Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Johnson Amendment under attack.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Johnson Amendment under attack.

    “The Johnson Amendment,” is a 1954 law that prohibits tax-exempt charities, nonprofits, universities, and churches, from endorsing candidates, funding campaigns, and directly engaging in politics. This law is on the agenda of The Alliance Defending Freedom to get it repealed. The Alliance Defending Freedom asserts that banning churches from overt political campaigning let’s the IRS “tell pastors what they can and cannot preach.”

    If by preaching it means an endorsement by a church of a political candidate for the purpose of collecting and contributing money to the political campaign, then “The Johnson Amendment” restricts churches. By observation, the evidence is indisputable that pastors and churches do show support for candidates to a political office without any IRS censorship. Both Obama and Trump received such endorsements. Pastors, churches, and denominations advertize positions on pending legislation without IRS censorship. Therefore, the assertion by The Alliance Defending Freedom that “The Johnson Amendment” allows the IRS to “tell pastors what they can and cannot preach” is yet to be enforced if the law allows such restrictions.

    In the wake of the recent legalization of homosexuality there were some state and local government attempts to restrict pastors from condemning homosexuality as a sin. The attack on religious leaders has been as civil rights violations rather than anything to do with elections or the tax exempt status of churches. Removal of the churches tax exempt status is a threat of the consequences for violating civil liberties protected by law.

    However, repealing the “The Johnson Amendment” would allow special-interest funders and Super PACs to funnel money through the tax exempt churches, meaning the donors would also receive a tax deduction for their campaign contributions! Should taxpayers subsidize a religious group’s financial support of political campaigns and directly engaging in politics?

    If “The Johnson Amendment” is repealed political campaign contributions funneled through 501(c)(3) organizations would be tax-deductible for donors, and that such contributions would not be disclosed, since churches are exempt from reporting requirements required of other 501(c)(3) organizations. Repealing “The Johnson Amendment” would have the potential of creating a mechanism where political contributions could be made in violation of relevant campaign financing laws.

    It is as if there are not enough ways for giant corporations and mega-rich political donors to funnel their big bucks into our elections and buy our government. On May 4, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order "to defend the freedom of religion and speech" for the purpose of easing the Johnson Amendment's restrictions.
    Repeal of “The Johnson Amendment” would mean that individuals could give tax-deductible contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations based on the organizations stated support or opposition of candidates or political parties, rather than for the services provided in the community. Faith leaders in churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples could become extensions of campaign funding, while enjoying tax advantages unavailable to other organizations. Additionally, contributions would not be subject to campaign finance limits that apply to contributions directly to candidates or political action committees. Since 501(c)(3) organizations are not obliged to report the names of their donors, there would be no transparency about who is influencing the activities of the organization that has a preferential tax status. Forget about “following the money,” because no one will tell you where it came from. Repealing the amendment would mean de facto campaign finance through religious and charitable organizations, but with none of the rules. It is conceivable the liberals would organize a new church – The Church for Social Justice and Equality which would have as its message the liberal agenda. And the conservatives would organize a new church – The Church for the Rights of Americans.

    Under “The Johnson Amendment” tax-exempt organizations – chiefly 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations – are already able to conduct public education on policy issues and engage in public policy advocacy, and indeed they do. These efforts are quite distinct from the endorsement of and opposition to specific political candidates, not to mention raising money for them.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For these very reasons, forty years ago a Christian, maybe it was James M. Dunn or one of his associates, suggested to our church to operate as a business to avoid the power of government control. This would remove the tax exempt status of contributions and the church would have to pay income taxes and property taxes. The idea was reasonable but because of the favorable issues associated with being a tax exempt non profit the idea was considered very unlikely.

    The speaker thought the freedom to speak the revealed truth was more important than being exempt from taxes. He recognized the power to tax is the power to destroy, but he saw a more important issue. He thought that because the church benefited from taxes through roads, police, fire protection, national security etc. it was unethical for the church to benefit from government without paying taxes. He said how we lived and presented the Lord Jesus in front of the world was more important then any financial gains from tax exemptions.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Americans do not need more liberties. “We the people” can not responsible handle the liberties we have now. Laws and enforcement, made by man or God, are required for civil society and human decency. By accepting restrictions we confine our behavior to actions which are safe and fair for all. “We the people” are in need of more restrictions – not less.

    “We the people” ought to have had enough of
    “If it feels good, do it!”
    “If it doesn’t hurt anybody, what’s wrong with it?”
    “It’s my right.”

    “We the people” need more of what Secretary of state Colin Powell said America had lost, the sense of shame. Along with shame there needs to be a commitment to the first commandment, The Shema, and the second commandment which is just like the first. If the practice and law of the land were such that everybody behaved as to do what is good for your neighbor – but . . . but . . . “We the people” can’t do that! That is correct. “We the people” cannot.

    However, “We the children of the Kingdom of God” do behave with words and actions which are good for our neighbors, and that is only because the power of the gift on Pentecost, nearly two thousand years ago, which is conforming us from “We the people” into “We the children of the Kingdom of God.” With His gift we become disciples of Christ and recognize that both the man left beaten by robbers and the good Samaritan are our neighbors. Disciples do not have the right to choose who their neighbor is. That is a right belonging to God the Father.

    Reference Luke 10:25-37

  • #2
    501(c)3 incorporated churches are bound in commerce. They made a deal with the devil, knowingly or ignorantly. Now they are snared in the details. They can get out but, if I understand correctly, it will cost them: all property in a non-profit belongs to the State. There are strict guidelines for disposing of and transferring it, and if the church rescinds the contract it forfeits all interest to the State. Or pastors can disobey and be liable for it in commerce, plus any civil charges the State sees fit. Of course, it was craftily designed this way. The State doesn't care about equity and justice. It cares about presenting the appearance of equity and justice, and maintaining control, and making a profit to run its foreign mercenary campaigns. It gives me no pleasure to say these things. I call it as I see it. I asked an old pastor of mine what he was going to do when they started tightening the reigns. He said he hoped that they were so small they would go unnoticed. Imagine, trying to pull one over on the devil.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Baruch View Post
      501(c)3 incorporated churches are bound in commerce. They made a deal with the devil, knowingly or ignorantly. Now they are snared in the details. They can get out but, if I understand correctly, it will cost them: all property in a non-profit belongs to the State. There are strict guidelines for disposing of and transferring it, and if the church rescinds the contract it forfeits all interest to the State. Or pastors can disobey and be liable for it in commerce, plus any civil charges the State sees fit. Of course, it was craftily designed this way. The State doesn't care about equity and justice. It cares about presenting the appearance of equity and justice, and maintaining control, and making a profit to run its foreign mercenary campaigns. It gives me no pleasure to say these things. I call it as I see it. I asked an old pastor of mine what he was going to do when they started tightening the reigns. He said he hoped that they were so small they would go unnoticed. Imagine, trying to pull one over on the devil.
      We surely can not outsmart The Devil. He is the angel of knowledge.

      But Jesus certainly pulled one on the Devil at the cross.

      Comment

      Working...
      X