Religious liberty

On Churches in Politics, Trump Does … Nothing

The president's executive order on religious freedom lacks any sort of substance.

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Trump
Cheriss May/Sipa USA/Newscom

With hundreds of executive branch jobs yet to be filled, the Trump administration needs a lot of people. One person it especially needs is Goldilocks, who might save the president from his habit of doing too much or too little but seldom getting anything just right.

In the executive order he signed Thursday titled "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty," Donald Trump had a rare opportunity to pursue a small yet significant change that would have accomplished both of his stated purposes. Instead, he ceremoniously unveiled a heaping platter of nothingburgers.

In February, at the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump extolled religious freedom and promised: "I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that. Remember."

If you're not familiar with the Johnson Amendment, don't feel bad. It's safe to assume Trump wasn't either until he ran for president. Enacted into law in 1954, it prohibits churches and other nonprofit organizations from taking part in political campaigns, on pain of losing their federal tax exemption.

The basic reason for it is sound. Political contributions are not tax-deductible, because Americans don't want to indirectly subsidize them. If churches were allowed to engage in active electioneering, citizens could give money to churches to help their favored candidates and then deduct those "religious" donations on their 1040s.

This policy would have a couple of bad effects, besides the loss of revenue. One would be to encourage churches to become partly or solely political entities, at the expense of real political entities. In fact, it would be only a matter of time before partisan activists would form "churches" that hold no services and need no pews. They would exist purely to help candidates get elected.

That would work to the detriment of real churches, fostering cynicism about their true function. It would jeopardize popular support for their tax treatment, which was granted partly in deference to the separation of church and state.

We've long had a rough bargain between religious institutions and government. The deal is that because they, unlike other organizations, are not allowed to get financial aid from the government, neither should they be required to provide financial aid (in the form of taxes) to the government. The exemption also encourages charitable activities, by secular as well as religious groups, which are seen as good for society because they help those in need and lessen the burden of public aid.

But the Johnson Amendment also bars political activities that don't cost a dime. If a pastor recommends a vote for a candidate during the course of a Sunday sermon that would be given regardless, no money is spent, and no indirect government subsidy occurs. As a literal matter, though, that pastor's statement violates the law.

"It doesn't evade campaign finance regulation, it doesn't create a path for deductible campaign spending, and it ought to be protected," University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock told me. It's pure political speech, which the First Amendment was designed to cover.

Securing this zone of freedom is what Trump might have proposed but didn't, quite. His fuzzy order directs the Treasury Department not to "take any adverse action" against a religious leader or church who has "spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective."

It's the equivalent of strumming an air guitar. The IRS has long taken a relaxed view of the Johnson Amendment, cheerfully ignoring sermons that veer into political endorsements. But Trump didn't even explicitly reaffirm that tolerant policy.

The reasonable answer is to write it into law—leaving no doubt about what is permitted and shielding clergy against any future IRS decision to get tough. What Trump did, though, was an empty gesture.

Even his usual defenders couldn't defend him this time. The National Organization for Marriage said it "falls far short of what is needed." Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan T. Anderson dismissed the executive order as "weak" and "woefully inadequate."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which had been preparing to go to court to challenge Trump's order, decided there was no need. "Today's executive order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome," it said, amounting to "a textbook case of 'fake news.'"

Trump is no Goldilocks, and in this instance, he's not even the Big Bad Wolf. He huffed and he puffed, but nothing came down.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Great and clear description of Trump’s latest fuckup .. and suckup to the Christian Taliban (leadership)
    A vast majority of actual pastors thinks it would be wrong to endorse candidates and issues from the pulpit.
    They seem to believe that their mission is the Word of God and Teachings of Jesus … not seeking to impose their values by force of law, Their establishment/leadership disagrees.

    It’s like I read as a college freshman. Special interests are not a problem. It’s their leaderships who treat their members like pawns, trading their support amongst each other to accrue more personal power for themselves. The memberships see the gains, but not the costs, so they grant more power to a cabal of power brokers.

