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Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, has promised to dump the non-profit status, and therefore political speech restrictions, against the churches in this country, if he should become President of the United States.
No church has ever lost their non-profit status. The existence of the threat, however, seems to be all that is necessary to keep the churches quiet about politics. The threat emerged in 1954, thanks to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson's amendment to the non-profit portion of the tax code. Prior to Johnson's amendment, there were no restrictions on churches regarding political speech. Ever since the amendment, churches have been too afraid to lose their non-profit status, so they have been silent on the issues that rule our culture and society.
The move to silence the church goes farther back than that. In a conversation with a Greek Orthodox Pastor, Father Josiah Trenham of St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, I learned that during the 1930s the Marxists infiltrated American churches, and the United States Government, and the Marxist infiltrators, convinced the pastors that only salvation should be preached. The primary role of the church, according to the Marxists, should only be to save souls. Political influence is none of the church's business, was the message. And, the pastors bought into it. Seemed reasonable. Today, most churches want nothing to do with politics, claiming their role is only to save souls. The pastors who preach that the church's only role is to keep their message on salvation, and within the four walls of the church, are good little sheep following the orders of the government, Marxists, and the satanic forces they claim to stand against.
The Black Robed Regiment would disagree with the assertion that the church has no business being involved in politics.
The Black Robed Regiment were the pastors who preached independence, and were among the original warriors during the American Revolution. The pastors of that day, and their congregations, believed that religious speech and political speech were interwoven. The British targeted the Black Robed Regiment, seeing them as a great threat, and believing if they could break the back of our religious foundation they could spoil the rebellion and regain control over the petulant colonies.
The pastors of the 1700s believed that religion and politics should be influential of each other. The rise of The Revolution against Britain was brought about for both political and religious reasons, and they knew it. Americans were a moral and religious people who sought to become their own republic. A couple hundred years of history had led a people who came here for religious freedoms to seek also their political freedoms. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were both inspired and influenced by Divine Providence, leading the Founding Fathers to believe that their freedom hinged on the necessity that the people remain a virtuous people.
Benjamin Franklin asserted that "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom."
John Adams explained that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
During the 1830s a man named Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States from France, and was amazed that the politicians prayed, and the pastors preached politics, yet neither exerted control over the other. Tocqueville found that the greatness of the United States existed in the churches of this great land. America maintained its freedom because of the Christian nature of the country, because the religious people of the country were involved politically, and because America is good. If America were to ever cease to be good, her freedom would fade away.
In Federalist 45 James Madison explained that the purpose of taxation was to enable the federal government to perform the duties it was given through the Constitution. "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected."
Taxation was indirect, through the States, and for the purpose of external issues, not internal issues. The budget of the federal government was small, except during time of war during which the federal government was authorized to borrow money. The federal government functioned properly because its spending remained within its constitutional authorities. . .
For the most part.
If, today, we were to eliminate all of the unconstitutional spending by the federal government, and if the government were to operated only within the authorities expressly granted to it, would we even need an income tax? Prior to the income tax being enacted, and before the great wars of the twentieth century, federal spending was less than 5% of GDP - and the country was growing, prospering, and on its way to becoming the greatest super-power in history. It wasn't until the creation of the Federal Reserve, the IRS, and W-2 withholding (using the 16th Amendment of 1913 as an excuse in 1943) that our economy began to experience radical boom-bust cycles and the federal spending apparatus began to blossom into the leviathan it has become. And, with the growth of government control over the money came the expansion of government control over the States, over the people, and over the churches.
So, while churches cower in the corner, fearful to lose their non-profit status (for how many pieces of silver are they willing to sell-out for?), the solutions are clear. First, the churches need to speak out politically, and be more involved, daring the IRS to do something about it. Second, the IRS needs to become a thing of the past, a forgotten relic of an age when America nearly became a tyranny, but returned to the philosophies of freedom and liberty by eliminating direct taxation, and returning the originally intended authorities over internal issues to the States, and the influence of the Christian people upon the policies of the United States.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary