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Author: AdrianC Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 195901  
Subject: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/15/2012 12:52 PM
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A Record-Setting 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law, Yet Fail To Provoke IRS
Election-year Pulpit Freedom Sunday contrasts with view of most Protestant pastors, per LifeWay research.


http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2012/1...

More than 1,500 pastors explicitly broke the law last Sunday by endorsing political candidates from the pulpit. Amid a tense election year, their participation in the annual protest "could hold more sway than in previous years," CNN reports.

....

But the event could foster tension among the majority of Protestant pastors who believe pastors should not foray into political endorsements. New research from LifeWay indicates that "only 10 percent (of Protestant pastors) believe pastors should endorse candidates from the pulpit."
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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183596 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/15/2012 2:06 PM
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The IRS probably won't touch them.

The LDS was blatant in their work regarding Prop 8 in California. Blatant. There was actually a drive to get people to complain to the IRS (i.e. file formal complaints). The people behind that drive provided all the needed information to file. Thousands did. Maybe tens of thousands. And nothing happened.

They almost certainly won't go after the pastors either. Especially when the documentary evidence isn't nearly as solid as what we had on the LDS a few years ago, and Protestantism is not regarded as cultish like Mormonism.

It's a joke. Those pastors can say anything they want, and they know it.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183717 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 12:39 PM
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Adrian,

From your quote: More than 1,500 pastors explicitly broke the law last Sunday by endorsing political candidates from the pulpit. Amid a tense election year, their participation in the annual protest "could hold more sway than in previous years," CNN reports.

Actually, it is legal for the pastor to endorse a candidate. The pastor has a constitutional right to free speech. The church may lose its exemption from federal (and state and local) taxes for allowing use of its pulpit as a political forum during services, but that is a separate issue.

Having said that, I don't see any difference in this regard between a pastor who endorses a particular political candidate and a pastor who invites a particular political candidate to deliver a political speech from the pulpit during a service.

Of course, this is without prejudice to a pastor's right, and duty, to articulate his church's positions on moral issues that might be relevant to issues in a political campaign.

But at the end of the day, there are congregations on both ends of the political spectrum in which pastors voice their support of political candidates during services. I suspect that a crackdown by the Internal Revenue Service would hit both sides about equally.

Norm.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183718 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 12:47 PM
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I suspect that a crackdown by the Internal Revenue Service would hit both sides about equally.

Fine with me. Neither "side" should be represented from the pulpit. I think it's wrong for any pastor to speak politics from the pulpit, or to invite others to do so. They should lose their tax status if they do.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183719 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 12:51 PM
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1poorguy,

The LDS was blatant in their work regarding Prop 8 in California. Blatant.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has extensive legal resources. Their lawyers undoubtedly were quite vigilant to ensure that they do not cross the line.

Here's the thing: it is illegal for the church to spend church funds on a political campaign, but there is nothing whatsoever that prevents the pastors of a church from organizing a political action committee (PAC) to take on an issue. AFAIK, there is also nothing that prevents a church from renting meeting space to a PAC or some other political group. Note that rental of meeting space by a church constitutes "non-exempt activity of an exempt organization" so that all income from such rentals, net of associated expenses, is subject to taxation.

But the other reality is that Democrats are living in a glass house on this issue. There are many inner city churches, particularly those that are predominantly black, in which the pastors routinely endorse Democrat candidates and invite Democrat candidates to deliver campaign speeches to their congregations at Sunday services.

Norm.

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Author: MacNugget Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183720 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 12:58 PM
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There are many inner city churches, particularly those that are predominantly black, in which the pastors routinely endorse Democrat candidates...

Quite an odd and unrelated detail to include in your assertion.

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183722 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 1:35 PM
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There are many inner city churches, particularly those that are predominantly black, in which the pastors routinely invite Democrat candidates to deliver campaign speeches to their congregations at Sunday services.



There is nothing illegal about allowing candidates of either party to speak in church.

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Author: JavaRunner Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183725 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 4:12 PM
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Quite an odd and unrelated detail to include in your assertion.

=======================================================================


Not for Norm.

Charlie

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Author: JavaRunner Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183726 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 4:23 PM
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has extensive legal resources. Their lawyers undoubtedly were quite vigilant to ensure that they do not cross the line.

=====================================================================

The lawyers did a piss poor job then. Letters from the church's president were read in each congregation, asking for money and volunteers to work against Prop. 8. Local church leaders set organizational and monetary goals for their membership—sometimes quite specific—to fulfill this call.

My former roommates(Mormons) told me about their Sunday services leading up to Prop. 8 about the politicking going on during sermons.

It is one thing to preach what you believe from a Bibilical standpoint, it is another to use church time and resources to be a political body. The Catholic Church does it too, as do those "inner city" churches you seem to be concerned about Norm. Keep politics out of religion, and keep religion out of politics. I say strip non profit status from those who are political.

