No Representation Without Taxation


The Revolutionary war began when Americans refused to pay taxes without being represented. They coined the phrase ‘No Taxation Without Representation’.

Well I think it is high time and equally valid to state that there should be No Representation Without Taxation.

 

To argue that religious institutions aren’t represented is absolutely not true. To use as an argument for this that we have a separation of church and state due to the First Amendment is equally false. There is no separation. And the First Amendment was written to protect religion from government not to protect government from religion.

Let me give you a good example;

Congress has a Congressional Prayer Caucus, a Chaplain of Congress (with an office in the Capitol) elected by Congress and paid with tax payers money. Military Chaplains are also paid with federal tax dollars. How again is this the separation of Church and State? How is this not a violation of the First Amendment? It isn’t.

Congress has had a Chaplain since 1774, no that is not a typo, the office of House and Senate Chaplain came to be before the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration Independence was written.

Here are the requirements for Tax Exempt Status per the IRS

Tax-Exempt Status

Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):

  •  the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;
  •  net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;
  •  no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;
  •  the organization may not intervene in political campaigns;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

IRC Section 501(c)(3)

All organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:  

  • their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual;
  •  they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests;
  •  they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation;
  •  they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

 

Congress even wrote special legislation regarding the IRS’ right to audit churches and religious institutions;

Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church

Tax Inquiries and Examinations of Churches

Congress has imposed special limitations, found in section 7611 of the Internal Revenue Code, on how and when the IRS may conduct civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. The IRS may begin a church tax inquiry only if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes, on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing, that an organization claiming to be a church or convention or association of churches may not qualify for exemption, may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business (within the meaning of IRC § 513), may otherwise be engaged in taxable activities or may have entered into an IRC § 4958 excess benefit transaction with a disqualified person.

Now let’s look at how much this elected office pays;

Total Salary Expenditures

 

I fail to see how being an elected member of Congress does not influence legislation.

From an article by Paul Singer, USA Today;

“We do what we can to make sure that legislation emerges with what we believe to be American, Christian values,” said caucus member John Fleming, R-La. “We believe that a democracy is only functional if there is a certain level of virtuousness among the nation. Freedom also requires a certain responsibility and that requires a certain moral code. The moral code that we as Americans have lived by for over 200 years is based on what? The Ten Commandments.” 

Rep Randy Forbes VA  and a dozen other Prayer Caucus members traveled to North Carolina in March to launch an initiative called PrayUSA, asking government officials and other to sign a resolution calling for prayer. The initiative is part of “a tactical strategy to effectively challenge the growing anti-faith movement in our Country,” the foundation says.

And the foundation blog advocates strongly for the defense of conservative Christians like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was briefly jailed for refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

“Criminalizing Christianity is not the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers,” reads a blog post on the foundation website about the Kim Davis saga. “Sadly, the balance of power in our country is being undermined within the legislative branch and increasingly supplanted by both executive fiat and judicial tyranny. The government was never designed to replace God and therefore, does not have the authority or right to redefine the laws of nature or of nature’s God…..  We are fighting for our freedoms—silence and inactivity will leave us vulnerable and open to further attack. Christian…it is time for us to wake up and be engaged!”

How is this not influencing legislation?

 

 

While the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the a House and Senate Office of the Chaplain stating that it is a tradition and should be respected it is important to remember that slavery was considered a ‘tradition’ as well.

MARSH v. CHAMBERS, 463 U.S. 783 (1983)

CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.(1)

 A statute providing for the payment of these chaplains was enacted into law on September 22, 1789.

Clearly the men who wrote the First Amendment Religion Clauses did not view paid legislative chaplains and opening prayers as a violation of that Amendment, for the practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress.

It can hardly be thought that in the same week Members of the First Congress voted to appoint and to pay a chaplain for each House and also voted to approve the draft of the First Amendment** for submission to the states, they intended the Establishment Clause of the Amendment to forbid what they had just declared acceptable. In applying the First Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, it would be incongruous to interpret that Clause as imposing more stringent First Amendment limits on the states than the draftsmen imposed on the Federal Government.

This unique history leads us to accept the interpretation of the First Amendment draftsmen who saw no real threat to the Establishment Clause arising from a practice of prayer similar to that now challenged. We conclude that legislative prayer presents no more potential for establishment than the provision of school transportation, beneficial grants for higher education, or tax exemptions for religious organizations.

A paragraph from writings by James Madison point out that Madison was concerned about respecting the religious rights of all religious sects;

JAMES MADISON: The tenets of the chaplains elected by the majority shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.

Though Madison did see the payment of the Chaplain by the National Treasury as unconstitutional, what he deemed a violation of the First Amendment was the appointment of a Protestant, not the appointment of a Chaplain.

