Should tax-exempt churches be allowed to preach politics?

37_Lyndon_Johnson_3x4In 1954, President Lyndon Baines Johnson pushed through a law that would revoke the tax-exempt status of churches and other non-profit organizations if they get involved with politics.  President Donald Trump wants to get rid of that law.

What do you think?  Granted that an overtly political focus can make a church this-worldly instead of attending to the Kingdom of Heaven.  But shouldn’t churches have the right to teach whatever they please as a matter of religious liberty?  And doesn’t political speech deserve special protection from the Constitution?  But can you foresee problems if the Johnson amendment were to be thrown out (such as churches being used to launder political contributions)?

 

Photo of Lyndon Baines Johnson by Arnold Newman, White House Press Office (WHPO) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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Selling abortions

Abortion is Planned Parenthood’s product.  Like other businesses, Planned Parenthood imposes sales quotas and uses sales techniques to maximize purchase of their product.

The abortion provider, which poses as a center for women’s health, gives its clinics specific quotas for the numbers of abortions they must provide or refer.   And employees learn sales pitches to manipulate women into getting abortions.

This is documented in another video from Live Action:

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Another Dead Sea Scrolls cave discovered 

640px-QumranArcheologists have discovered a 12th cave that once held Dead Sea scrolls, ancient Biblical and other texts dating from 400 B.C. to 100 A.D.

This cave, though, had been looted and contains no scrolls.  (One wonders, where are they?)  But it does preserve some artifacts from the ancient Jews–whether members of the Essene sect or, as some scholars now think, priests– who kept the library.

 

Photo of Cave 4, where 90% of the scrolls were found, by Effi Schweizer – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3089552

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A rite for changing to a new gender?

30108554503_82b923c684_zAt Baptism, among other things, a child is named.  So what about those who later get a new name along with a new gender?  Some LGBT activists in churches are urging the adoption of a new service “akin to baptism” to mark and to formally bless transgender transitions.

Officials of the Church of England have tabled a proposal to that effect.  The General Synod meeting next week will NOT change church teachings about sexuality, it has been announced, and will NOT change the definition of marriage to allow for same-sex weddings.

But transgender re-baptisms, naming ceremonies, or the equivalent, are on the agenda of progressive church activists in many denominations.  They are already happening, as a Google search will show.

How does this show a misunderstanding of Baptism? [Read more…]

A catalog of fake news stories about Trump

2567469865_df9540bb12_zTrump’s opponents seem to have coined the term “fake news” to describe hearsay and rumors that circulated on the internet in support of his campaign.

But now the anti-Trump hysteria has reached such a fever pitch that the mainstream media is churning out fake news about the president and his administration.  Never mind professional standards of objectivity and fact-checking.  Journalists are publishing and broadcasting stories apparently devised solely to fire up “the resistance.”

Daniel Payne at The Federalist has compiled a list of 16 fake news stories about our new president.  As he shows in his discussion, these are not stories whose facts are in dispute.  Each of these has been found false by the newspapers or broadcasters that published them.  They put up corrections, which, of course, receive little attention as the false reports continue to spread on Twitter and FaceBook.

This is not a comprehensive list.  What other fake news stories are not included here? [Read more…]

Betsy DeVos wins confirmation, barely

Betsy_DeVos_2005_cropThe Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, after an intense Democratic effort to stop her.  With two Republicans voting against her, the final vote was tied, meaning that Vice President Pence, exercising his prerogative as president of the Senate, cast the deciding vote in her favor.

DeVos is an educational reform activist and a champion for school choice and vouchers for private education (including Christian schools and homeschools). Democrats, with their big constituency of teachers’ unions, condemned her lack of experience with public education.

Photo of Betsy DeVos by Keith A. Almli (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Betsy_Devos.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons