September 6th, 2012 08:43 EST
What Makes Uncle Sam Snub Separation of Church and State?
With elections approaching, we`re hearing more and more about the state threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of churches because of their views on political candidates. Pro-abortion agencies are resorting to iron-clad intimidation by telling Church groups they can`t preach against Obama, or else! The following is just an example of what abortion advocates are sending around as part of their campaign effort to win the election for Obama, and almost gives the impression we`re living in a police-state.
"Dear Religious Leader:
"Another election year is upon us, and questions about the appropriate role of houses of worship in the political process have arisen. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of pastors and church leaders to speak out on religious, moral and political issues. However, houses of worship are barred from endorsing or opposing candidates for any public office and may not intervene directly or indirectly in partisan campaigns... Federal tax law, which governs the activities of houses of worship, prohibits churches from engaging in partisan politics on behalf of or in opposition to candidates. The IRS has already revoked the tax-exempt status of one church that violated this provision by announcing its opposition to a presidential candidate." (obtained from Priests for Life and slightly edited)
The churches should stand their ground with the state and remind Uncle Sam that the state cannot be taxing the Church for its views. The Church always has full autonomy to preach and act as it will without being scrutinized by the state. Contrary to what is stated in the letter, federal tax law does not "govern the activities of houses of worship," since Separation of Church and State was enacted to prevent this very interference from the state. It actually protects the rights of the Church to intervene and take sides in the political arena. If the Church can`t blast the devil, how is it going to bear witness for the truth?
Revoking tax-exempt status for endorsing or denouncing candidates or views is immoral and unconstitutional. The states` only concern with respect to qualifying for tax-exempt status is that one must show that he is not working for money. This is strictly a money issue, and has nothing to do with publicly endorsing or renouncing political candidates. Part of the Church`s evangelical duty is to mention candidates by name if it is necessary for our salvation, and for the state to monitor how the Church does its evangelizing is precisely to violate the Establishment Clause of Separation of Church and State.
Taxing the Church is an insulting form of persecution that the state has been getting away with for too long. The hierarchy should take a firm stand with the state and remind the IRS that their tax-exempt status is no favor from the state. Their only requirement for securing this status is to prove that they are truly priests working in the spirit of poverty and charity, but what they say, preach, or do is none of the state`s business, as long as they are not working for money.
When Christ said "render to Cesar the things that are Cesar`s," he was speaking to the laity who earn a regular living, not to those who dedicate their lives to God as priests and religious. But even the laity would be exempt today (morally speaking), since Cesar didn`t use the tax money for abortion like they do now.
" David Martin