    1. Om the othet hand, their congregants are getting the Social Left’s values imposed on them by force of law

      1. getting the Social Left’s values imposed on them by force of law

        That’s most often hysteria from the extreme socons. The wackiest ones say that marriage equality somehow forces them to accept gay marriage.

        1. In many states, Big Govt does force Christian bakers, florists, or caterers, etc…to serve homo weddings, or else receive a huge fine that can force them to close down their business, or force them to go to “re-education” classes! ..Forcing them to serve a ritual that is abhorrent to their faith is pure tyranny & violate their Natural & Constitutional Rights of Freedom of Speech, Religion, Conscience & Association!

          “Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”
          -Barry Goldwater

          1. pure tyranny & violate their Natural & Constitutional Rights of Freedom of Speech, Religion, Conscience & Association!

            LAME. This Fox conservative says it best. oldwater and Reagan follow.
            The Constitution also demands Separation — which means faith CANNOT be the purpose. The same reason Trump is unconstitutional (and illegal)

            You stand with Golkdwater?

            “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”
            -Barry Goldwater

            “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
            …..
            “The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom…. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are?…I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.””
            -Barry Goldwater

            1. Part 2
              And, of course, Reagan was decisive in defeating an anti-gay initiative in California, and be brought down the nationwide, anti-gay Anita Bryant Crusade. It was an attempt to ban gay school teachers. Reagan literally ridiculed the bigots. Gay teachers are NOT a threat to our kids, he said, because homosexuality is not communicable, like measles. KAPOW. This was just as he was preparing to announce his winning 1980 Presidential campaign. His aids told him it would be political suicide. He did it anyhow. Tell ME about liberty?

              Reagan and Goldwater were on the front lines, fighting FOR homosexual rights in the 1970s, decades before it became trendy on the left, decades before Clinton shamelessly signed DOMA and DADT (supported by Ron Paul!), and decades before Obama “evolved.” Did you know THAT?

              And the sheer moral hypocrisy is astounding, On top of seeking a special exemption, why do you get to pick and choose which parts of God’s Will to obey… and which parts to shit on? Let me know when you kill all the infidels ? including your own brother wife, child or friend. . And stone to death women who were not virgins on their wedding day (but not men!). Are they following God? Or the anti-Christ?

              1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

                This is what I do.,..,.,.,.,.. http://www.webcash10.com

          2. If non-discrimination laws are such “pure tyranny” that “violate […] Natural & Constitutional Rights of Freedom of Speech, Religion, Conscience & Association”, then gay folks really aren’t the big tyrants in the pool.

            There have been what, a half-dozen “bakers, florists, or caterers” cases in the last decade? There are literally hundreds of non-discrimination cases, every year, that don’t involve gay people.

            1. But they must gin up hysteria. Like what they call “proggies” on the left. Snowflakes to the left of me. Snowflakes to the right of me.

              1. Proggies, proggies everywhere and not a drop of good ole Poteen anywhere to drink.

                1. Snowflake to my right …

    2. See, Trump’s action is not valueless. Mr. Hihn has already written the powerful fund-raising message (Christian Taliban) that the anti-Trump camp will use to raise big bucks.

      1. powerful fund-raising message (Christian Taliban) that the anti-Trump camp will use to raise big bucks.

        As they should, IF their primary motivation is individual liberty.

    3. so these pastors need laws to keep them out of politics, they have no self control?. I don’t think they will be forced to discuss politics if there is no law

      1. so these pastors need laws to keep them out of politics, they have no self control?

        You believe that War on Christianity bullshit? Chapman gives the best explanation I’ve seen on how and why this is about the tax exemption, not the religion. Why should churches get a special exemption, under a Constitution that guarantees separation?

        . I don’t think they will be forced to discuss politics if there is no law

        That would be the opposing wackos’ claim.

        1. @ “Why should churches get a special exemption, under a Constitution that guarantees separation?” Why would anyone in this day and age put their faith in any thing the Con, Con, purports to guarantee? Come out from under the bridge and smell the roses of voluntary association.

          1. You have nothing that addresses the issue?
            What effect has your 1% of the population had. On anything?
            Explain your authoritarian attempt to overthrow the United States Government, with no troops and no votes, and call it voluntary association.

