So, a news report:
 
The other people connected with the wacko evangelist are not going to support him.  They made shows of prostration.
 
I learned long ago from Louis L'Amour long ago that the holstered gun is much more threatening than the drawn gun.  So I will keep it holstered for now.  Though the evangelist should not be in the park preaching, I won't make an issue of it at this time.  Rather I will wait and see, while I fight some other battles.
 
I read about your Freedom from Religion Foundation and I agree fully with what you are trying to do.  I take exception to all religion, even Buddhism and New Age religion.  But this does not mean that I discount all aspects of any of them.  But it is the Born Again Movement which I find to be the most harmful.  So I want to fight it.  You know about Klan Watch.  I want to start Born Again Watch.
 
The objectives will be:
 
1.  To drive them out of the public square.
 
2.  To educate people against it and dry up their money and participation.
 
3.  To really show people at a deep and personal level what is wrong with it, and instead lead them into informed political participation, and a rejection of the subjectification which is built into Born Again theology.
 
But then there is still an open question which I put to you people here.  What to do about the American tax exemption for religion, and what about the Bush Faith Based Charities law?
 
In practice the tax exemption only means anything for real property taxes.  Should this be eliminated and all property taxed?  You know that church buildings are some of the most under used real estate around.  Should no one be able to hold real property without paying the tax?  Is it better to fight Born Again Christianity by using the tax exemption in some other way, some way they would not approve of.
 
Then the same for the Faith Based Charities law.  Eliminate it, or use it in ways which oppose Born Again Christianity?
 
What is the best strategy for fighting?

Views: 142

Replies to This Discussion

For openers, may I suggest keeping an eye on Right Wing Watch.  Since the extreme right wing of the GOP and the Religious Reich might as well be one and the same thing, it's a good source for current data regarding Born Again activity.

I also recommend Rachel Tabachnick's site, Talk To Action.  This site focuses more on Dominionism, a.k.a. the New Apostolic Reformation, its representatives (Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, among others) and its activities.

Regarding your Points 2 & 3 above, these two websites as educational material do a damned good job.

Yes indeed!  Two very good web sites.

 

Yes, Opus Dei and its founder were supporters of Francisco Franco.

 

Your two web sites have gotten my blood going.

 

BO

A Republican (!) senator from Iowa IS trying to do something about the xian Cash Cow.  Just got this FFRF Action Alert today:

ACT NOW: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Weigh in on financial fraud in churches

March 29, 2012

Dear FFRF'er:

FFRF sent a memo to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, weighing in on 17 issues regarding the financial status of churches in our country. We need your help to drive our message home.

On Nov. 5, 2007, Grassley and the Senate Committee on Finance took the laudable step of investigating the tax-exempt status of six mega-churches. Unfortunately, the churches stonewalled and did not cooperate.

In 2011, Grassley asked the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to facilitate responses from the church community concerning a series of legislative proposals prepared by his staff. ECFA is an accreditation agency formed to promote fiscal integrity and sound financial practices among member organizations. ECFA formed the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations (CAPRO) to answer the 17 legislative proposals. These 17 issues all involve the favored financial status churches and other religious organizations have under U.S. law.

It is not difficult to guess which way the churches will come out on each issue. As such, FFRF feels it is important for Grassley to hear other, secular, viewpoints. While Grassley thinks “legislation should be a last resort,” there is a possibility that these issues and the input he receives could encourage substantive changes in the law that could limit the taxpayer subsidy of religion.

With that goal in mind, we are asking FFRF members to weigh in on these 17 issues. FFRF sent responses to 17 issues directly to Grassley and we ask members do the same. FFRF’s memo to Grassley was crafted over a number of weeks and is 23 pages long. We do not expect all of our members to weigh in on each issue. If you go to our website, you can see each issue and a brief description. There is a link to FFRF’s answer on this webpage, too. 

Grassley has asked for submissions by March 31. It's better to have a late submission than no submission, but please make your submission as soon as possible. 

Talking Points

(To view all 17 issues with FFRF's responses, click here.)

1. Thank Senator Grassley for opening up this discussion and soliciting input.

2. The housing exemption granting preferential treatment to “ministers of the gospel” violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. (Issue #2)

3. Churches should be required to file a Form 990 like other 501(c)(3)s. (Issue #4)

4. There is no need for an advisory committee, made up of clergy, to advise the IRS on tax policy regarding churches. (Issue #1 and Issue #5)

5. “Love offerings” — cash gifts to church leaders — should be presumed to be taxable income. (Issue #7)

6. Both the church and church managers should be penalized for unlawful excess benefit transactions. (Issue #12, issue #13, Issue #14. Issue #15)

7. Compensation study guidelines should be developed for churches to prevent church leaders from favorably comparing their salaries to those of superstars like Britney Spears and Oprah. (Issue #16)

8. IRS Code prohibiting churches from endorsing political candidates and retaining their tax-exempt status should be left intact. Tax exemption is a privilege that comes with certain strings attached, churches must abide by those limitations like everyone else. (Issue #17)

CONTACT

Senator Chuck Grassley
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3744
Fax: (202) 224-6020
Email contact form: http://www.grassley.senate.gov/Copy-of-contact.cfm

Thank you for your help! 

For maximum effectiveness, write as an individual and not as someone responding to this action alert. We are pleased to receive “blind” copies by email at action@ffrf.org.

 

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