WWJD? Defy the IRS

Last Sunday 1400 pastors openly defied the IRS by endorsing candidates from the pulpit in spite of rules prohibiting this. The pastors call the event “pulpit freedom Sunday” claiming that the IRS is violating their free speech rights as citizens.

What these pastors forget is that when they speak from the pulpit, they no longer speak as citizens but as the official representatives of tax exempt organizations. This means that the money to pay their salaries and bonuses is not created by making wealth but by syphoning it away from the government.

You can write off your donations to the organizations that pay their salaries, and the organizations (called churches) that sell books and merchandise don't have to pay taxes on that income either. In other words, those very pastors are sucking at the government tit.

If they had to compete with other pastors directly for your income (on which you have to pay taxes), many of those pastors and their organizations would go flat broke. So they owe their livelihoods to the very governments they challenge.

In short, these pastors don't speak as citizens but under government subsidy. And they should not be allowed to endorse candidates any more than other government employees.

This year, those pastors went a step further. They mailed those sermons to the IRS. And they knew they could get away with it because if the Department of Justice went after them, they could play martyrs in Obama's war on faith.1

The act of mailing those sermons is, of course, very Christian. Didn't Jesus tell us in the sermon on the mount that if you think someone offends you, slap them on the cheek publicly?

This Christian war on democracy (funded by the Corporate Christian Complex who, in turn, is subsidized by money written off from taxes that the rest of us would have to pay the federal government) goes back to the sixties. The Supreme Court ruled that citizens could not be coerced into participating in public prayer which, ironically, is something Jesus said Christians shouldn't do to start with (Matt. 6).

From our reaction, you would think the government had burned us at the stake or crucified us in front of the White House.

You see, these same pastors think that not only should they disobey Jesus, they should expect the rest of us to do it with them. They should be allowed to display symbols of their faith whenever and wherever they please (much like marking their own territory).

At the same time, they think the symbols of other faiths should be hidden away so they don't have to be offended by them. They resent Kwanza programs or art projects displaying Moslem or Hindu traditions in schools. They think mosques should be prohibited on sites where they should be allowed to build churches.

In short, they think they should be afforded a different standard of citizenship. Sort of a citizenship premium pass, paid for on our dime. And that is about as unAmerican as you can get.

I remember a song from Bible School, “they'll know we are Christian by our love.” Instead they know we are Christians by our obstinance, hypocrisy and double-standards. Then those same pastors wonder why others hate us.

1It's actually more complicated, but it boils down to the same thing. The IRS lost a court case brought by this same group of pastors raising a technical challenge. The court ruled the IRS had to change how they inspected churches in violation of their rules. Were the IRS to rewrite those rules to comply with the court order and legally go after offending churches, then those churches would claim they were victims of the war on faith. back


In God We Trust, all others pay taxes

One of Romney's newest campaign promises is that he will not take “In God We Trust” off US coins or bills. Naturally, Republican voters now think Obama will remove the phrase. Otherwise, why would Romney pledge it?

Needless to say, neither Romney not Obama has the power to dictate coinage design to the US Mint. But the controversy began when the government moved the phrase from the face of certain coins to the edge and released one pressing with the phrase missing. The phrase moved back to the face in later pressings.

Why is this important? Because even though Jesus told believers not to make a public spectacle of their faith (Matthew 6), he clearly didn't mean American Christians. We're the best Christians in the whole wide world and it's our job to make sure people know it.

We don't actually have to trust God, we just have to remind people that we do. After all, if we really trusted God we wouldn't worry who got elected President. We would trust God to do his will no matter who sat in the White House or Congress.

If we really trusted God to express his will, we wouldn't pay taxes. We would just give government whatever they asked and trust God to spend it wisely.

So I think Romney hasn't gone far enough. If he really was commited to the public trust in God, he wouldn't stop with money. He would make sure it was printed on every American flag, right below the field of stars. He would amend the preamble of the Constitution to read “We the people of the United States who TRUST IN GOD” and Declaration of Independence to read “we hold these truths to be self-evident that we TRUST IN GOD.”

The pledge of allegiance would read, “one nation, under God IN WHOM WE TRUST.” We should include the phrase on checks issued by the government. We should include it on every ballot. We should print it on the casing of every bullet and bomb we unleash upon the unChristian infidels.

Every Presidential portrait should portray our Commander-in-Cheif shaking Jesus's hand, and a word balloon with the phrase “In God We Trust.” The phrase should be wrapped around the eagle on the Presidential Seal.

After all, how can God know what's truly in our hearts unless we spell it out for him.

Or, if we really trusted in God, we would trust him to know that we trust him and not need to tell everyone. Which was, as I recall, one of the points Jesus was making in Matthew 6.