            And how can it be “voluntary if it must conform YOUR diktats? And/or why is voluntary association fine for your 1%. but not for anyone else?

            This dictionary definition will be worth your time. (join the sections)

            https://www.merriam-webster.com/ dictionary/voluntary

    4. If that’s what you got from this article, than it certainly wasn’t clear.

      The article’s primary criticism is that it is imprecise and ignores the history of the amendment in question.

      1. If that’s what you got from this article, than it certainly wasn’t clear.

        “Trump’s fuckup” was my own label, but it’s a very clear explanation that the issue is the tax exemption, and that Trump violated federal law.

        The article’s primary criticism is that it is imprecise and ignores the history of the amendment in question.

        Ummm, no. It’s a violation of the law which applies to ALL non-profits, not just churches.

        Why should churches get a special exemption, denied everyone else, based solely on religion, under a Constitution which guarantees Separation? Or even without Separation? Especially when the vast majority of pastor’s don’t give a damn?

        You do understand, right, that the ban on certain political action applies to EVERY non-profit — if they want a tax deduction for their contributors? Has been that way for over 60 years in federal law,

        The basic reason for it is sound. Political contributions are not tax-deductible, because Americans don’t want to indirectly subsidize them. If churches were allowed to engage in active electioneering, citizens could give money to churches to help their favored candidates and then deduct those “religious” donations on their 1040s.

        Or to put it bluntly, Trump was full of shit when he called it “retribution.”

  2. Seems like Trump keeps on making all the wrong moves.

    1. One person it especially needs is Goldilocks, who might save the president from his habit of doing too much or too little but seldom getting anything just right.

      Seems like Chapman’s never read the fairytale. Trespassing/B&E, theft… obsessing over porridge. She makes all the wrong decisions and gets chased off and/or killed by a group of bears.

      Not the sort of decision maker I’d want as a head of state.

    2. That’s normal for every President since I started kindergarten in 1962. Except for Kennedy, who was shot before he could totally fuck things up.

      1. Bay of Pigs? Sure, that actually happened before 1962, but it was still Kennedy.

        1. I took it to be sarcasm, an appreciative understatement of Kennedy’s true power for destruction.

  3. I imagine that no one was happier about that executive order than the writers at Reason (with maybe two exceptions). Because it was such a useless order, Reason didn’t have to write pants-shitting articles pretending like the first clause in the First Amendment along with RFRA were non-existent. Back to the important stuff, like Uber.

    1. Umm, Chapman clarified it for all the brainwashed suckers who have been brainwashed that it’s an attack on religion, when it’s a tax matter, RFRA has nothing to do with it. And we have all the pant-shitting which denies the founders’ intent with the First Amendment.

  4. Recall that the ACLU is the same organization that is suing a Catholic run hospital for referring a woman seeking sex reassignment surgery to another hospital because removing healthy reproductive organs goes against Catholic religious belief. The ACLU is quite for imposing their beliefs on others and against religious freedom.

    1. The ACLU is quite for imposing their beliefs on others and against religious freedom.

      You forgot to scream about the satanic War on Christianity,

      I hate to interrupt your bigoted narrative, but Richard Sanders was considered the highest-raking elected libertarian, as state Supreme Court Justice in Washington. He was formally censured for addressing a pro-life rally in Seattle.

      To defend his unalienable right to free speech, he went to — who else? — the ACLU.
      So … wait for it … the ACLU defended the right to defend a pro-life position — even a sitting Justice.

      So you need a different narrative to generate hysteria with.
      Defending individual liberty means you don’t get everything your way.

      1. The ACLU is not pursuing the case I mentioned? Shackford made a post about it last week, if memory serves.

        And how wss my narrative “bigoted”?

        1. The ACLU is not pursuing the case I mentioned?

          Huh? I responded to what I quoted by you, which has nothing at all to do with this case.

          And how wss my narrative “bigoted”?

          I gave a precise example.

          1. In the case I mentioned, The ACLU is attacking liberty..

            “I gave a precise example”

            What example? I do not think “bigotry” means how are you are using it.

