Archive for October, 2010

October 2, 2010

Are You Going with Me?

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October 2, 2010

Kitty Massage

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October 2, 2010

Kitty Takes a Shower

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October 1, 2010

IRS Complaint Filed Against Okla. Church Over Pulpit Politics

First page of Constitution of the United States

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I read the following article about a complaint filed with the IRS  by Americans United for the Separation of Church and Statehttp://www.christianpost.com/article/20100929/irs-complaint-filed-against-okla-church-over-pulpit-politics/.  Excerpt from the article: “After hearing about Blair’s sermon, Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, urged the IRS to investigate the pastor and his church and to apply the IRS law.”

It seems there are those who think that because this Pastor was speaking about a political candidate from the pulpit, he must lose his tax exempt status.  The rationale is that you can’t mix politics and religion.

Why Not?

Does a pastor give up his first amendment rights because he speaks in a church?

Does the first amendment stop at the church’s doorstep?

Some would say, that it’s because of the “separation of church and state” clause that political speech doesn’t belong in church. I say, where would we be if  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had not been able to talk politics from the pulpit? Does the first amendment actually say the words “separation of church and state”?

Let’s see.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, states as follows:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. The Free Exercise Clause reads,  (“… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”), these two clauses make up what are commonly called the “religion clauses” of the First Amendment.  (For more detailed information, read the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Free_exercise_of_religion)

The way I read this, it seems obvious the intent here is to keep the government from establishing an official state religion and keeping the government from limiting private citizen’s freedom to worship as they please (“the free exercise thereof”.  I interpret that as promoting freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

 The  expression, “wall of separation between church and state,” is not actually in the U.S. Constitution, but was written in a letter to the Danbury Baptist’s Association in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson. With all due respect to Thomas Jefferson and as weighty as his  words in a letter may be, they do not carry the weight of law.