US House to give churches SuperPac rights

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    Secular Coalition Condemns House Vote To Turn Churches Into Super PACs
    Thu, 09/14/2017 – 14:27
    Washington, DC — The Secular Coalition for America released a statement today condemning the House of Representative’s vote securing final passage of the “megabus” appropriations bill. This bundle of eight appropriations bills includes the 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill ( FS GG ), which contains a provision, Section 116, instructing the IRS to cease enforcement of the 1954 Johnson Amendment exclusively for houses of worship.
    The Johnson Amendment prohibits nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in partisan political campaigns, including supporting or opposing candidates for public office. Limiting the enforcement of this rule would enable religious organizations to effectively operate like Super PACs by using their anonymous, tax-deductible donations to support political candidates.
    “While we are deeply disappointed by Congress’s vote today, this is just one of many battles in our fight to protect the Johnson Amendment,” said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The Johnson Amendment is an indispensable safeguard for America’s democracy, nonprofits, and houses of worship. This is why a clear majority of Americans, nonprofits, and faith leaders want the law preserved. The only supporters of this crusade against the Johnson Amendment are a select few Members of Congress who are doing the bidding of the fringe leaders of the religious right. The Secular Coalition for America will not stand by while the integrity of our political system is comprised for the benefit of religious fundamentalists who want to engage in partisan electioneering on the taxpayer’s dime.”
    “Members of Congress had ample opportunities to strike section 116 from this bill; when it was debated at the sub-committee level, at the full committee level, when Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz offered an amendment to cut it from the bill, and when it was on the floor of the House of Representatives,” said Decker. “At every point, Congress failed to stand up for a law which has helped maintain the separation of church and state for more than 63 years.”
    When the FSGG was first introduced in July, the Secular Coalition for America and thirteen of its member organizations sent a joint letter to the committee urging them to strike Section 116 from the bill.
    Additionally, the Secular Coalition for America has joined a diverse coalition of nonprofits, nontheist organizations, and faith groups in rallying together to defend the law. In just the past six months, they have issued multiple letters in support of the Johnson Amendment, including:
    A letter by signed by 5,500 charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations.
    A letter signed by 4,000 religious leaders.
    A letter signed by 99 religious denominations and organizations.
    A letter signed by 108 organizations supporting an amendment by Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Barbara Lee to strike Sec. 116 from the FSGG.
    “The lawmakers leading the effort to gut the Johnson Amendment claim they are doing so on behalf of the religious community,” said Decker. “This is demonstrably untrue. The majority of faith leaders know the Johnson Amendment protects their houses of worship from becoming cogs in the political machine. Americans of all faiths and none are speaking up together in defense of the Johnson Amendment. Now, it’s time for Members of Congress to listen.”
    Contact: Casey Brescia
    Communications Associate and Spokesman, (845)-380-6201
    The Secular Coalition for America is the nation’s premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 18 voting member organizations.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: unstickied. did i sticky by accident?!

    Thomas Paine

    I have been a member of Americans United (for the Separation of Church and State) – Until he recently retired the group was lead by Barry Lynn for at least 30 years. This organization does an incredible job of monitoring and litigating violations of Church and State separation. They are of course working hard to fend off the removal of  Johnson Amendment.

    The evangelical right and the radical far-right are joined at the hip. Ending the Johnson Amendment will not only create a new and enormous flow of cash to end Democracy, it will greatly strengthen the Oligarch/Theocrat/Fascsit bond.

    Please join this organization that does so much good for us and future generations



    Earle Sanborn

    And now the LGBT bullies are at it again. See below.

    Since science is not on the side of “being born LGBT” and most certainly not born “transgender” it is all in their mind. I feel so sorry for the poor 3-6 year olds who tell mommy and daddy that they feel like a girl or boy today; and they hop on that. Then the medical community which eschewed real science long ago; placates the little darling and they start the gender transfer stuff. You have got to be kidding me! How self-absorbed has our society become when we allow such nonsense. Not one scintilla of evidence. Later, when the kid grows up – what are they going to do then? We as kids thought all kinds of things- I played with Ken and Barbie dolls but that was just a phase.

    The bullies are back in town.

    Liberals and gay activists remain obsessed with forcing Christians to bake their cakes. And the answer, in the name of individual, religious and even gay civil rights, must still be no.

    If you doubt the intensity of the left’s fixation on punishing people of faith, I submit to you the Colorado’s so-called Civil Rights Commission. Despite Masterpiece Cakeshop winning a 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court victory condemning the state for punishing Jack Phillips for his religious beliefs, they’re going after him again. This time, the set-up involves a request for a variety of cakes that would violate his religious belief, including a cake celebrating a gender transition.

    Phillips, a baker who is Christian, found himself in the public eye six years ago when he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. He has always served all customers, including gays and lesbians, but as an artist his faith requires him to not participate directly — like the specific creation of a cake — in efforts that violate his faith.
    Ultimately, Phillips was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination law, and his fight ended up at the Supreme Court. which found the actual violator of civil rights to be the state’s commission. Reuters reported in June when the decision was issued:
    “The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed an impermissible hostility toward religion when it found that baker Jack Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. The state law bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation. The court concluded that the commission violated Phillips‘ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.”

    That’s pretty serious stuff, and would make anyone take notice that a mistake had been made. But the haters and bullies in Colorado apparently don’t care. On the day the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Masterpiece case, Phillips received a call from attorney Autumn Scardina making a specific request for a cake celebrating a gender transition. Phillips declined, citing his faith.


    Simon Paynton

    @earlesanborn – “Since science is not on the side of “being born LGBT”

    – I grew up with someone who was obviously gay at the age of 5, and has stayed just as gay ever since.



    Earle, at what moment in your life did you decide to act like a heterosexual, and how difficult was it to fight off the homosexual fantasies that must have been “a matter of choice”?



    Since science is not on the side of “being born LGBT”

    Your declarations about “science” are more self-serving than accurate. WHAT evidence do you have on this, latest claim?

    I haven’t even gotten through your first paragraph, yet. Posting this kind of bullshit in this community cannot be construed in any way other than trolling, pure and simple. When we ask for evidence for your outrageous claims, why are you never able to put up, or shut up? Your discrespect for people who don’t think like you and don’t believe in lying about science for their own agenda?

    I’m embarrased now for tolerating your intolerant, anti-humanism, in favor of religious dogma. If you grew up in an Islamist culture, I have no doubt you’d enjoy throwing LGBT human beings off of rooftops, and calling for Sharia law instead of supporting any inclusive form of religious tolerance. And then… you would be calling me the bully.



    Folks, this is “my” topic, and I only ask that you keep the dialog as respectful as you can, and don’t lower yourself Earle’s level of religious intolerance. Freedom “from” religion includes freedom “of” religion, and Earle’s form of support for religion infringes on these constitutional rights. I want his views to remain here, as examples of what kind of intolerance we’re up against. Does anyone have any constructive thoughts? Remember, this really shouldn’t be about Earle, but about the movement against freedom that he is a part of.

    From the first amendment of the US Constitution:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

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