            1. What example? I do not think “bigotry” means how are you are using it.

              You CAN’T FIND the example. But it’s wrong anyhow! (snort)

              I do not think “bigotry” means how are you are using it.

              Bigotry is YOUR WORDS THAT i QUOTED!! And then demolished. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

              t he ACLU is not pursuing the case I mentioned?

              Huh? I responded to what I quoted by you, which has nothing at all to do with this case.

              In the case I mentioned, The ACLU is attacking liberty..

              (pissing pants laughing)
              ONE MORE TIME: I DIDN’T QUOTE THAT!
              I REFUSE YOUR FUCKING GAME.
              And this AGAIN is the precise example that exposes your bigotry. Check the opening clause, Sluggo

              I hate to interrupt your bigoted narrative, but Richard Sanders was considered the highest-raking elected libertarian, as state Supreme Court Justice in Washington. He was formally censured for addressing a pro-life rally in Seattle.

              To defend his unalienable right to free speech, he went to — who else? — the ACLU.
              So … wait for it … the ACLU defended the right to defend a pro-life position — even a sitting Justice.

              So you need a different narrative to generate hysteria with.
              Defending individual liberty means you don’t get everything your way.

              (Now he’ll repeat the same bullshit. Because Mickey Rat.)

          2. In the case I mentioned, The ACLU is attacking liberty..

            “I gave a precise example”

            What example? I do not think “bigotry” means how are you are using it.

  5. I think it’s great that Reason staff is writing articles calling for Donald Trump to protect the right of evangelical Christians pastors to actively campaign from the pulpit free from government interference.

    And that’s what’s being argued, here, right?

    Amirite?

    If and when Trump endorses a bill to specifically protect evangelical ministers’ right to campaign from the pulpit, we can count on Reason staff to support Trump on that–isn’t that right?

    Isn’t that what’s being said here? That you don’t support Trump’s executive order here–because it doesn’t do enough to protect the right of evangelical preachers to campaign from the pulpit?

    Consider this piece bookmarked.

    1. Haha- that’s funny. You act like this is a libertarian publication that defends individual rights or something.

      1. How can you say that!

        I think it’s fairly obvious that Chapman is deeply concerned about Trump not doing enough for politically active evangelical Christians and their politically active pastors!

        Why, Trump is only paying lip service to their political frustration. What we really need is a president who will take the frustrations of social conservatives seriously in their attempts to influence policy and law!

        Either that, or Chapman has wandered so far into the weeds in trying to discredit Trump that he’s ended up in the swamp–and he doesn’t even realize it.

        Anyway, I think one of those is more likely than the other. Can you guess which one?

        1. This is a new low in horrendous lying, even for you.
          Why are YOU wallowing in the swamp of special exemptions, ONLY for the religious?
          Why do you repeatedly lie that this is likely illegal and unconstitutional action by Trump, regarding TAX law?.
          If you had even a smidgen of moral integrity you would demand that ALL non-profits get the same exemption. Instead you expose yourself as a tool of the Christian Taliban. On the hard facts, a Bible Thumper. Be honest about it. As Christ would expect you to be. Blasphemer.

    2. Just out of curiosity, are you sarcastically trying to make the point that there are times when certain people shouldn’t be able to say certain things?

      It’s a little unclear to me. Probably because I’m dumb.

      1. I’m pointing out that merely paying lip service to social conservatives who want to influence policy and law isn’t necessarily a bad quality in a President.

        I’m pointing out that TDS is real.

        I’m pointing out that if Trump were pushing hard for the interests of evangelical political activists, that Chapman and others would probably be condemning him for it.

        I’m pointing out that TDS can make people wander so far into the weeds that they end up in the swamp without even realizing it*.

        What’s next? Are we going to condemn President Liz Warren for merely paying lip service to the policy interests of the communists?

        *H/T to Suthenboy

        1. Another thing that Chapman left out was that Trump made it clear that Congress would have to repeal the Johnson Amendment or makes changes, not the President.

