This week, the bitter members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the Internal Revenue Service reached an pact with the Devil, errr…”settlement” regarding “limiting” the First Amendment Rights of American Churches.
Christianpost.com reports that
The Internal Revenue Service has reached a lawsuit settlement agreement with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, agreeing to investigate churches that violate a federal law that activist groups often cite in an attempt to silence them by threatening their tax-exempt status.
“This is a victory, and we’re pleased with this development in which the IRS has proved to our satisfaction that it now has in place a protocol to enforce its own anti-electioneering provisions,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement last week, following which the Alliance Defending Freedom asked the IRS to release all documents related to it.
The lawsuit, Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, accused the IRS of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like. Despite the agreement, only a court has the jurisdiction to close down the case.
Gaylor added: “Of course, we have the complication of a moratorium currently in place on any IRS investigations of any tax-exempt entities, church or otherwise, due to the congressional probe of the IRS. FFRF could refile the suit if anti-electioneering provisions are not enforced in the future against rogue political churches.”
The FFRF release says the ADF annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” event promotes violation of the Johnson Amendment, which authorizes the IRS to regulate sermons and requires churches to give up their constitutionally protected freedom of speech in order to retain their tax-exempt status.
The ADF called the IRS-FFRF agreement yet another act of secrecy by the tax agency.
“Secrecy breeds mistrust, and the IRS should know this in light of its recent scandals involving the investigation of conservative groups,” ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb said in a statement. “We are asking the IRS to disclose the new protocols and procedures it apparently adopted for determining whether to investigate churches. What it intends to do to churches must be brought into the light of day.”
Last year, the IRS admitted to targeting Tea Party and other conservative organizations for tax-exempt status violations. Lois G. Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, told reporters that several organizations carrying the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications were singled out by IRS agents for additional reviews between 2010 and 2012.
The IRS claims it is temporarily withholding investigations of all tax-exempt entities because of congressional scrutiny of its scandals, but the ADF says no one knows when it will decide to restart investigations based on any new or modified rules that it develops.
“The IRS cannot force churches to give up their precious constitutionally protected freedoms to receive a tax exemption,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley, who heads the Pulpit Freedom Sunday event. “No one would suggest a pastor give up his church’s tax-exempt status if he wants to keep his constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment. Likewise, no one should be asking him to do the same to be able to keep his constitutionally protected freedom of speech.”
So, just what is the Freedom From Religion Foundation?
According to David Horowitz’s discoverthenetworks.org:
Founded in 1978, the nonprofit, tax-exempt Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) consists of more than 13,000 members and calls itself “the largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) in the United States.” Its mission is “to promote free thought and to keep state and church separate.”
According to FFRF, religion invariably has been a negative force in human societies. “The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion,” the organization says. “… In modern times, the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women’s right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization and abortion have been freethinkers [i.e., atheists and agnostics], just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery.”
FFRF promotes its message through a variety of vehicles, including a weekly national radio program; a newspaper titled Freethought Today; a “freethought billboard campaign”; scholarships “for freethinking students”; high-school and college “freethought essay competitions” with cash awards; annual national conventions honoring a “Freethinker of the Year” for state/church activism; and the sale of educational products, bumper-stickers, music CDs, winter solstice greeting cards, and books promoting “freethought.” The Foundation also provides speakers for events and debates on subjects related to religion, and has established a “freethought book collection” at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Library.
Most significantly, FFRF initiates lawsuits that center around issues involving religion in the public square. As of mid-2009, the Foundation had filed nearly 30 First Amendment lawsuits over the course of its history. It also “keeps several Establishment law challenges in the courts at all times.”
FFRF’s very first lawsuit, filed in the late 1970s, successfully challenged the use of a religious cancellation by the Post Office of Madison, Wisconsin. That decision set national precedent.
