Monday, October 08, 2012

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

This last Sunday was "Pulpit Freedom Sunday". Many pastors preached on the qualities, or lack thereof, of political candidates and parties. This appears to endanger their Federal tax exemption under current law and IRS regulations. Some had the courage to record such homilies and mail them to the IRS.

I did not note this news in my local paper or the broadcast news reports. I will look for such in the next few days. I will not "hold my breath" for hope of such reporting.

Those who oppose this exercise of the free speech provisions of the Bill Of Rights' first amendment claim that it violates the "separation of church and state" provision of that Article. What such persons either forget or dishonestly fail to mention, is that the "separation clause" was inserted to prevent only the Federal Government from establishing a national, state, church as was the common practice throughout the Christian, Buddhist, and Islamic (Where it still exists) nations. In fact, some of the original States maintained official churches into the 1820s.

They also fail to note that the "separation clause" was extended to the Nation: On the basis of a private letter of Thomas Jefferson ; In opposition to then almost 200-years of official, religion-based, statements by the USA's leaders including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln; And, that majority opinion of SCOTUS in the leading court case in this matter was inflicted on us by a one-time active member of the KKK whose dislike of some Christian Churches was consistent with that terrorist organization's positions.

Since Atheism is a religion  it should not be allowed to use the IRS or the Courts to suppress other religions---Which is now the case and is an unconstitutional establishment of a national religion.

If Pastor Doe wishes to declare that Candidate Jones and his Party are morally empty and members of his church should not vote for him or then AND Pastor Roe wishes to declare the opposite from the pulpit and during religious services, both should be allowed (If not encouraged) to do so. [Certainly, many "Black" churches have had political candidates speak from their pulpits in the 2008 and earlier campaign periods---Without penalties imposed by the IRS.] 

Perhaps they should have reminded us that the original "Civil Rights Movement", of the 1840s & 1850s was forced into the public view and public square by sermons from the pulpits.  Such verbal support was supplemented by, for example, Rev. Henry W. Beecher's shipment of "Beecher's Bibles" , being breach loading carbines far in advance of then current army weapons,  to the "Free State" forces in "Bloody Kansas" where a preview of the War Between The States was a violent reality..

I am curious as to why all Christian pastors,  Rabbis and the leaders of other religions did universally forward their right to free, political, speech.

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