What Churches and Pastors Can and Cannot Do in the Political Realm

February 27, 2014

What Churches and Pastors Can and Cannot Do in the Political Realm
Many people believe that the church and the pastor should stay out of politics. However, nothing is farther from the truth!

From the beginning of this country until 1954, churches and other non-profit organizations were allowed to endorse or oppose candidates for political office. In 1954, that all changed.

When Lyndon B. Johnson ran for the United States Senate, he was opposed by a nonprofit organization (not a church). After Johnson won the election, he introduced legislation to change the Internal Revenue Code for nonprofit organizations. Johnson’s adjustment to the code prohibited any nonprofit organization from directly endorsing or opposing political candidates. In 1954, the legislation to change the code was passed.

Unfortunately, since 1954 to the present day churches and other nonprofit organizations are not allowed to directly endorse or oppose a political candidate.

Although this sounds like the end, it certainly is not. It is important to understand the difference between churches and other nonprofit organizations.

A church is the only nonprofit organization that is not required to obtain a tax exempt approval letter from the IRS. From the moment a church is founded, it is automatically tax exempt. All other nonprofit organizations must apply for a tax exempt approval letter. Therefore with that being said, not one single church in the history of the United States has ever lost its tax exempt status for either endorsing or opposing a political candidate or pursuing lobbying activities.

So what exactly can the church and pastor do in the political realm?

Churches cannot corporately endorse or oppose a candidate; however a church does have every right to educate the public about political, moral, and Biblical issues. Again, no church has ever been stripped of their tax exempt status for getting involved in politics.

The pastor has every right to address political issues from the pulpit. Whether it is social issues, economic issues, or issues concerning certain political leaders or candidates, the IRS can never tell a pastor what he can and cannot preach. A pastor is also free to discuss views, positions, and morals of political candidates from the pulpit.

It is imperative to remember that our duty to God as Christians is to be a voice of hope in this dark world. Being a voice of hope does not stop after sharing the Gospel. We should not silence our voices concerning political issues. This nation needs its churches and pastors to stand up and point out the issues of this nation. That includes sharing our stance concerning political candidates, whether it is good or bad. America cannot afford to have its voice of truth silenced.

The American Revolution was started because pastors were preaching truth and encouraging their congregations to take a stand. If it had not been for the early American pastors and churches proclaiming truth and standing up for right, there would have never been a Revolution and America would not be here today.

Take a stand and be a voice of truth to America. Please click the below link to view a chart of political and legislative guidelines for churches and pastors:

http://www.lc.org/media/9980/attachments/political_legislative_guidelines_pastor_church_1pg.pdf.Texas Judge Strikes Down Ban on Homosexual “Marriage”

Judge Orlando Garcia of Texas has struck down the state’s ban on homosexual “marriage.” Garcia claims he made the ruling to comply with the United States Constitution.

Garcia issued his ruling in response to a suit by two homosexual couples. The “couples” challenged the state’s constitutional marriage amendment, which was approved by 76 percent of voters in 2005.

Garcia’s decision ignored the argument by the Texas attorney general’s office that each state has the right to define marriage as its citizens choose. Texas also argued that traditional marriage best supports the state’s interest in procreation and child rearing.

Garcia wrote a 48-page opinion stating:

“After careful consideration, and applying the law as it must, this court holds that Texas’ prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Texas’ current marriage laws deny homosexual couples the right to marry, and in doing so, demean their dignity for no legitimate reason.

Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the United States Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution.”

Governor Rick Perry implied that the state would appeal. He said Texas would “continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.”

Perry also firmly stated:

“Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens.”

Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill to Protect Religious Beliefs

Last week, the Arizona Legislature passed House Bill 2153 which would allow businesses to deny service to homosexuals whose owners hold to religious beliefs that prompt them to do so. The bill would allow any business, church, or person to use the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.

The Legislation’s decision to pass the bill sparked a national uproar with the business community, the state’s Super Bowl Committee, and both Republican and Democratic senators. They were all calling for a veto.

When the bill was proposed by conservatives, the Democrats and civil rights groups immediately opposed it, saying that it would encourage discriminatory actions and hurt the state’s economy.

On Wednesday, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona announced that she had vetoed the bill.

Brewer said, “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.”

Brewer also suggested the bill did “not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

Sadly, among the first to congratulate Brewer for her decision was Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who had urged her to veto the measure.

McCain asserted:

“I appreciate the decision made by Governor Brewer to veto this legislation. I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work, and enjoy our beautiful State of Arizona.”

The Center for Arizona Policy stated:

“People don’t forfeit their religious freedom rights simply because they go to work or start a business.  The Constitution doesn’t only guarantee our freedom to worship but our freedom to practice and promote our faith. Americans don’t have to leave their faith and convictions at their church door; we have the right to carry it with us in all aspects of our lives.”

