Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other churches

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, May 4, 2017.

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  1. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Seems this Church found the limits of what is acceptable behavior for a church, ...or, they just didn’t have very good lawyers to set up their contracts, waivers and NDAs.

    http://www.newschannel5.com/news/ne...aint-filed-to-close-sex-clup-posing-as-church

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Metropolitan Government has filed a complaint seeking an injunction to permanently close a controversial swingers club in Madison.
    The filing made Thursday in General Sessions court, states that a permit had been issued to operate a church at 520 Lentz Ave in Madison, but instead the owners have been operating a sex club.
    The complaint states that Freedom 4 All, Inc. is "maintaining a public nuisance by permitting acts of lewd conduct" and is in violation of city ordinances and state law which prohibit operation of the club within 1,000 feet of a school
    In March, two inspectors from the city's Codes department paid $40 each to enter the club where they witnessed numerous sex acts being performed inside.
    Click here to see the lawsuit and surveillance report (WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE)

    (snipped)
     
  2. WhatWall

    WhatWall Silver Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Interesting topic. I don't see anything wrong with politics being discussed in a church. I do see something wrong with gov't officials promoting a religion or legislating to favor a religion.

    [STRIKE]It seems a contradiction to allow corporate entities to hire lobbyists to influence lawmakers but to ban political activities in religious entities.[/STRIKE] ETA: Not a good analogy because religious groups do lobby Congress and do donate to PACs. A better argument is that churches, like corporations, will seek ways to circumvent laws that inhibit their influence on the political process so such laws are useless anyway. Let the churches participate in political campaigns -- They do anyway.

    This book, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, by Frank Lambert might shed some light on the subject.
    (emphasis mine)

    The IRS's authority to grant tax exemption to churches and to de facto authenticate religion is problematic. This authority provides leverage for the gov't to influence churches, as evidenced by the gov't ban on political activity by churches granted the exemption.

    On the other hand, why should religions be tax exempt at all? Let them and their parishioners suffer with the rest of us. Having to pay taxes would certainly spur political activities in churches (if allowed by the gov't).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  3. Enthetan

    Enthetan Mutant

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    I have no problems with politics being discussed in church. Morality is central to religion, and discussing which politicians are most in alignment with the church's moral philosophy would be appropriate.
     
  4. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur


    If the government could be trusted to apply their stated criteria for what is and is not acceptable the system might be able to work. It may or may not be the right thing to prohibit political activity but the way things are now, the government, and especially the IRS have demonstrated that they are wholly incapable of resisting the inclination to selectively enforce laws based on the ideology of whoever is in power at the moment. I think Trump recognizes that the cat is out of the bag where political activity by non-profits is concerned and he is just trying to level the playing field.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
     
  5. WhatWall

    WhatWall Silver Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Yeah, trusting the gov't to regulate almost anything is like saying "Governments are in no way subject to the corruption of power-hungry sociopaths, narcissists, etc." The primary purpose of the Constitution is to limit the federal gov't to a few well-defined functions. It hasn't withstood the aforementioned corruption because no written words are capable of doing that. Humankind hasn't yet learned how to deal with the sociopath. In every era they enlist the support of those governed by cloaking themselves in righteous causes that disguise their actual intentions.

    Whether fool or savior, Trump has obviously upset the prevailing sociopathic order.
     
  6. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    In a free society a free people would be able to do whatever they politically pleased with their community churches.

    Can you imagine the audacity of a government to legislate and regulate that.?
     
  7. AngeloV

    AngeloV Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    The Johnson Amendment does not prohibit political activity by churches and faith leaders. It prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including both houses of worship and non-profit organizations, from directly or indirectly endorsing or opposing political candidates.

    Priests, ministers and rabbis can (and do) talk about political issues all they want - abortion, right to die, gun control, poverty, health care, etc.
    It would be foolish to endorse a specific candidate because people of both political persuasions go to church and they risk losing members of their congregations.

    If a scientologist were running for congress, I would not want David Miscaviage to use his tax-exempt billions of dollars to back that candidate or any other that is sympathetic to the cult.
     
  8. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Wouldn't that be connected to buying votes through tax exemption to groups who claim they operate as a religion and thus are assumed, sometimes incorrectly, charitable?
     
  9. Enthetan

    Enthetan Mutant

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Talking about political issues would impact individual members of the congregation. If you preach in favor of gun control and gay marriage, you are going to lose some people. If you peach that abortion is a sin, you are going to lose other people. You don't have to spell out which candidate you support, if the people know where you stand.

    Some preachers stay bland, because they don't want to lose contributors, others get specific in their preaching because they would rather lose congregants who are not in alignment with the moral view that they want to instill.
     
  10. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Such as in Scientology Liberation Theology based on the teachings of Malcolm Xenu?
     
  11. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    IDK, how was it before LBJ?

    My guess is that it was fine.
     
  12. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    GOP bill would ease enforcement of political activity by Church of Scientology and other churches.

    The Hill: GOP bill would ease enforcement of political activity by churches

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/3...enforcement-of-political-activity-by-churches

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    GOP bill would ease enforcement of political activity by churches

    BY MAX GREENWOOD - 06/30/17 03:11 PM EDT

    House Republicans added a provision to a spending bill that would bar funds for the IRS to enforce the law prohibiting churches and other nonprofits from endorsing political candidates.

    The House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved the spending measure, which funds the Treasury Department, Judiciary and other agencies, on Thursday.

    "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Internal Revenue Service to make a determination that a church, an integrated auxiliary of a church, or a convention or association of churches is not exempt from taxation for participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office unless," the provision reads.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  13. ethercat

    ethercat Cat in flight

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Unless... unless what?

    https://appropriations.house.gov/up...ces-financialservicesandgeneralgovernment.pdf
     
  14. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    So now we get to pay for Islam to lobby to convert our legal system into Sharia law where we will be taxed by the caliphate for not believing in the Qur'an.

    From John Paul's Freedom under Seige;

    *****

    We have a massive government, passing out wealth stolen from one group and giving it to another. Those with clout in Washington do well, while those who do not understand the lobbying system and seek only their individual freedom are left out.

    Today it is mind-boggling that extensive emergency powers are available to the President. Literal dictatorial control of the country is available to an aggressive president faced with a contrived or real crisis. The executive orders, which have the force of law, are issued on a routine basis. Secret agreements and commitments by our presidents
    are routine and no longer considered unconstitutional. The usual thing is that Congress almost always accepts the secret and dangerous agreements as if they were law.

    ""Throughout the twentieth century, the trend has been away from limited government and toward big government's intervening in every aspect of our lives. It has been financed with borrowed money and a fraudulent paper money system. We have come a long way from the Republic envisioned by the Founders. Today, by majority vote, government can easily cancel out the earnings or rights of individuals without any debate as to constitutionality. The only debate is between the competing special interests, deciding who will benefit and who will suffer. We are witnessing the end stage of the Republic as we drift closer and closer to pure dictatorship. Dictatorship of the majority is every bit as oppressive as the dictatorship of the few. It is also more difficult to attack, since so many accept the notion that the majority has the authority to redefine rights.

    ....Madison warned us.......
    ****


    https://constitutioncenter.org/inte...-not-by-amending-it-by-david-a-stra/interp/22

    http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.ed...csubc&key=Constitutional law -- United States
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  15. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    THANK YOU

    ".... unless. 5 (1) the Commissioner of Internal Revenue consents to such determination; 7 (2) not later than 30 days after such determination, the Commissioner notifies the Committee 9 on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives 10 and the Committee on Finance of the Senate of such 11 determination; and 12 (3) such determination is effective with respect 13 to the church, integrated auxiliary of a church, or 14 convention or association of churches not earlier 15 than 90 days after the date of the notification under 16 paragraph (2). ....."
     
  16. Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur



    We all know he did this for his happy-clappy fanbase, but we also know Scientology is going to TOTALLY take advantage of it :nervous:
     
  17. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Mike Rinder shares my concerns about the proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which would allow the Church of Scientology to endorse political candidates while retaining tax-exempt status.

    Referenced Washington Post editorial omitted.

    Mike Rinder: Danger Lurks in Tax Bill

    https://www.mikerindersblog.org/danger-lurks-in-tax-bill/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    This is an editorial in the Washington Post.

    Whether you are liberal or conservative — this should be of concern to you. If you are a Republican and supporter of President Trump, set aside your distaste of the liberal media and absorb the information contained within this editorial. It is important. It is not fake news.

    From a purely tunnel-vision perspective, I do not want scientology gaining the ability to influence and buy politicians like they can buy lawyers and private investigators. The possibility of removing existing restrictions on politicking by religious organizations makes it even more imperative for the IRS to withdraw scientology’s exempt status.

    But on a broader view, as a citizen, I find the idea of hidden political contributions to be disturbing and wrong. It’s a scary concept that someone could donate tax deductible money to a religious institution and because of non-existent reporting requirements for religious institutions it is untraceable. We already have massive political contributions and lobbying influencing public policy. Let’s not make it worse by making it even more opaque and rewarding political contributions with subsidies by giving them the benefit of tax deductability.

    And if you don’t agree with my views, remember the US Constitution and the idea that this country was founded on a principle of separation of church and state. That alone should preclude this from even being considered.

    Contact your representative and tell them you do not want this rollback of the Johnson Amendment provision to be part of any tax bill — whether you agree or disagree with other elements of it.