Charlie

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Author: RayKinsella Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183731 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/18/2012 6:05 PM
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If my pastor ever told me who to vote for, even if I agreed with him, I'd leave in the middle of the service.
I'd just pack up my family and we'd leave.
Ray

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183740 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/19/2012 2:18 PM
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Charlie,

The Catholic Church does it too...

Catholic clergy have very clear instructions as to what not to say from the pulpit. OTOH, they have a clear right to articulate moral doctrine and to distinguish between moral doctrine of Natural Law and theological doctrine, the former, but not the latter, being a proper consideration for action in the political realm, including voting. I can't say that none have ever crossed the line, but I have heard more than a few be very careful as to what they say and how they say it so as to articulate moral doctrine clearly without endorsing any candidate.

Keep politics out of religion, and keep religion out of politics.

I agree.

But morality is NOT part of religion. I want our government and our elected officials to act in a manner that is moral, but not to impose their religious beliefs on anybody.

Backing up a step, the bigger problem here is that our schools do not teach philosophy -- which should be a major subject area alongside English, history and geography, mathematics, and the sciences. A proper curriculum in philosophy would include subjects such as logic, epistemology, metaphysics, morality and political philosophy, and aesthetics, and would examine classical and modern thinking of both eastern cultures and western civilization.

Norm.

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Author: bdhinton Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183743 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/19/2012 2:49 PM
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But morality is NOT part of religion.

??

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183747 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/19/2012 5:09 PM
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??

Yeah, I picked up on that too. That's clearly how he can justify advocacy against homosexuality, or abortion, or contraception, or <whatever> from the pulpit. So they wouldn't be in violation of the tax exempt rules, would they!

A nice little dodge.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183777 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/23/2012 2:39 AM
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Bryan,

Me: But morality is NOT part of religion.

You: ??

Yes, I meant what I said. There is an absolute moral standard that is knowable from the order of the universe by reason alone, called Natural Law (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-ethics for more information). BTW, note that this link goes to the web site of a major university that has no affilation with any religion.

A belief that some deity created our universe obviously carries the logical implication that such a creator is the giver of that which is inherent in nature, and thus that Natural Law is the will of such a deity, and thus that any other sources of religious revelation cannot contradict (but need not affirm the whole of) Natural Law. Of course, such a deity need not be the God of Judeo-Christian faith. Nonetheless, Natural Law stands in its own right even if one does not have such belief.

The magisterium of the Catholic Church has always distinguished between moral doctrine (Natural Law) and theological doctrine that depends upon divine revelation, though it's certainly possible that many of the more clueless people in the pews -- and even some of the more clueless pastors, and we do have too many of them -- are aware of that distinction. This distinction is even manifest in the traditional depictions of the twin tablets of the decalogue in Christian art, with the commandments pertaining to exercise of religion on the left tablet and the commandments pertaining to morality on the right tablet. Unfortunately, the Protestant "reformers" adopted the dogma of sola scriptura and thus rejected Natural Law, preferring instead to teach moral principles from scriptural passages that affirm them -- an unfortunate development that led to much confusion in the minds of many.

Norm.

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Author: Wradical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183782 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/23/2012 10:27 AM
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(According to Norm:)This distinction [morality vs. religion] is even manifest in the traditional depictions of the twin tablets of the decalogue in Christian art, with the commandments pertaining to exercise of religion on the left tablet and the commandments pertaining to morality on the right tablet.
=================================
Odd. When I was in Catholic school, we were taught that the first tablet contained the Commandments that spelled out our obligations to God, and the second, our obligations to our fellow men.

Bill

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183783 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/23/2012 11:42 AM
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There is an absolute moral standard that is knowable from the order of the universe by reason alone, called Natural Law

No, there's not. You can keep saying that until doomsday, it doesn't make it so. And quoting Plato doesn't reinforce your case, anymore than quoting Aristotle for physics helps you (i.e. it doesn't).

Also, that this appears in coursework at a major university is hardly surprising. Plato is part of the history of philosophy. But that doesn't mean he was correct, any more than scientists were correct about the "aether" which allowed light to travel. We learn about it, but mostly as a lead-in to Michelson/Morley who proved it was wrong.

"Natural Law Theory" is complete rubbish.

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Author: NigelGlitter Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183785 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/23/2012 1:22 PM
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No, there's not. You can keep saying that until doomsday, it doesn't make it so. And quoting Plato doesn't reinforce your case, anymore than quoting Aristotle for physics helps you (i.e. it doesn't).

My jackhammer broke trying to get that point across. Until Norm buys me a new one, I'm not responding.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183786 of 195901
Subject: Re: 1,500 Pastors Deliberately Break Law Date: 10/23/2012 2:04 PM
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I realize nothing will get through that neutronium shell Norm has around himself, but some hapless person might stumble across this "natural law" stuff of his and take it seriously. My post was more for that person.

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