          Chapman just cannot say that Trump is purposefully addressing campaign promises. Some are being completed better than other promises.

          1. Trump made it clear that Congress would have to repeal the Johnson Amendment or makes changes, not the President.

            Liar,

        2. I’m pointing out that merely paying lip service to social conservatives who want to influence policy and law isn’t necessarily a bad quality in a President.

          Blatantly violating the law is NOT mere lip service.

          I’m pointing out that if Trump were pushing hard for the interests of evangelical political activists, that Chapman and others would probably be condemning him for it.

          That’s precisely what Trump did … and probably why so many of you are lying about Chapman’s article, rather shamefully.

          Why should churches get a special exemption from a 60-year-old law — to allow the ONLY tax-subsidized political action in America?

          Oh, and evangelicals are not the issue either. Ir’s all churches.

      2. It’s a little unclear to me. Probably because I’m dumb.

        Okay, you’re dumb. (your word)
        Read it again — or find a 12-year-old to explain that it’s about tax exemptions for ALL non-profits.
        But SOME Christians seem to suffer severe denial, when the facts don’t match their hysteria about “The War on Christianity.” Tribalism.

    3. Isn’t that what’s being said here? That you don’t support Trump’s executive order here–because it doesn’t do enough to protect the right of evangelical preachers to campaign from the pulpit?

      Yes, it is.

      1. I thought so!

        So, bookmark this piece . . . and if and when Trump gets a law to sign that makes it okay for evangelical preachers to campaign from the pulpit, we’ll see what Chapman says then.

      2. Yes, it is

        You’re as psycho a liar as Shultz.
        Or …. what part of the tax exemptions WHOOOOOSHED over your head?
        And why should churches get a special exemption, in violation of federal law for 60 years?

    4. And that’s what’s being argued, here, right?

      More blatant bullshit by Shultz.
      It’s about tax law for over 60 years that applies to ALL nonprofits — if they want a tax deduction for their donors.

      Consider this piece bookmarked.

      Consider your bullshit bookmarked.

      1. A tax law put in by that great degender of liberty Lyndon Johnson to stifle his critics during an election.

        The Johnson Amendment s an incumbent protection vehicle as are so many such laws.

        1. A tax law put in by that great degender of liberty Lyndon Johnson to stifle his critics during an election.

          Psycho bullshit.

          The Johnson Amendment s an incumbent protection vehicle as are so many such laws

          Liar.

          By what bizarre delusion do you claim
          a) That Johnson was President in 1954
          b) That ANY single person can enact a law?
          c) That this is NOT about tax-subsidized political activity, a special exemption for churches ONLY.
          d) Only YOUR tribe gets special exemptions from long-established law.

          BTW, you also admitted that Trump broke the law! As he has repeatedly, just like Obama did repeatedly. BY WHAT RIGHT?

          1. I never claimed it had to do with a presidential election, you ignorant slut.

            Johnson was a Senator and a member of the Senate Democrat Leadership between 1949 and 1961. He was known for his bullying practices as a Senator.

            The Johnson amendment was written to prevent non-profit organizations from campaigning against him.

            1. Retards get very nasty when they get crushed. This link is bat-shit crazy
              https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6839194

              Now perhaps wackier. I wouldn’t use that language but … he opens with a psycho lie and “ignorant slut”

              I never claimed it had to do with a presidential election, you ignorant slut.

              (snicker) I never said you did.Psycho. You drooled, about a 1954 law,

              A tax law put in by that great degender of liberty Lyndon Johnson to stifle his critics during an election.

              I ridiculed your sorry ass for claiming Johnson was President in 1954. Actually, I jammed it up your ass!

              NOW YOU’RE EVEN CRAZIER ((it’s Mickey Rat)

              Johnson was a Senator and a member of the Senate Democrat Leadership between 1949 and 1961. He was known for his bullying practices as a Senator.

              HE WAS THE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

              WAIT FOR IT ….

              HIS PARTY WAS OUT OF POWER IN THE SENATE …. AND EVEN WORSE FOR YOU …

              He was known for his bullying practices as a Senator.

