An Evangelical Group Wants Congress to Change the Law So That Pastors Can Endorse Political Candidates in Church

Right now, U.S. law prohibits non-profit groups — including churches — from endorsing political candidates:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

However, on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” pastors have openly defied this law by doing the one thing they’re not supposed to do: Tell their congregations who to vote for. (Some pastors have even sent the IRS videos of their sermons).

More than 1,600 pastors participated in the event in 2012 alone, so this isn’t just a fringe group we’re talking about.

(If you’re wondering why the IRS hasn’t taking action, the answer is simple: bureaucracy. A “high-level” employee has to authorize the audits and no one is currently in a position to do that. The IRS isn’t rushing to fill the spot, either.)

In 2011, Senator Chuck Grassley, who sits on the Joint Committee on Taxation, asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to issue a report proposing answers to questions dealing with taxes and religious organizations.

Today, a report was released by the ECFA (which formed the “Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations”) and they’re urging Congress to change the law so that church leaders can endorse candidates from the pulpit:

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Staying in a Georgia State Park? Starting Today, You Can Find Atheist Literature in the Cabins

Back in May, former American Atheists president Ed Buckner visited a state park in Georgia and found a Bible in his rented cabin. That wouldn’t be unusual in a privately-owned hotel… but a state park?!

It’s not that the Bible was “offensive.” It’s just that, on principle, it shouldn’t have been there. It suggested government endorsement of Christianity.

At the time, park officials removed the Bibles from the cabins, but Governor Nathan Deal quickly put them right back in because he (wrongly) believed they were legal:

“These Bibles are donated by outside groups, not paid for by the state, and I do not believe that a Bible in a bedside table drawer constitutes a state establishment of religion,” Deal said. “In fact, any group is free to donate literature.”

O RLY?! Any group can donate literature?!

You can imagine how the staff at American Atheists was salivating when they heard those magic words:

We appreciate the governor’s invitation to place atheist books in the cabins and look forward to providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about atheism when they visit Georgia’s beautiful state parks,” said Managing Director Amanda Knief.

“American Atheists does not believe the State of Georgia should be placing Bibles or atheist books in state park cabins; however, if the state is going to allow such distribution, we will happily provide our materials,” said President David Silverman.

Well, it’s finally happening…

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

No Matter What Atrocities Islamists Commit, the BBC Responds With Blind Spasms of ‘Respect’

“Forced marriages: School holidays prompt warning,” says a current headline on BBC News. The article explains that annually, “more than 5,000 people from the U.K.” are reportedly being forced into arranged marriages:

Teachers, doctors and airport staff need to be alert to the problem of forced marriages over the school holidays, the government has warned. Ministers said there were concerns about teenagers being taken abroad thinking they were going on holiday but being forced into marriage instead. Figures suggest cases are particularly common during the summer break. The government’s Forced Marriage Unit received 400 reports between June and August last year.

The piece is remarkable mostly for what it doesn’t say. The words religion, Muslim, God, and Islam are all missing. Another feat is that the reporter more or less manages to sweep the misogynistic aspect of the arranged-marriage phenomenon under the rug, the BBC’s favorite phraseology for the victims being “teenagers” and the non-descript “people,” rather than “girls” and “young women” (those words aren’t anywhere in the article, either).

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Two Muslim Clerics Say Posting Pictures on Facebook and Twitter is Un-Islamic… If You’re a Woman

This is one of those stories that’s getting passed around on a number of websites, with very little in the way of information or details… so take it with a grain of salt.

As it stands, two Muslim clerics who run phone helplines in India have said it’s not okay for women to post their pictures — veiled or unveiled, I don’t know — on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Due to (Paranoid) Religious Concerns, Christian Family Sails Out of America… and Gets Stranded

Not long ago, Hannah Gastonguay and her husband Sean concluded, for no rational reason, that the government was interfering too much in their religious life.

They didn’t want to pay “taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with”… which doesn’t actually happen, unless you’re deluded enough to think that contraception amounts to infanticide.

They also didn’t believe in “homosexuality… in the state-controlled church,” a statement that makes no sense no matter how you slice it, since homosexuals exist whether you want them to or not, and no church in the country has been forced to welcome them or honor their relationships. Also: state-controlled church? Who knew.

So, a few months ago, the Gastonguays decided to make a break for it. They scooped up their kids, Rahab and Ardith, along with Sean’s father, and they set sail — literally — from San Diego to go to the island of Kiribati:

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X