Quantcast
This website is a member of Liberty Alliance, which has been named as an company.

Articles

IRS Being Sued for Allowing Church Free Speech

November 27, 2012 at 5:00 am / by

About Sonya Sasser

State Director of PolitiChicks South Carolina Sonya Sasser is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Clinical Dietetics, and Nutrition. She has worked in the hospital setting as a clinical dietitian,… More
 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF, the national, non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin that promotes the separation of church and state and educates the public on matters relating to atheism, agnosticism and nontheism)—is now  taking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to court over its failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations, calling it “a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and of FFRF’s equal protection rights.” In other words, the IRS is being sued for allowing churches their right to FREE SPEECH. 

“As many as 1,500 clergy reportedly violated the electioneering restrictions on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012,” notes FFRF’s legal complaint.

According the FFRF, “The complaint also references “blatantly political” full-page ads running in the three Sundays leading up to the presidential elections by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.”

But unfortunately, FFRF does not understand the original intent of the First Amendment.  The Establishment Clause states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The Establishment Clause was originally written to prohibit an established state (national) church, a government-sponsored denomination or specific religion like the Church of England—from which many of the original colonists had fled in order to seek religious freedom. The Founders wanted all denominations to be legally equal so religious freedom could fully flourish.

However, there is actually nothing in this clause that prohibits churches from expressing their political opinions. The First Amendment was designed to keep government out of the affairs of the church, not to keep the church out of the affairs of the government.

In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, President Thomas Jefferson responded to the Danbury Baptists’ concern that the government may someday wrongly believe it did have the power to regulate public religious activities, Jefferson wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, …I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion of prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Jefferson argued that when the government left the church alone and did not force its citizens to be members of an official state church, religious freedom could flourish.

Before Jefferson’s “separation of Church and State” phrase became so distorted, many churches were indeed very involved in the political process. In his book, The Role of Pastors &Christians in Civil Government, David Barton writes:

A sermon called the ‘Election Sermon’ was the longest traditional form of annual sermon in America. The first documented election sermon was preached in 1634 in Virginia, and for each year thereafter until the twentieth century, election sermons were preached in pulpits across America. Christians understood their dual citizenship. They were indeed citizens of heaven, but they were also citizens of earth. God had placed them here in America with a stewardship government that belonged to “We the People,” so what did God expect from them in their stewardship capacity concerning the civil government that He had given them? What did He expect from them in the selection of their leaders? What did the Scriptures teach about the election process? For almost three centuries, this was a topic addressed annually in the pulpits across America.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While FFRF claims 1500 churches were in violation of the Establishment Clause this past October, FFRF is actually violating their First Amendment rights with this ridiculous lawsuit. By compelling the government to get involved with the affairs of churches (including their political opinions), the FFRF is attempting to compel the government to interfere with Free Speech of all churches (well, except for theirs).

To be honest, I personally don’t care what discussions FFRF or any other secular (godless) group chooses to have at their own “church” services (I embrace FREE SPEECH of others, even if I don’t care for their opinions). They can talk politics all they want if they like. So, why should these groups care what my church discusses on Sunday mornings?  When they try to influence the government to silence my own priest or preacher at the pulpit, they are violating his First Amendment rights. I’m an adult. If I don’t like what he says, I’ll simply go to another church. I don’t need the government to try and silence him. Neither should these secular groups.

Unfortunately, FFRF’s attempt to stifle the First Amendment doesn’t end with the lawsuit against the IRS. FFRF is now requesting that President Obama remove the phrase “so help me God” or any other biblical phrase from his inauguration speech on Jan. 21, 2012.

FFRF has also been very busy attempting to eliminate religious symbols from the public eye, including a Latin cross that has been displayed in an Illinois village for nearly 35 years. The village’s water tower is infamous for having this Christmas cross displayed throughout the holiday season. But, Mayor Patrick Kitching posted a letter on the village’s website during the week of Nov. 18:  “A tradition for almost 35 years here in the Village of Alsip is coming to an end. You will notice this year our holiday decoration on the West Water Tower (Holiday Cross) will not be erected nor lit.”

In recent years, FFRF has been very successful at influencing the government to establish its religion as the government-endorsed denomination. It appears the FFRF has been pretty successful at establishing the National Church of Secularism (godlessness), violating the free exercise of my religion at its every opportunity.

Many churches are now realizing that secular groups (like FFRF) are on the rise and gaining powerful influence in the civil government. Unfortunately, the objective of these secular groups is to ultimately remove from government any sense of accountability to God for its actions. It’s no wonder so many churches and religious organization are speaking out and get more involved in the political process these days.

The entire purpose of government is to protect the rights that are given to us by our Creator (including right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc.). So, as these secular groups are successfully gaining influence in our government, we can see how our rights are steadily dwindling.

The more government becomes secularized (godless), the less government officials feel accountable to God to “secure” the precious rights of their people, including the right to Free Speech.

