Religious liberty
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04-05-2017, 06:48 PM
RE: Religious liberty
I think it's a mixed bag, and even Trump doesn't realize how mixed. The Johnson amendment doesn't just cover churches, it covers all 501( c )(3) organizations. There are more than two million such organizations, with churches and related religious organizations making up less than 7% of them.

The others include all manner of human services, education, research, arts&culture; health care; minority advocacy; social benefit; and other agencies, all of which will be able to practice political advocacy if Johnson is suppressed or repealed. This includes some pretty extensive, well-healed organizations: United Way; Task Force for Global Health; Feeding America; American Cancer Society; Habitat for Humanity; Nature Conservatory -- and a host of others, some of which might well decide to actively advocate for candidates and policies that Trump just might not agree with.

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04-05-2017, 06:52 PM
RE: Religious liberty
I saw that the ACLU said they thought they would have to sue Trump today but he didn't change anything so they don't. I think he's really bored now and just likes to sign things for the sake of having his picture taken.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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04-05-2017, 07:29 PM
RE: Religious liberty
FFRF is suing Trump over this EO.

Quote:The Freedom From Religion Foundation will legally challenge President Trump over his “religious liberty” executive order today. The order and Trump’s repeated statements clearly communicate to churches that they can now endorse political candidates from the pulpit.

FFRF’s lawsuit was filed on May 4 in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin. FFRF and co-plaintiffs FFRF Executive Directors Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor assert that Trump has used this order to usher in a new era of church politicking to the exclusion of secular organizations.

Trump signed the executive order with great fanfare during a National Day of Prayer ceremony in the Rose Garden before a largely clerical audience. Trump said:

"This executive order directs the IRS not to unfairly target churches and religious organizations for political speech. No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors. [Standing ovation.] . . . In America we do not fear people speaking freely from the pulpit, we embrace it.”

Trump also told churches that, with his new order, they would not lose their tax exemption for violating the rule and could say whatever they wanted: “This financial threat against the faith community is over. . . . You’re now in a position where you can say what you want to say.”

Among its several abuses, Trump’s order and statements signal to the Internal Revenue Service that it should not enforce the electioneering restrictions of the tax code against churches and religious organizations, while permitting these restrictions to be enforced against secular nonprofits. FFRF asserts the president has no constitutional authority to selectively veto a legitimate statute that Congress passed and a president signed into law more than 50 years ago.

This part of the law is known as the Johnson Amendment. Under the amendment, all organizations that are recognized as exempt from federal income tax under §501©(3) of the Tax Code are subject to the prohibition against political campaign intervention.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a 501©(3) nonprofit, contends that Trump is violating its equal protection rights and favoring church groups over secular groups, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Trump has directed the IRS to do something for which they both lack any enumerated or implied power: to selectively enforce a legitimate statute based solely on religion.

Even if the precise language of the executive order does not accomplish Trump’s promise to “totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” the impression his administration is actively trying to foster among evangelical Christians is that the IRS will no longer enforce the Johnson Amendment against them.

The state/church separation watchdog sued the IRS in 2014 for its failure to enforce the electioneering restrictions and settled the suit after the IRS agreed to begin implementing these restrictions.

FFRF has public opinion on its side. According to an evangelical polling group, Lifeway Research, whose slogan is “Biblical Solutions for Life,” nearly 80 percent of Americans say it’s inappropriate for pastors to endorse a candidate in church, and 75 percent do not believe it is appropriate for churches to publicly endorse candidates.

As advertised by Trump, the executive order effectively provides preferential treatment to churches and will result in obligations on secular nonprofits, including the plaintiffs, that are not imposed on churches. This could amount to more than $100 million annually in tax-free contributions for politicking pastors.

“Trump is communicating to churches that his administration will not enforce the Johnson Amendment,” says Gaylor. “The IRS needs clear direction that it must enforce the law equally.”

FFRF’s legal complaint enumerates Trump’s many public avowals to repeal the Johnson Amendment restrictions against churches. For instance, Trump promised a closed-door group of hundreds of Christian conservatives in June 2016 that overturning the Johnson Amendment “will be my greatest contribution to Christianity, and other religions. ” At the National Prayer Breakfast in February, Trump vowed to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.”

FFRF is asking the court to declare that Trump has violated the Establishment Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and acted in excess of presidential authority under Article II of the Constitution.