              HE BULLIED THE REPUBLICAN HOUSE!
              HE BULLIED THE REPUBLICAN SENATE!
              HE BULLIED …. THE ….. REPUBLICAN … PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!

              The defense rests. But watch him get even crazier ,,…..

              Posted in defense of aggression by a partisan psycho liar.

    5. And that’s what’s being argued, here, right?

      Laughably no

      Amirite?

      Neither here nor the other six times on this page that you blatantly misrepresented the issue. Which is the tax deduction. Try again. I’ll add some emphasis to possibly help you grasp this/

      If you’re not familiar with the Johnson Amendment, don’t feel bad. It’s safe to assume Trump wasn’t either until he ran for president. Enacted into law in 1954, it prohibits churches and other nonprofit organizations from taking part in political campaigns, on pain of losing their federal tax exemption.

      The basic reason for it is sound. Political contributions are not tax-deductible, because Americans don’t want to indirectly subsidize them. If churches were allowed to engage in active electioneering, citizens could give money to churches to help their favored candidates and then deduct those “religious” donations on their 1040s.

      No surprise (to me) that the Christian Taliban wants to carve out a special tax loophole, for more abuse of political power. But it’s clearly unconstitutional. Because Separation.

  6. since practicing your religion is a right they can’t be taxed otherwise its not a right. practicing your right to free speech political or otherwise can’t be taxed and neither should it be regulated buy the government and both should be free to participate in both practices unencumbered by anything.

    1. Are you really so illiterate? It has NOTHING to do with religion. Why are so many wackos lying about the issue?.
      Why should churches get a special exemption, in violation of federal law for over 60 years … regarding tax-exempt status for ALL non-profits.

      You know that not all non-profits are churches, or even religious, right?

  7. Abusus non tollit usum.

    (Abuse does not exclude use.)

  8. “With hundreds of executive branch jobs yet to be filled, the Trump administration needs a lot of people.”

    Citation needed.

    “Political contributions are not tax-deductible, because Americans don’t want to indirectly subsidize them.”

    Americans embrace the idiotic idea a tax deduction constitutes a subsidy, and on that basis restrict freedom. How is this “sound”?

    “This policy would have a couple of bad effects, besides the loss of revenue.”

    A Libertarian publication runs an article citing the loss of government revenue as a “bad effect”.

    “In fact, it would be only a matter of time before partisan activists would form “churches” that hold no services and need no pews.”

    And there is no way the IRS could ever get hip to that.

    “That would work to the detriment of real churches, fostering cynicism about their true function.”

    It is the job of government to make sure people are not cynical about religion?

    The rest of this piece is the usual Reason nonsense of pretending to oppose an action in favor of religious freedom on technocratic grounds. Chapman does not want to give pastors more freedom to voice their political views. Give me a break.

    1. “Chapman does not want to give pastors more freedom to voice their political views. Give me a break.”

      Surely he’s deeply principled in his concern for social conservatives, the frustrations of politically active evangelicals, and the free speech rights of the evangelical preachers who lead them!

      LOL

      1. Surely he’s deeply principled in his concern for social conservatives, the frustrations of politically active evangelicals, and the free speech rights of the evangelical preachers who lead them!

        It’s about tax exemptions and special loopholes for religion. How many times can you troll your pathetic bullshit on a single page?

        LOL.

        (smirk)

        1. How many times can you troll your pathetic bullshit on a single page?

          Michael, I usually just read your posts with amusement and don’t engage, but I want you to know that coming from you, this was the funniest sentence I’ve read this month.

          1. Aggression defended. Aggressively.. In self defense

            The “pathetic buillshit” trolled by your ilk is that this is about Free Speech or Religious Liberty. You’ve been brainwashed AGAIN. The is blatantly unconstitutional tax loophole … for religion only … under a constitution that mandates Separation …. mixed with political corruption.

            Political contributions would become tax deductible but ONLY if he donation pass through a religious nonprofit … AND keeps tax-exempt status. The sheer moral hypocrisy is shameful. ANY OTHER NONPROFIT WOULD LOSE TAX-EXEMPT STATUS.

