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.