Apparently there is a loose coalition of churches that feel that because the government is not being run the way they think it should that they don’t have to obey the laws any longer. One church leader, Rev. Ron Johnson Jr. told his flock that voting for Obama would be the equivalent of “severe moral schizophrenia.” For more details, read “33 Pastors Flout Tax Law With Political Sermons.”
I’m not sure if they realize the full implications of getting their way, challenging the 1954 tax law that specifies that non-profit, tax-exempt organizations, which includes churches, may not “participate in, or intervene in . . . any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.” Just think — now our churches will pay taxes on what we give them and we, the members of those righteous flocks, will lose the deduction for charitable donations to that church because, well, those churches will no longer be tax-exempt.
There is a positive side, however. ALL who work for one of these organizations, be it a church itself or an organization that is owned by the church (e.g. church-owned university) will be free to speak our political minds. No longer restricted by the “no political campaigning” restrictions imposed by the tax law, a dean at a church-owned university or a Bishop or someone like the above Rev. Johnson can now become politically involved and become an advocate for a political persuasion. Just think! We can begin having political lobbying by all sorts of religious organizations: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, etc. You weren’t assuming, were you Rev. Johnson, that only evangelical Christians will take advantage of this newfound opportunity to speak openly? Are you positive, Rev. Johnson, that leaders of all churches agree with the 33 of you? Do you really believe that everyone has the same political opinion as you? Or do you think that perhaps there are just as many or more who think that Senator Obama is the answer to prayer for our nation?
I think most religions, Christian or not, teach their believers to help and support each other, have tolerance and compassion for all, leave the ninety and nine to search for the one. I personally believe that I am responsible for my actions, that I am should love others as myself, that my beliefs are my own and that I can be as conservative as I want in my own actions, my own personal standards, but that I do NOT have the right to impose my standards on anyone else. I also believe that goes for everyone else, too.