 

Advertisements

Is The Supreme Court Ruling On Hobby Lobby Right Or Wrong?


I know that my readers and those that know me will assume they know which side of this issue I am on. But they will be wrong.  I have never been shy about my contempt for religion and though this Supreme Court Ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s objection to the company insurance covering 4 kinds of  ‘contraception’ on grounds of protecting their religious freedom I don’t necessarily see this as a religious issue; and the Supreme Court doesn’t see it as only a religious issue, it is a moral one.

It is important to understand that the objection is not against all contraception, it is against Plan B (the morning after pill), Ella (which works up to 5 days after sex) and 2 different IUD’s (Intra Uterine Devices). The argument is that these are aborticides and not contraception. Though I can see their view on Plan B and Ella I do not agree that IUD’s are aborticides, none the less this is the argument.

Here is the section of the ruling that I find to be the most important;
(3) HHS argues that the connection between what the objecting parties must do and the end that they find to be morally wrong is too attenuated because it is the employee who will choose the coverage and contraceptive method she uses. But RFRA’s question is whether the mandate imposes a substantial burden on the objecting parties’ ability to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs.The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. In fact, this Court considered and rejected a nearly identical argument in Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U. S. 707. The Court’s “narrow function . . . is to determine” whether the plaintiffs’ asserted religious belief reflects“an honest conviction,” id., at 716, and there is no dispute here that it does. Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U. S. 672, 689; and Board of Ed. of Central School Dist. No. 1 v. Allen, 392 U. S. 236, 248–249, distinguished. Pp. 35–38.

Let’s pull out this sentence and look at it on it’s own; The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. From that sentence let’s pull out the words moral philosophy. 

I will say that my own personal views on abortion are very conflictive. I think that morally abortion is wrong except in cases of incest and rape. However I do agree with a woman’s right to choose, to a point. This all boils down to ‘when life begins’ dilemma. I am of the opinion that an embryo is not ‘alive’ but a fetus is, this means that after 8 weeks I think abortion is murder. I also feel that by 8 weeks there is no reason why a woman would not have made the decision to have a baby or not. That being said the difficulty lies in what is moral and what is immoral. I find it rather hypocritical of Christians to preach morality given the immoral acts of God throughout the Bible. However we happen to agree on the immorality of abortion, but disagree on when life begins. I admittedly commend the owners of Hobby Lobby for standing by their convictions.

BUT; when I pull out this sentence It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. I have to say hold on. It is this stance of the Court that enables acts like female genital mutilation to not be illegal. Morality must be judged when it is inflicted on another human being. I a woman wants to cut off her own clitoris that is her business, but when she cuts of the clitoris of another female this is immorality at it’s peak. The same applies to circumstances involving keeping someone alive by artificial means and a loved one wants to pull the plug but another loved one cries it is against their religion to do so. If the person being kept alive would not want to be kept alive that way then pull the plug, in turn if the person being kept alive had the religious belief that it would be wrong then don’t do it. This goes for acts of rape and incest as well as any oppression of any other human being or acts of violence against them. One cannot commit an immoral act upon ones self.

 

 

Supreme Court Rules Town Council Prayer Constitutional


The Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the Town Council in Greece N.Y. to continue their practice of prayer before their monthly Town Council meetings, ruling it was not unconstitutional. It was the opinion of the justices that because the council welcomed all faiths who wanted to invoke prayer at the meetings they weren’t violating the First Amendment. It was their opinion that it wasn’t the fault of the council that the town was predominantly Christian and that they should not be expected to extend the invitation to clergy outside the county. The council was more than willing to welcome and in fact encouraged  Buddhists, Hindu’s, Jews, Muslims and even Atheists who wished to invoke prayer before council meetings to do so, I guess the fact that Atheists don’t pray escaped them.

It was also the opinion of the courts that they would uphold the long-standing tradition of seeking guidance from our creator when making political decisions that was started by our founding fathers over 200 years ago. They actually applauded those who were wise enough to seek this divine wisdom that would help them to uphold our countries morals and values that have shaped our political system from the beginning.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that deny a womans access to birth control and to legal and safe abortions. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws regarding the teaching of creationism in public schools while prohibiting the teaching of evolution. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that weren’t passed concerning the violence against women. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that keep effective pain relieving drug marijuana away from those with cancer and other chronic pain patients.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect the religious practice of female genital mutilation. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect the religious practice of polygamy involving underage girls that are denied education past the eighth grade. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect priests found guilty of raping children. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect commanding officers who don’t prosecute  rapists in the military.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that don’t provide freedom from religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 843 other followers

Post Calendar

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
%d bloggers like this: