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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PBS and the Separation of Church and State

When the US Government funds anything remotely Christian in nature, all sorts of “separation of church and state” groups get upset. The ACLU files a lawsuit and the “offensive” Christian material is removed.

So why is it ok for US tax dollars to be used to oppose Christianity? Shouldn’t the same standard be used? PBS, a government funded liberal and atheist propoganda tool (not that I’m opinionated on the subject) is funded by the US government and is producing a show that attacks the underlying tenets of the bible.

Among other things, this show says –

  • Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn’t exist.
  • There is no archaeological evidence of the Exodus.
  • Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
  • The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
  • The Israelites believed that God had a wife.

For me as a Christian, it’s bad enough when free speech is exercised to attack my beliefs; my right to free speech also belongs to others to say the opposite. Will my tax dollars also be used to fund a show friendly to my beliefs? Probably not; the ACLU will sue to prevent the use of tax dollars for Christian-friendly projects. So why is the government allowed to fund an attack on Christianity?

Praying for Rain

I first saw the news yesterday that governor of Georgia was going to lead a prayer for rain. I only briefly glanced over it; if I thought of it at all, it was to remark to myself that it’s probably only a photo op to appease his votors, or if he’s sincere, a passing wonder if an answered prayer for rain was within God’s will.

But today, the news is different. The mere act of praying, now, violates the imaginary separation of church and state. The protestor is disgruntled because the governor is praying “in the name of Georgia.” Bah. There’s a lunatice so concerned he might accidentally receive a blessing from God that he’s going to protest that somebody is praying for rain.

Do me a favor today, would you? Pray for rain for the devout people of Georgia. Pray that the rain will show the mighty hand of our Lord at work in our world. And if you’re a government employee, please make sure to pray in the name of the local, state, or U.S. government agency that you work for. (There’s probably a government form for rain prayers somewhere but I don’t have time to look it up.)

Silence!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know I haven’t posted much. Been really, really busy.

I still owe Jennifer my answers to The Eight. I’ll get to it, soon, I hope.

I wanted to blog about how the Democrats are findng religion. Apparently it’s ok with The Media if the Democrats talk about their faith, but if the Republicans talk about their faith, they’re religious nutjobs not respecting the so-called separation of church and state. Bah. They’re not fooling me, their faith is shallow and pretentious, done solely for political reasons. (So is the faith of the Republicans sometimes, but that’s another story.)
Democrats Got Religion

I wanted to blog about Mike Piazza, All-Star catcher with the Oakland A’s. I love it when sports players openly proclaim their faith. His answer on why he doesn’t pray for victory is exemplary.

I spent the weekend at Bro’s playing with his animules and shoping at the Spring Ho arts art crafts. It was sort of like shopping at Wal-Mart without air-conditioning. Had a great time, Bro, thanks for inviting us.

This week, I have to update the Christian Carnival stuff tomorrow, buy some Astros baseball tickets, and prepare for bible study this weekend (Zachariah 4-6 in case you want to read ahead). I should be at the PIP Machinery conference tomorrow if something doesn’t upset that applecart. Looks like there’s some business travel coming up, too.

Sigh. If you have any spare time, email it to me.

Update: Jennifer suggests I link to Teammascot.com and I couldn’t come up with a reason not to. 🙂

Barack Hussein Obama: Self-Described Christian

Barack Obama: Self-Described Christian Barrack Hussein Obama describes himself as a Christian and the New York Times is almost besides itself with glee. Notice the picture and how holy Obama appears.

I like Christians, I really do. I happen to be one. But those people that routinely exhibit their Christian faith are routinely trashed by the New York Times. George W. Bush, for instance, would never get a glowing NY Times article abut his faith. Instead, we get scare stories about upcoming theocracies and how important the separation of church and state is. So why does Obama get special treatment for his faith? If the New York Times trashes most Christians but praises Obama, then it’s likely Obama is not like the other Christians. My hackles of suspicion are raised.

I repeat my repetition: liberals are going to try to split the conservative Christian vote by portraying themselves as Christian. Conservative Christianity is bad (separation of church and state! we don’t want a theocracy!) while liberal Christianity is good (wow, Obama is practically a saint!) according to liberal media.