 

 | http://www.returnamerica.org Return America

Dr. Ron Baity, President
P.O. Box 380 | Wallburg, NC 27373
returnamerica@hotmail.com
(336) 407-6406

A Campaign to Normalize “Transgenderism”

February 25, 2014
A Campaign to Normalize “Transgenderism”

 

A huge movement to normalize “transgenderism” is rapidly and powerfully hitting the local mainstream media. The movement even calls for normalizing sex-change operations for children. The main goal of the movement is to change the public’s view on the issue. Unfortunately, the movement is gaining ground and the acceptance of the public.

 

Schools in Massachusetts are now ordered to allow “transgender” students to wear opposite-sex clothes to school, use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms, and be called by an opposite-sex name. California schools are also directed to give the same accommodations to “transgender” students. Sadly, several other states will soon be giving this mandate to their schools as well.

 

Although this movement is quickly and widely moving across this nation, it still has not gained the approval of all the general public. Therefore, the radical movement decided to start a campaign to further their cause and to obtain more approval.

 

The campaign consists of news articles and radio spots and is being funded by mainstream homosexuals and well-known homosexual groups. Its activists and hand-picked “experts” appear in almost all of the articles.

 

The following are some examples of what the campaign is putting out for the public eye to hear and read:

 

The movement is not only reaching out to adults, but also are reaching out to children as well. Last year at the “Youth Pride” event in Boston, a booth was set up that had two drag queens promoting their agenda to the kids. They were inviting middle school and high school students to a “Drag Gospel Festival”.

 

The “Drag Gospel Festival” was held last year in Massachusetts. The festival was hosted by the Imperial Court of Massachusetts and First Church Sommerville UCC.

 

It’s a sad day when the churches accept what the Bible clearly deems as sin.

 

To read more about the above issue visit: http://www.massresistance.org/.

Judge Halts NC Opportunity Scholarship Program

 

On Friday, the Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood has postponed North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program. Hobgood’s decision to postpone the program is due to a lawsuit filed against the program by the North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina School Boards Asssociation.

 

John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, stated:

 

“We remain confident that the Courts will ultimately decide in favor of the right of parents to direct and choose the most appropriate education for their children, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location. The Opportunity Scholarship program represents a long-awaited public policy change in favor of offering every child in every family in the state the same opportunities to succeed educationally, and we look forward to many years of its growth and success.”

Sadly, the decision to postpone came just days before applicants of the program are to be notified of their acceptance. The News & Observer reports that over 4,700 applications have been submitted for the scholarships. Today is the last day to apply for the scholarships.
Recipients of the scholarship were scheduled to be notified of their acceptance on March 3, 2014. However, the date of notification is unknown now.

 

Dick Komer, attorney for Institute for Justice who is representing two families seeking the scholarships, plans to appeal Hobgood’s decision to postpone the program.

 

“This is not the end of this litigation,” Komer said. “It is merely the end of the beginning.”

 

Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, sated:

 

“While we respect the court’s decision, we are deeply disappointed on behalf of the thousands of working-class families who desired this educational option. These low-income families qualified for this program; these low-income families applied for this program; but these low-income families were wrongfully denied this program. Rest assured we will not rest, we will not yield until every parent and child from a poor or working-class background has the same educational opportunities that many of their wealthier peers have. To relegate a particular segment of society to poorly performing schools solely based upon their income and ZIP code is simply unconstitutional.”

 

 

Holder has Over-Stepped his Bounds Once Again

Attorney General Eric Holder has given his approval to his state counterparts allowing them to no longer defend laws they consider discriminatory. Basically, Holder is giving a thumbs-up for states to stop defending laws against homosexual “marriage.”

 

Holder told the National Association of Attorneys General that any decision not to defend individual laws must be “exceedingly rare” and reserved for “exceptional circumstances.” Holder stated that legal challenges to homosexual “marriage” bans would qualify as such a circumstance.

 

Holder’s ruling could spark the rampage of countless legal challenges against the bans of homosexual “marriage.”

 

 | http://www.returnamerica.org Return America

Dr. Ron Baity, President
P.O. Box 380 | Wallburg, NC 27373
returnamerica@hotmail.com
(336) 407-6406

Another Freedom From Religion Foundation Effort to Ban Prayer

February 24, 2014
Another FFRF Effort to Ban Prayer

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to Saginaw City Manager Tim Morales claiming that the city’s long-held practice of prayer is unconstitutional and alienates Godless residents. The atheist organization demanded that Saginaw, Michigan, officials cease prayer from their council meetings.

Rebecca Markert, FFRF attorney, stated:

“Government prayers exclude a significant portion of Americans from the democratic process, are of dubious legality and are a repudiation of our secular history. Prayer at government meetings is unnecessary, inappropriate and divisive. City council members are free to pray privately or to worship on their own time in their own way. They do not need to worship on taxpayers’ time.”

Markert claims that allowing city council meetings to begin with prayer is the government’s promotion of religion, which she believes is unlawful.