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  18. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    I don’t claim to understand all the details of this issue so correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t this be a “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” kind of thing?

    If unions and other tax exempt organizations get to influence politics and politicians then shouldn’t churches? So OK, maybe the rules say those other organizations can’t do that but can anyone really say they don’t? Lois Lerner targeted the Tea Party movement probably for a number of reasons but from where I’m sitting it looks like it was because they were against nationalized health care and specifically the individual mandate or tax/penalty in Obamacare. And who gets this new huge authority to enforce the mandate? Lois Lerner and her ilk. The Tea Party’s fundamental principle was in opposition to the Bureaucratic State and supported a reversion back to representative government.

    If Soros can do what he can do through all these groups then why can’t the Koch Brothers? That is kind of where we are now isn’t it? If your vote and your voice have little impact on politicians but you can get things accomplished through tax exempt groups then they and their money become the new freedom of speech and people feel compelled to join a group to get what they want. So then you have pro-bureaucratic state groups opposing the ability of anti-bureaucratic state groups from being politically influential while trying to preserve their own ability to be politically influential and to receive differential treatment by agencies like the IRS.

    It looks like somebody, probably Johnson, did the math and figured out that churches would mostly vote Republican or against expansion of government power and so it made sense to limit their influence on politics as a group, at least more than other groups, and the separation of church and state idea could be used as cover. I don’t like the idea of Scientology being able to influence politicians and the idea that this sets up a quid pro quo relationship is extremely valid with all these groups but isn’t the basic problem that Scientology was granted tax exempt status in the first place, and in spite of violations against the rules and their specific agreement they continue to enjoy tax exempt status? They wouldn’t be the only ones. What would happen if the rules were uniformly and strictly applied across the boards? Half of these groups would probably lose their status but instead we get Lois Lerner and discrimination against groups that oppose the bureaucratic state. That makes this more about the ideology behind the IRS’s behavior and whether the rules themselves are sophisticated enough to weed out malevolent groups.
     
  19. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Good article on proposed repeal of Johnson Amendment which, although focus is on evangelical churches, would also allow Church of Scientology to endorse political candidates and retain tax-exempt status.

    New York Times: In Tax Debate, Gift to Religious Right Could Be Bargaining Chip

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/26/us/politics/johnson-amendment-churches-taxes-politics.html

    By KENNETH P. VOGEL and LAURIE GOODSTEIN

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    WASHINGTON — For years, a coalition of well-funded groups on the religious right have waged an uphill battle to repeal a 1954 law that bans churches and other nonprofit groups from engaging in political activity.

    Now, those groups are edging toward a once-improbable victory as Republican lawmakers, with the enthusiastic backing of President Trump, prepare to rewrite large swaths of the United States tax code as part of the $1.5 trillion tax package moving through Congress.

    Among the changes in the tax bill that passed the House this month is a provision to roll back the 1954 ban, a move that is championed by the religious right, but opposed by thousands of religious and nonprofit leaders, who warn that it could blur the line between charity and politics.

    The change could turn churches into a well-funded political force, with donors diverting as much as $1.7 billion each year from traditional political committees to churches and other nonprofit groups that could legally engage in partisan politics for the first time, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  20. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    In a potential win for Scientology, House tax bill favors more political freedom for churches.

    Tampa Bay Times: In a potential win for Scientology, House tax bill favors more political freedom for churches

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/scient...more-political-freedom-for-churches_163283652

    By Tracey McManus

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    CLEARWATER —It was the evangelical Christian right that cheered President Donald Trump’s early promise to revoke the law that forbids churches, with their tax-exempt status, from endorsing political candidates.

    Now that Republican lawmakers tucked a provision softening the Johnson Amendment into the House tax reform bill, the impact could be broader than the Trump supporters envisioned, giving aid to the Church of Scientology, with its history of seeking legitimacy through proximity to politicians.
    While the House version of the tax overhaul includes wording allowing religious leaders and non-profits to back candidates without losing their tax-exempt status, the Senate version doesn’t mention it. Both chambers now will have to reconcile the versions so a final bill can go for a vote.

    If the change to the Johnson Amendment makes the cut, the Church of Scientology could use it to find political allies against the intense, ongoing scrutiny blanketing the organization. The church is facing calls for the IRS to investigate allegations it exploits members financially to enrich its leader David Miscavige, petitions for the FBI to re-investigate allegations of human trafficking, and the viral success of the Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath series, which has detailed alleged abuses and fraud to millions of viewers.

    "They will not use this so much to forward a social agenda, they will spend money to buy influence to protect themselves from ‘attacks,’ which by their definition, is anything that exposes their abuses," said Mike Rinder, who spent 25 years as a senior Scientology executive before defecting in 2007 and is now a consulting producer on the Remini series.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     

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