (as though freedom is bad and governmental regulation should be the natural state of man), I would say that if you are minister of the Gospel or a charlatan that attempts to make profit or financial gain from exploiting relaxed IRS and election laws, then you are a blight on democracy and upon the "church." Being listed in the Lamb's Book of Life was not a Get Out the Vote list, nor was it created so that you can get rich or to be a "big man" around town because you can deliver the votes.

But the collective voice of faith was designed to bring life and hope to the dark world we live in and to be a restraining force against evil in our time. Prior to repeal, any preacher that stood in a pulpit and gave a sermon on a "political moral issue" (requires quasi thought and speech police) was in danger of loosing the entire tax exempt status of the ministry AND also in danger of not being politically correct enough and being found guilty of hate crimes. That is stupid. America's foundation is not a tax code, it is an idea and its framework is that of faith.

thenry@blythevillecourier.com