[COMMENT: President Johnson in the '60's was offended that some churches preached against his candidacy. So he engineered the nonsense that churches would lose their tax-exempt status of they sided with or against a politician. We had better give up of our tax exempt status if that shuts us down. We are continually, and in a cowardly manner, submitting to the ploys of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The absurdity of telling people what they can and cannot talk to God about in any situation whatsoever speaks to the absurdity of our current notion of separation of Church and State. (See Constitution Library for articles on this.) If we accept the notion that the Church should not be involved in politics, then the IRS ruling would follow. But the premise is absurd. The claim that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords is a political claim right from the start. Jesus is the supreme Politician. You can no more separate religion from the State than you can separate politics from the State. Moral, and therefore legal, values always come from somebody's religion.
That, of course, is precisely what secular folks want us to cover up and hide in a hole. They do not want God butting in our our political or moral decisions. That is a logical absurdity. If God exists, then He is indeed King of kings and Lord of lords. That is a logical fact. Christians meant by their refusal to honor Caesar as Lord that there is one and only one King and Lord, and that it was not Caesar.
So, the early Christians knew that that was a political claim, and so did Caesar. They knew that Jesus meant to be the Lord over Caesar just as over anyone else. Caesar understood that as well, or he would not have bothered to persecute the Christians.
On the good side, I believe there is legislation somewhere in Congress to remove Johnson's legislation. Campaign for it. Even better, let's get Alan Keyes' solution, and replace the IRS with a national sales tax. E. Fox]
IRS: Churches can't pray for Bush victory
Ruling says tax-exempt groups prohibited from asking God to intervene
[Hmm. Are they worried that God might just do that?]
Posted: October 28, 2004 1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Ron Strom © 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
In a letter of clarification requested by a traveling minister, the Internal Revenue Service has declared people gathered in tax-exempt churches can't pray for President Bush to win the election on Tuesday.
The ruling comes in response to a request by the Christian Defense Coalition, which is in the midst of a 15-day prayer tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the organization, had planned to lead in prayer for a Bush victory during evening services in each town. Though he had hoped to hold the services in churches, Mahoney says he has used American Legion halls, hotels and other venues pending a clarification from the IRS.
The American Center for Law and Justice wrote the letter to the IRS on behalf of the Mahoney's group, explaining that the pastor planned to "offer prayer during the evening services in the churches he visits that God grants President Bush four more years as president and that Senator Kerry does not become president."
"This is rank censorship," Mahoney told WND. "If churches felt compelled to pray for Senator Kerry, they should be able to do that, too.
"Now we have the IRS not only limiting what can said behind a pulpit in terms of electioneering, but churches aren't even allowed to pray the dictates of their consciences."
Mahoney said he would consider legal action against the IRS, saying churches that had considered hosting the tour were unable to do so. He also said he considers his First Amendment rights to have been violated.
Reaction to the IRS ruling, Mahoney predicts, will include "massive anger" in the Christian community.
"Our organization, along with the American Center for Law and Justice, is going to make this a major issue," he said.
Mahoney considers the ruling a "much greater leap into censorship" than the prohibition on endorsing candidates from church pulpits.
"You hear people talk about the separation of church and state," he said. "This is a massive violation of the separation of church and state from the standpoint of the government intruding on the private dictates of churches."
Under IRS regulations, churches that are tax-exempt organizations cannot openly advocate for candidates for office and can only use a small percentage of their budgets on political activity.
As WorldNetDaily reported, an concerted effort is under way to get the IRS to crack down on churches that might push certain candidates or parties. In July, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, headed by Barry Lynn, filed a complaint with the IRS against Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark., accusing him of preaching a sermon promoting President Bush's re-election July 4.
Ron Strom is a news editor for WorldNetDaily.com.
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