In colonial days, most political news and announcements were made from the pulpits of churches. When the call for independence from Great Britain went out, it was announced from the pulpits. In numerous instances, the local pastor led his people into the Revolutionary War.
The Founding Fathers relied on pastors throughout the new nation to carry important political news to the residents of the new nation. For nearly two centuries, many politicians, local, state and national would campaign from the pulpits of America’s churches. The people came to church not only to worship, but to be kept up to date on important news and matters.
In the mid 1960s, that all started to change with a push to separate church and state. Although there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that calls for a separation, judges across the land are continually ruling church and government involvements as being unconstitutional.
One of the organizations that have been leading the effort to separate church and state is Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Barry Lynn has been the executive director of the organization since 1992. Although an ordained minister, Lynn’s views are nearly more liberal than those of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
Over the past 30 years, AUSCS has spent a fortune intimidating churches, schools and governments across the nation. They threaten to bring lawsuits against anyone who does not comply with their twisted views of church and government. Quite often, they misrepresent what the laws actually say in order to bully their target into submission for fear of being forced into an expensive lawsuit. Many such targeted institutions have actually been coerced into denying people of their constitutional rights out of fear of being sued.
There current actions are a prime example. Americans for Separation of Church and State has sent letters to 60,000 churches across the country, warning them about becoming involved in politics or endorsing any political party or candidate. They threaten them with the possible loss of their non-profit status. Part of the letter reads:
“If the IRS determines that your house of worship has engaged in unlawful intervention, it can revoke the institution’s tax-exempt status or levy significant fines on the house of worship or its leaders.”
The letter sites the Johnson Amendment, named after then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who was also a flaming liberal who believed in huge government and federal control of the people. The Johnson Amendment was an amendment to the 501(c)(3) section of the federal tax code concerning non-profit organizations. Referring to any 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the amendment states that they are not allowed to:
“Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”
Many people feel that the Johnson Amendment is a direct violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
As you can see from a straight forward reading of the First Amendment, the Johnson Amendment is prohibiting the free exercise of religion by banning them from being involved in political elections. The ironic part is that the 501(c)(3) non-profit tax status also applies to schools, but no one ever seems to care about their endorsements of political candidates or parties.
In the 2008 election, my granddaughter attended 2nd grade in a public school. They had a lesson on voting and were teaching the kids how to vote. My granddaughter’s second grade teacher told all of the students in class to vote for Obama. According to the tax code, this is a direct violation, but no one cares because it favors the liberal. Today’s public schools are as liberal as the rest of the Democratic Party, so no one will challenge them on these violations, but since churches are historically more conservative, the liberals will challenge them every chance they get.
The real irony and hypocrisy of liberals such as Americans for Separation of Church and State is that they call for a separation while at the same time wanting the government and courts to control churches, not schools, more and more. They want more government and control over churches while they want no contact between churches and government. It’s a double standard hypocritical policy, but it seems to be working for them because conservatives are either too complacent or not well enough informed to take action. Until they do the liberals will be allowed to continue to bully churches into political silence.