The Foundation is led by its co-presidents, Dan Barker and his wife, Annie Laurie Gaylor. Barker was a Christian preacher for 19 years before renouncing his faith in 1984. Gaylor, who earned a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980, co-founded FFRC with her mother and the late John Sontarck in 1978. She is author of the books Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So (1981), and Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children (1988). She also edited the 1997 anthology Women Without Superstition: No Gods, No Masters. Today she edits FFRF’s newspaper, Freethought Today, which is published ten times annually.
Per gallup.com, 92% of Americans believe in God and 76 % of Americans proclaim their Christianity. Therefore, it stands to reason that only 8% of Americans are Atheists.
This little organization out of Wisconsin, the FFRF, has made money from suing 57 American high schools and other entities for daring to exercise their Christian Faith in public. I would like to know, because I’ve researched, and the actual amount is nowhere to be seen, how much these bitter snobs have made off of their endeavors. They are not as noble as they claim.
“Rogue” churches? What in the name of all that’s Holy does that mean?
I’ll tell you what it means, brothers and sisters. It means that we are living under, as I have written before, a “New Fascism.”.
As long as your place of worship “knows its role and shuts their mouth” (as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson used to say), concerning immoral, unethical, anti-Christian policies of the Obama Administration, you will be allowed to keep your tax exempt status.
No politics, except “the right kind”, will be allowed.
In other words, to use my hometown as an example, Democratic Representative Steve “I inhaled” Cohen, can go speak on Sunday in any Black Congregation in Memphis, but if Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas comes in town and speaks at Bellevue Baptist Church, they will be investigated by Obama’s Scandal-Ridden Storm Troopers from the Internal Revenue Service.
Are we still in America?
After Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over Mother Russia, Russian Orthodoxy, the predominant faith in Russia, was persecuted almost to extinction within 20 years. The Communists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of priests, sisters, and brothers.
Between 1917 and 1937, more than 50 million people were murdered by KGB extermination squads or in death camps, and 8 million people died of starvation in man-made famines designed to consolidate Communist power. All land was confiscated by the state.
Those who were left alive were allowed to live under Communist totalitarian control to help rally the people to fight the Nazi German invasion in 1939.
The Commies let some churches stay open if they were licensed by the Communist government. Of course,they were very limited in what they could do: they could celebrate liturgies and the sacraments, but they could not teach Russian Orthodoxy to children or to adults.
The Orthodox Church became just another a highly regulated arm of the Soviet government, and all newly ordained priests and bishops became agents or cooperators of the Secret Police (KGB). The sacraments of baptism and marriage, as well as funerals, were usually performed only after substantial fees were paid.
In all levels of the Soviet School System, Students were forced to learn and believe atheism as scientific truth. This belief system was reinforced in all youth organizations, as well.
There were no private Christian schools or clubs.
The fear of persecution and government reprisal during the period in which Joe Stalin ruled Russia (1927-52) made parents afraid to tell their children about the Triune God.
It only took two generations for Russia to become an atheistic society.
Freedom of religion finally came back to Russia in 1991. However, by then, less than 25% of the population were Christians.
As it stands today in the former Soviet Union, less than 0.50% (one-half of one percent) practice any faith at all.
Are we headed in that direction?
I mean, look at the brazenness of The Obama Administration. Never in my wildest dreams, could I imagine an agency of OUR government, telling the Pastor of a Church what they can speak about!
Did any of us ever think that this would happen in a land founded by Christian men and women?
The U. S. House Judiciary Committee wrote the following in 1854,
Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle… In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity… That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.
When you tell a Liberal that the Founders of our country were Christians, they always bring up Thomas Jefferson, claiming he was a Deist…or something.
Here is what Jefferson had to say about it:
The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.
The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.65
I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.
I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Jefferson, while President, allowed church services to be held on Sunday mornings in the Capitol Building, which he attended. The practice continued until 1848.
So, what can we do about this encroaching darkness, brokered by an administration who is seeking to turn us into a Marxist nation, with limited personal freedoms, dictated by the State?
President Ronald Reagan said,
I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.
One of those whom Obama’s IRS has attacked in the past, Rev. Billy Graham, once remarked,
Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.
My fellow Americans, it is high time we started a National Conversation with Our Creator.
Until He Comes,