Gaylor notes that the pandering ceremony in the Rose Garden by the White House shows the ongoing harm of the National Day of Prayer, enacted by Congress at the behest of Rev. Billy Graham in 1952. FFRF won a resounding court ruling declaring the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional in 2010, in which the district judge noted: “The same law that prohibits the government from declaring a National Day of Prayer also prohibits it from declaring a National Day of Blasphemy.” The challenge was stalled when a court of appeals ruled against FFRF’s standing (or right to sue), not the merits, in 2011.

“As Judge Barbara Crabb noted in that ruling, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience,” Gaylor observes.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for the separation of church and state and educates on matters relating to nontheism. It has more than 28,000 members, residing in every state of the United States, including more than 1,400 in Wisconsin, as well as members in the District of Columbia.

FFRF is being represented by attorney Richard L. Bolton and FFRF Staff Attorneys Andrew L. Seidel and Sam Grover.

- See more at: https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item...EjQI7.dpuf

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04-05-2017, 07:48 PM
RE: Religious liberty
(04-05-2017 06:52 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I saw that the ACLU said they thought they would have to sue Trump today but he didn't change anything so they don't. I think he's really bored now and just likes to sign things for the sake of having his picture taken.

Let him start signing personal checks to people who need health care. Dodgy

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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04-05-2017, 08:26 PM
RE: Religious liberty
(04-05-2017 01:20 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  So...who is the Satanic Temple formally endorsing, since they can do that now if it's open to all religious institutions?

I kinda like the Satanists.
Just the idea of them demanding to be treated equally with other religions (mostly Christianity) gives me the giggles.
I also like when Christians freak out about a 3 ton statue of Satan going up next to the Ten Commandments on public property.
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04-05-2017, 09:40 PM
RE: Religious liberty
(04-05-2017 08:26 PM)pablo Wrote:  
(04-05-2017 01:20 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  So...who is the Satanic Temple formally endorsing, since they can do that now if it's open to all religious institutions?

I kinda like the Satanists.
Just the idea of them demanding to be treated equally with other religions (mostly Christianity) gives me the giggles.
I also like when Christians freak out about a 3 ton statue of Satan going up next to the Ten Commandments on public property.

They satirize and mock the religious attempts at imposing Christia Law in the name of religious freedom for the few by showing them the logical implications of their ridiculous attempts at legislation vis a vis the Constitution they claim to revere but have never read. And they do it in court, without cracking a smile. I don't understand how the presiding judges keep from laughing their asses off. "Bailiff, clear the court and bring me some vinegar 'cause I'm about to have the hiccups."

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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04-05-2017, 09:55 PM
RE: Religious liberty
The Satanic Church is our best hope, IMO, at getting the goals of Atheists across and actually achieved in the States for reasons mentioned by Girly.
It's fighting fire with fire and it's fucking hilarious.

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05-05-2017, 03:55 PM
RE: Religious liberty
(04-05-2017 07:48 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Let him start signing personal checks to people who need health care. Dodgy

He'll probably want to sexually harass them, first.

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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05-05-2017, 04:14 PM
RE: Religious liberty
(04-05-2017 11:25 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(04-05-2017 11:08 AM)Dom Wrote:  Isn't that order unconstitutional? Separation of church and state?

I'm sure it will be challenged. That's actually what's so frustrating to me the time, money and energy wasted on something that ends up in the dung heep.

As much as I would like to believe this, this time it is different. The GOP has been chipping away at the ability for power to be kept checked for the past 36 years. Now we have a hyper nationalist demagogue in power as a result. The only thing that will stop it is our participation on a daily, constant and every rising basis.

We cannot assume. Assuming is why dems lost the ellection.

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05-05-2017, 04:15 PM
RE: Religious liberty
(04-05-2017 07:48 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Let him start signing personal checks to people who need health care. Dodgy

Fat chance. You know he cut off money to his own nephew?

Then came the unveiling of Fred Sr.’s will, which Donald had helped draft. It divided the bulk of the inheritance, at least $20 million, among his children and their descendants, “other than my son Fred C. Trump Jr.” Freddy’s children sued, claiming that an earlier version of the will had entitled them to their father’s share of the estate, but that Donald and his siblings had used “undue influence” over their grandfather, who had dementia, to cut them out. A week later, Mr. Trump retaliated by withdrawing the medical benefits critical to his nephew’s infant child.

“I was angry because they sued,” he explained during last week’s interview.


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc...ak/501554/
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