            Churches would be sucking on one of the fattest public teats in America. Proggies iin robes.
            Since you babble about me on an article you never read ….read and repent

            …. Enacted into law in 1954, it prohibits churches and other nonprofit organizations from taking part in political campaigns, on pain of losing their federal tax exemption.

            The basic reason for it is sound. Political contributions are not tax-deductible, because Americans don’t want to indirectly subsidize them. …. citizens could give money to churches to help their favored candidates and then deduct those “religious” donations on their 1040s.

            “Render unto Caeser” …. or shame our Lord Jesus Christ Who commands you to? Your choice.

    2. “A Libertarian publication runs an article citing the loss of government revenue as a “bad effect”.”

      Assuming such a thing was your first mistake. Just like the ‘Libertarian’ Party (which recently voiced support for taxing churches) they’re advocating a type of left-wing Reform Party position.

      1. “A Libertarian publication runs an article citing the loss of government revenue as a “bad effect”.”

        I’ll go slowly.
        This is a “crony capitalism” loophole, for churches only, in violation of federal law and constitutional Separation.

        Assuming such a thing was your first mistake.

        Just guessing, but I’ll assume your confusion comes from not knowing the difference between tax relief and crony capitalism.

        For example, Trump has proposed a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF … on top of his existing loophole.
        SOME goobers celebrate that for reducing government revenue — but it’s an assault on individual liberty, and anti-gummint libs are kinda dumb that way, They despise government, but have no apparent love of liberty.

        .Just like the ‘Libertarian’ Party (which recently voiced support for taxing churches) they’re advocating a type of left-wing Reform Party position

        Do you spend much time outside your partisan cave?

        The Party is wrong, but in the other direction. “All taxation is theft.” Even Ayn Rand, as strict as she was knew that is crazy. It would be the very last step toward a free society. The very last reform to launch. Plus, taxation is theft to only about 2% of the population — so they shit on a core founding principle, consent of the governed. On this, the Party is clearly authoritarian.

    3. “Political contributions are not tax-deductible, because Americans don’t want to indirectly subsidize them.”

      Americans embrace the idiotic idea a tax deduction constitutes a subsidy, and on that basis restrict freedom. How is this “sound”?

      Uhhh, because it forgoes tax revenues. Do you seriously believe special loopholes are NOT a subsidy?
      Why should ONLY churches get an exemption? Do you know the definition of a loophole? Or are facts in-con-veeeeen-yent to your dishonesty ?.

      That would work to the detriment of real churches, fostering cynicism about their true function.”

      It is the job of government to make sure people are not cynical about religion?

      (laughing) Your bullshit quote includes the phrase “real churches” — what distinction did he make?

      Why should churches get a special exemption, under a Constitution that guarantees Separation.

      The rest of this piece is the usual Reason nonsense

      You’re the only liar here.
      And you’re spouting the typical lies and nonsense of the Christian Taliban.
      Renounce the anti-Christ. Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Beg His forgiveness for your sins here.

  9. I do not buy that “the basic reason for it is sound.” If we are going to have tax-exempt churches on the rationale that going to church is protected by the First Amendment and “the power to tax is the power to destroy” — and we do — then we should extend the same protection to all First Amendment activities. Not only poltical campaigns but also the media (including both news and entertainment) ought to be tax-exempt too, so that they too cannot be destroyed.

    1. Uhh, the distinction is non-proifts. All nonprofits, not just churches. Read the article again. Slowly.

      but also the media (including both news and entertainment) ought to be tax-exempt too, so that they too cannot be destroyed.

      None of those take contributions. And almost none are non-profit.

      You people make me fear deeply for America.

      Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public
      -H.L Mencken

  10. RE: On Churches in Politics, Trump Does … Nothing

    “If you’re not familiar with the Johnson Amendment, don’t feel bad. It’s safe to assume Trump wasn’t either until he ran for president. Enacted into law in 1954, it prohibits churches and other nonprofit organizations from taking part in political campaigns, on pain of losing their federal tax exemption.”

    Call me stupid, but I thought there was a concept out there called “separation of church and state.”
    I stand corrected.

