US Government Restricts Free Speech and Expression of Religion

The “separation of church and state,” such as it is, should keep the government from imposing a religion upon the people of this country.

But regulations that squelch the speech of pastors? Can the US Government tell pastors what they can and cannot talk about?

There is no law that I’m aware of that restricts the speech of pastors, but IRS regulations in place for over 50 years threaten to withdraw the tax-exempt status of churches that speak on politics. I am convinced this is a contributing factor to the decline of morality in the USA. The churches are the center of what we consider moral in the country, and if the pulpits are silent, immorality blossoms.

Some pastors have begun specifically defying this regulation by specifically mentioning candidates by name. Their goal is to overturn the IRS regulation through the court system. Listen: all rules and regulations in this country should follow the US Constitution, right? Here’s the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution –

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That tells me that the government can’t pass any laws on what churches can and cannot say, anymore than they can tell newspapers what they can and cannot print. Read that amendment and explain to me how it could be interpreted otherwise.

If you’d like to read more, the Alliance Defense Fund is spearheading this project.

“Pastors have a right to speak about Biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley.

It’s a government restriction on the freedom of speech and the expression of religion. I cant see how anyone could interpret the Constitution any other way.

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Targeting Religious Voters

I must be a target, then.

U.S. presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain target religious voters on Saturday when as guests of one of America’s foremost evangelists they discuss faith in public life, AIDS, the environment and other issues.

Neither of the candidates appeal to me from a spiritual conviction. McCain can be downright antagonistic toward evangelical Christians. Obama claims to be a Christian, but his words indicate that he’s more New Age “all paths lead to heaven” type of guy.

And nothing they say will change that. They’ve already told me where they stand, and anything different will cause me to lose further trust in them.

So just focus on the issues, ok? Don’t be a hypocritical religious type if that’s not who you are. I’ll vote for you if I think you’ll be a good leader, keep taxes low, keep government small, keep court appointees faithful to the Constitution, and keep the defense and freedom of our country strong.

And I’ll thumb my nose at you if I think you’re a hypocrite.

Fruitcake Interpretation of the Bible

Fruitcake Interpretation of the BibleGo get’em, James Dobson. Obama had some very liberal interpretations of what the bible says, and simultaneously tried to minimize Christian influence in politics *and* say that all religious discussions are welcome. James is firing back against what he called a “fruitcake interpetation of the bible.” I love that phrase.

News sources come from here and here. Some of my favorite quotes are –

Dobson took aim at examples Obama cited in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy – chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, “a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application.”

A casual reading of the bible would certainly find these statements by Obama. A careful reading of the New Testament will show that Jesus says the Old Testament law shows man how impossible it is to follow the law, and that belief in Jesus frees you from the law. In short, a literal interpretation of Leviticus is no longer applicable in our lives.

“Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles,” Obama said.

I would agree with you there, Obama. We just disagree on who those people are.

He said Obama, who supports abortion rights, is trying to govern by the “lowest common denominator of morality,” labeling it “a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.”

Obama’s says that fundamental Christians cannot use their morality to oppose abortion. James Dobson responds with –

“Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of tiny babies?” Dobson said. “What he’s trying to say here is unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe.”

Absolutely. I fight for what I believe in, and it makes no difference why I believe that. Why should I fight for what *you* believe in?

Dobson has not backed off his statement that he could not in good conscience vote for McCain because of concerns over the Arizona senator’s conservative credentials. Dobson has said he will vote in November but has suggested he might not vote for president.

I have the same problem. McCain detests religious conservatives, he has done significant harm to First Amendment consitutional rights with his McCain-Feingold bill, and his stance on lower taxes and limited government is flakey at best. All he has going for him is his strong defense policy. Obama, on the other hand, is a walking Maxist and wants to capitulate to terrorists. I don’t like McCain but I *reallY* don’t like Obama.