The Bible says that government is “God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13:4), but how can government officials effectively serve God if churches are no longer allowed to teach what they believe God expects from them? The Bible says that government officials are sent “to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good (1 Peter 2:14), but how can they do that if the church is no longer allowed to give advise on what is “good” and what is “evil”?

Psalms 33:12 declares: “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord.”

This nation has been blessed from its beginning, and if America does not stay blessed, it will be because Christians did not stay involved.  Stay involved, my siblings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Sonya Sasser

State Director of PolitiChicks South Carolina Sonya Sasser is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Clinical Dietetics, and Nutrition. She has worked in the hospital setting as a clinical dietitian, while actively and enthusiastically promoting fitness nutrition and weight loss (for over 10 years). Find Sonya’s Facebook page Breakthrough Nation.

Read all posts by Sonya Sasser
Posting Policy
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.
  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.martin3 Jack Martin

    1 tiny correction. In the sentence ” their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion of prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” where the second use of the word of is its should read ” or prohibiting” I am one of the not 1,500, but over 1,600 pastors and the or becomes an important part of the argument. This is one time when the FFRF actually is being helpful. If this were to make it before the Supreme Court of the US. the Johnson Amendment would be found unconstitutional and those pastors afraid to speak out about the sin being promoted or allowed by govt would begin again to preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. Thank for doing this great story.

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Thank you, Jack! I was limited on my time, but I wanted to also include the Johnson Amendment. I’m sure I’ll have more opportunities to write about it though …From what I understand, no penalties have ever been given to the pastors (like yourself) who’ve had the courage to stand up. I do believe the Johnson Amendment would be thrown out if it comes to the Supreme Court (although, I’m losing confidence in the Supreme Court after this past summer’s ruling on Obamacare)…But, thank YOU for being one of the 1,600 pastors!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Marshall/100001163952013 Bob Marshall

    “If we vote an immoral man into office we are a traitor to our country.” Norah Webster

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      So true. Thank you, Bob!

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.ellerbee Daniel Ellerbee

      I hope you are not talking about “Liemney”

  • Lainie Sloane, CA PoltiChick

    We are in the habit of saying, “God bless America.” We should start saying, “America bless God.” Thank God for Pastor Jack Martin being one of the courageous 1600 pastors! Great work, Sonya!

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Thank you, Lainie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/leah.domin.71 Leah Domin

    I have never seen this much hate for people of faith. God, I am sorry for all the pain this might have caused you. Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Amen, Leah…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Kuykendall/100000982787451 Mark Kuykendall

    FFRF doesn’t seem to understand much of anything.

  • John Schudy

    You should probably fact-check this story; I heard it while taking a class in government, so I believe it to be true, but I don’t have time here at work to do the research:

    Something like fifty years ago, a pastor in the state of Massachusetts spoke against an incumbent senator named Kennedy. He introduced and pushed through legislation that would cause a church to lose its tax-exempt standing if the pulpit was used to speak against (or presumably for) candidates in elections. This is almost certainly why the FFRF is pushing at the IRS to enforce the law. IMO, it’s not about church/state separation, at least not in this instance.

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Thank you, John…I’ll have to look into it. I didn’t get a chance to also include the Johnson Amendment (which may be the very story you are mentioning).

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.nicoletti.54 John Nicoletti

    A Muslim President. does not respect any other religion. We are Infidels, and must be destroyed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.ellerbee Daniel Ellerbee

      No you are wrong, Do you even have an fact of that ? Lol this site, I read how the president is not facing any racism and social injustice, The only victims are white. Thanks for proving your site wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Whittington/100001496682673 John Whittington

    People keep forgetting that the 1st Amendment is 3 amendments in one not just one amendment. ” Freedom of Religion, Speech, or Press shall not be abridged.” It can not be changed even by the idiots calling themseves FFRF !!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Amen…thank you, John!

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.ellerbee Daniel Ellerbee

      “No church will elect a president, The government will not elect a minister”. If church rally in support of a political task they should be taxed.

      Freedoms are only free if you don’t infringe on other freedoms!

      .

  • Old_Gringo

    Though I am not a religious person, neither am I an atheist, agnostic or non-believer. While I believe in God, I do not attend any church. However, I do wish the FFRF would get the ‘ell out of our lives. Their “religion” conflicts with my beliefs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Amen to that, Old Gringo!

      • Old_Gringo

        Thank you Sonya. And may I wish you and Paul a long, happy and prosperous life together? My wish, of course, includes your offspring.

        • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

          Thank you, Old Gringo! I certainly appreciate it :-)

          • Old_Gringo

            De Nada. I was viewing your photo albums. They are great! Such a lovely family. May I infer that that is your son holding your grandchild? If so, you appear to be too young to be a Grandmother. I have eight grandchildren, with another on the way, in addition to two G’grandchildren. My oh my, where have the years gone?

          • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

            That’s actually my nephew holding my new niece. lol I haven’t had the pleasure of being a grandmother yet. But, I’m looking forward to it when my kids get a little bit older….Congrats on your grandchildren! I know you are enjoying every minute of it!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Evans/1141094735 Mike Evans

    Christians should band together and take the FFRF to court and bankrupt them into oblivion defending their so called right to intrude in our lives. I lump FFRF into the same insane groups as PETA and all the rest of the wacko groups pushing their different agendas. These groups are nothing more than a bunch of people with to much free time on their hands. They are not into helping anyone other than themselves.

  • Donna

    I recently finished reading a book titled ‘Harbinger’. It had a very profound influence on me. Anyone who thinks that God is not sending harbingers or warnings to us about turning away from Him is very foolish. If we are to survive and flourish as individuals and as a nation, we must not only regognize God in our daily lives, but we must also “return” to him with prayer to help us, praise for our blessings, and supplication for guidance in following His Word. There is no other way for our blessings to be restored. Read Isaiah.
    Learn from where we came as a country and flourished; realize where we are now with our struggles that will not be resolved on our present path; and understand that until and unless we RETURN TO GOD as individuals and as a nation, we will fail and fall.
    Stand for Christ. Be His disciple.

    • http://www.facebook.com/smsasser Sonya Sasser

      Well said, Donna! I read “Harbinger” over the summer. It was truly an ‘eye opener’ for me….

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.ellerbee Daniel Ellerbee

    Freedom of speech and separation of church and State. Two total different things Look them UP. LOL People only quote the Constitution when it serves them

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.ellerbee Daniel Ellerbee

    I agree that everyone has a right to speech. You have to admit At a certain point Religious leaders preaching Politic become politician in which they should lose they Religious status being now they are a whole different organization with a minor in religion and a major in politics.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech:
    Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity,[citation needed] sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.
    The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.[1][2]

    1st Amendment: Time, place, or manner restrictions
    The free speech zone at the 2004 Democratic National Convention
    Freedom of speech is also sometimes limited to free speech zones, which can take the form of a wire fence enclosure, barricades, or an alternative venue designed to segregate speakers according to the content of their message. There is much controversy surrounding the creation of these areas – the mere existence of such zones is offensive to some people, who maintain that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution makes the entire country an unrestricted free speech zone.[4] Civil libertarians claim that Free Speech Zones are used as a form ofcensorship and public relations management to conceal the existence of popular opposition from the mass public and elected officials.[4] The Department of Homeland Security under the Bush Administration “ha[d] even gone so far as to tell local police departments to regard critics of the War on Terrorism as potential terrorists themselves.”[5][6]
    Time, place, or manner restrictions must withstand intermediate scrutiny. Note that any regulations that would force speakers to change how or what they say do not fall into this category (so the government cannot restrict one medium even if it leaves open another). Time, place, or manner restrictions must:[citation needed]
    1. Be content neutral
    2. Be narrowly tailored
    3. Serve a significant governmental interest
    4. Leave open ample alternative channels for communication

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment
    Violations of the Separation of Church and State
    Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black best expressed the purpose and function of the Establishment Clause when he said that it rests “on the belief that a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.” Some Americans reject this dictum, promoting the idea that the government should endorse the religious values of certain members of the community to the exclusion of others. In fact, such violations of the separation of church and state take place with disturbing frequency in American government, at local, state and Federal levels. Recent incidents include the following:
    An Alabama judge regularly opens his court sessions with a Christian prayer. Further, he has refused to remove a plaque containing the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall. Alabama Governor Fob James has threatened to call in the Alabama National Guard to prevent the plaque’s removal.
    Local municipalities have erected nativity scenes, crosses, menorahs and other religious symbols to the exclusion of those of other faiths.
    The Board of Aldermen of a Connecticut city has opened its sessions with a prayer that beseeches citizens to “elect Christian men and women to office so that those who serve will be accountable . . . to the teachings of Jesus Christ . . . .”
    A variety of religious groups are demanding that their faith-based social service programs receive public funding although these programs engage in aggressive proselytizing and religious indoctrination.
    On the “National Day of Prayer,” local authorities acting in their official capacities have led citizens in sectarian prayer.
    http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/separation_cs_primer_violations.asp

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.ellerbee Daniel Ellerbee

    The problem of church and state has to do with institutions and the spheres of action that are appropriate for each. Here the concept of separation is valid. The government does not appoint bishops and pastors for the churches. Churches, meaning here all religious organizations, do not appoint presidents, governors, and judges. No religion can be favored over others or supported by taxes. The state has no role or authority in defining beliefs relating to God and worship. The free exercise of religion is to be guaranteed. The state is neutral between particular religions and permits citizens to believe or not believe in God and to engage or not engage in religious practices or belong to religious organizations according to the dictates of their conscience. There is no religious test for holding office.http://www.frontiernet.net/~kenc/relandpo.htm
    Religion and Politics, Church and Statewww.frontiernet.net

 
 
 
 

cruz-with-ted