“Local governments should not perform religious rituals or exhort citizens, regardless of their beliefs, to participate in, or show deference to, a religious ritual,” Markert stated.

Mayor Dennis Browning says that he is unsure whether or not the prayers should continue. Browning asserted that the decision is up to the city attorney and the city council.

Browning stated, “I certainly don’t want to offend anybody. We really work hard to engage all our citizens. We can run a City Council meeting without it, but it’s kind of been a tradition that City Council does.”

However, despite what Browning says, many people believe differently. Many people of the city believe that FFRF’s letter is just an attempt to erase God from every area of public life.

Councilman Norman Braddock said:

“For me it’s a non-issue. We’ve got much more important things to be concerned about than prayer at a meeting. We don’t want to get distracted by outside influences who are on a mission to take God out of government.”

Mayor Pro Tem Amos O’Neal asserted:

“I have a right to pray in public. That’s our right. So I think it’s a matter of determining based on the information we have what course of action we’ll take. I don’t see us refraining from praying. I just don’t see that happening.”

 

Georgia Says No to Abortion Coverage

Last week, a bill was approved by a senate committee in Georgia that seeks to ban state and federal health care plans from offering abortion coverage to residents. The bill was introduced by Senator Judson Hill. The bill is to serve as a means of protecting Georgians from funding the termination of innocent life.

The bill reads:

“No abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered within the State of Georgia through a state law, a federal law, or regulation or exchange created by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and regulations or guidance issued under those acts, except in the case of medical emergency.”

Hill told reporters that the bill doesn’t serve as an abortion regulation. The legislation notes that “nothing in this Code section shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to an abortion.”

Senator Valencia Seay claims that the bill is just another attempt to wage war on women.

“We should be focused on the economy, on job creation and preventive health initiatives instead of measures that would eliminate health insurance benefits for women,” Seay stated.

However, Senator Josh McKoon asserted that there is no war on women, but rather an attack on people of faith and those who disagree with abortion.

McKoon said:

“The idea that in this state we are taking dollars from Georgians and using it for abortion services, that many find morally repugnant and reprehensible is terrible, and it’s something that we should be in a rush, we should be doing everything we can to stop that from happening.”

Georgia Right to Life also supports the bill expressing:

“The Obama health care law requires states to operate and maintain a ‘health insurance exchange’ or the federal government will set one up for them. Georgia has not done so, therefore, the federal government has. Unless the state legislature enacts a law to restrict abortion coverage, these exchange-participating plans will offer abortion coverage. Specific language in the Obama health care law authorizes the states to prevent abortion coverage through the exchanges.

Georgia is the only state in the Southeast to not opt out of the abortion coverage! There is no excuse for a Republican controlled state legislature to have not passed this restriction. Senator Hill’s bill will take care of this problem.”

The full Senate is planning to vote on the bill this week.

 

Lawmakers Vote for Gruesome Abortion Procedures

On Thursday, South Dakota lawmakers refused to pass a bill that bans the practice of dismembering and decapitating babies during abortion procedures.

House Bill 1241 was rejected by an 11-1 vote. The bill provided criminal penalties for any abortion doctor who intentionally injured an unborn child.

The bill read:

“No licensed physician may knowingly dismember a living unborn child with the intent of endangering the life or health of the child. A violation of this section is a Class 2 felony. If a violation of this section involves the separation of the skull from the spine, then the penalty is a Class B felony.”

The bill outlined and explained the term dismember as using any “instrument or procedure for the purpose of disconnecting any bones at their joint, completely severing any bones, or removing any organs or limbs, including the spinal cord, arms, legs, and internal organs.”

Sponsor Isaac Latterell wrote:

“Imagine discovering that it was actually a veterinarian who regularly ripped the heads off of puppies and crushed their skulls. It would be hard to decide whether to call the police or to deal with the veterinarian yourself. Now suppose you discovered that doctors regularly ripped the heads off of babies and tore apart their limbs while they were still alive. What would you do?

I will not sit silently by as our children’s lives are devalued to a place lower than dogs.”

Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute believes otherwise, claiming that the bill is just another attempt to end abortion altogether.

“It looks like it’s trying to ban abortion using language that is completely unfamiliar and very inflammatory,” Nash told the Huffington Post.

Jennifer Mason of the pro-life group Personhood USA asserted:

“Of course, pro-abortion groups say the bill is ‘inflammatory.’ But why isn’t it the actual killing of innocent unborn babies that is inflammatory? The text of the bill should be required reading for everyone in the country. It’s what abortionists do to babies everyday in America.”

Sadly, many people have accepted abortion. However, God clearly illustrates in his Word that He does not condone the “shedding of innocent blood.” America is on the brink of no return. Please stand up for truth and right, and continue to pray for this nation.

 | http://www.returnamerica.org Return America

Dr. Ron Baity, President
P.O. Box 380 | Wallburg, NC 27373
returnamerica@hotmail.com
(336) 407-6406