    1. Call me stupid, but I thought there was a concept out there called “separation of church and state.”
      I stand corrected.

      That’s what to expect when we have a tyrant in the White House.
      And until his Obama-style abuse of power, the issue had nothing at all to do with separation.
      It does now, because Herr Trump (a) violated federal law to (b) provide a special exemption to churches denied to all other non-profits … which the vats majority of Pastors say they won’t do anyhow … because their job is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ — not politics — which REALLY pisses off the Christian Taliban.

  11. Trump lacks any sort of substance. I for one can’t understand why anyone would want to get involved in politics, but politicians are a necessary evil until we come up with something better. Trump with his zero experience in politics is mostly a fart in the wind.

  12. How do you people call yourselves libertarians? We want FEWER taxes and MORE freedom…any organization should be able to have free speech (which includes political campaigning), period. We should also welcome making more donations tax deductible, including those given to politically inclined churches.

    1. How do you people call yourselves libertarians?

      We’re not as easily brainwashed as you .. so that you don’t even know what the issue is. You’ve been manipulated, based on your ignorance of the actual issue..

      We want FEWER taxes and MORE freedom

      But not crony capitalism — privileged tax loopholes based solely on religion, which violates the constitutional mandate of Separation.

      .any organization should be able to have free speech (which includes political campaigning), period.

      It’s about the tax exemption for ONLY religion NOT “any organization” … which is HOW Trump fucked up, and WHY you’ve been manipulated.

      Now go read the article and learn the truth. And find a more honest source for your information.
      What you were tricked into defending here is that campaign contributions be tax deductible …. but ONLY if made through a church … which is infinitely more corrupt than even the worst of the proggies, but it’s what you were tricked into defending here.
      Now, will you get pissed at me, and shoot the messenger … or pissed at whoever made you look like a fool in public? Which would Jesus choose?

  13. A simple statement that the pastor, priest, rabbi or imam perfers one candidate to another should be protected as part of free speech. However, the more passionate prelates won’t stop there. They will tell their flocks that voting for the other guy is a sin which will lead them straight to the gates of hell because that candidate supports gay rights, abortion or whatever. This kind of partisanship oversteps the line and should not be allowed. The Supreme Court said our laws require one man- one vote. Using coercion to force people to vote your way, violates every tenet of our democracy. And it isn’t good for the churches either. Some of the strongest supporters of the minority president included leaders of Evangelical congregations and those congregations have been losing members since the election.

    1. Of course such speech should be allowed, Chump!!!…That what FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS!!!!

      1. Of course such speech should be allowed, Chump!!!.

        It’s not about free speech, chump.
        READ THE ARTICLE. Slowly this time. And take a deep breath.
        It’s about the tax exemption — for ALL non-profits,, not just churches. So it’s BLATANTLY unconstitutional to grant a special exception for churches only. Equal rights?

    2. It’s about the tax exemption. What part did you not understand?

      The law applies to all non-profits — not just churches — so why should ONLY churches could get a special exemption — under a Constitution which mandates Separation..

      The moral hypocrisy is undeniable … because they they don’t demand an exemption for ALL non-profits.
      Pathetic, self-righteous phonies, many of them hopelessly brainwashed.

      One more time. It has nothing to do with free speech, nothing to do with religion. It’s ENTIRELY the tax exemption. If they want to speak from the pulpit, that would REQUIRE surrendering the tax exemption and the nonprofit status.
      We call it Equal Rights Under The Law.

  14. Something Donald Trump said or did lacks substance? How could you say that? You must be some sort of a progressive dweeb. I suppose you would even criticize his recent speech in which his oratory reached the pinnacle of presidential rhetoric. He said, and I quote, “Blah, blah, b.s., we’re gonna, blah, blah, b.s., b.s. American, blah, blah blah, great again, blah, b.s. blah.” If this famous speech of Trump’s lacks substance, the Gettysburg Address was mere posey.

    1. You saved youyr ass at the end. Stick with satire. You make as ass of yourself with Voluntaryism-but-only-if-you -volunteer-for-my-tribe.

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