“Be strong and have courage, for I am with you wherever you go,” Mr. Obama said in paraphrasing God’s message to Joshua.

Now, I’m all in favor of liberals quoting scripture. In fact, I’m all in favor of liberals quoting the entire bible. I think liberals (and conservatives, for that matter) that selectively quote scripture to support their position ought to be challenged by scripture the candidate doesn’t like.

As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama is reaching out to both liberal skeptics and committed Christians. In many speeches or discussions, he never mentions religion. When Mr. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, does speak of faith, he tends to add a footnote about keeping church and state separate.

What I’ve seen in the news recently is more than just a challenge to church and state; it’s a downright hostility to any public policy that mirrors faith. The recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold partial birth abortion – a decision Obama “strongly disagrees” with – was decided 5-4 justices. All the justices that upheld the ban had Catholic upbringing; those that voted against it did not. This same New York Times that praises the most holy Barack Obama also decries the influence of Catholics in the partial-birth abortion ban. As if any belief that a Christian might hold is automatically suspect, and Christians are OK only if they actively vote against Christian principle in order to demonstrate their progressiveness.

Color me unimpressed with the New York Times hypocrisy.

Book of Judges

I don’t see how this passes for news. A Houston Chronicle reporter doesn’t like bible studies going on in the courthouse.

Just before 12:30 p.m. almost every Tuesday, Judge James Squier leaves his 312th Court and heads upstairs to the seventh floor of the Harris County Family Law Center.

There, in an associate judge’s chamber, he joins 15 or 20 other courthouse Christians — lawyers, bailiffs and clerks — for Bible study. The group spent about two years combing through the book of Matthew, and another two on Acts. Right now, they’re about a year into John.

“Isn’t that a problem?” I asked Squier recently. He knew I wasn’t talking about the study group’s less-than-blistering pace. I meant the very existence of courthouse Bible study. To me, Bible study sounds like “church,” and the Harris County courthouse sounds like “state.” Aren’t church and state supposed to stay separate?

Apparently it’s non-factual news. Other than media-driven misperception, there is no “separation of church and state.”

I don’t see the purpose of the article, either. Lisa Gray has a large megaphone in the Chronicle, and to print this as “news” is inadequate. It’s personal prejudice against Christians. She’s already well aware that it’s perfectly legal, she just doesn’t “like it”. Since when does the personal prejudice of a reporter get to be news? I don’t like eggplant, but that doesn’t seem to make the news.

I may not like it. I may not think it’s fair. But at the county courthouse, crawling through the New Testament a few verses a week could help you to the fast track.

Before she makes an accusation like “crawling through the New Testament a few verses a week could help you to the fast track” again, perhaps she ought to spend a few months reading the bible with the judge and see what really happens.

Christian Terrorists and Public Education

What’s my gripe with public education? Besides the fact they seem to be devolving into a giant secular babysitting service, it’s public money – my money – being used to teach young people values that oppose my values. I don’t mind being opposed, really. I *do* mind being taxed to fund my opposition.

The latest examples I’ve read this week are examples of schools performing terrorism drills. That in itself is ok, but who are the terrorist examples? Right-wing fundamentalist Christians. Sheesh. With all the terrorist attacks in the last 5 years, what percentage were these atrocities committed by right-wing fundamentalist Christians? A teensy weensy amount, if any. Couldn’t they come up with a more representative terrorist?

From Cadre Comments and Another Day Closer come these stories –

  • In Burlington Township, PA, Hostage drill prepares school for crisis (a similar story about the same township is here):

    The mock terror attack involved two irate men armed with handguns who invaded the high school through the front door. They pretended to shoot several students in the hallway and then barricaded themselves in the media center with 10 student hostages.

    Two Burlington Township police detectives portrayed the gunmen. Investigators described them as members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called the “New Crusaders” who don’t believe in separation of church and state. The mock gunmen went to the school seeking justice because the daughter of one had been expelled for praying before class.

  • In Muskegon County, MI, Christian homeschoolers are planting bombs:

    The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus and is detonated while the bus is traveling on Durham, causing the bus to land on its side and fill with smoke.

It’s outrageous. I don’t want my tax dollars to fund public education anymore. I want my money back.