WTW: Religion Haters At It Again

Morning, y’all, Jebediah Murphy here with a bit of that truth stuff. Not that 9/11 Twoof, mind you. And the religion haters are at it again

 A group that opposes interaction between religion and government Tuesday accused Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. of violating federal tax law by using the school’s resources to endorse Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. The group also asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate.

In a complaint filed with the IRS, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU) noted that Falwell hosted the former Arkansas governor at a university event last Wednesday in Lynchburg, Va., and later sent out an e-mail message on school letterhead endorsing Huckabee. (snip)

“Falwell surely knows that these types of political endorsements are illegal,” remarked the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “Tax-exempt religious institutions may not be used to support or oppose candidates for public office.

“Pastors and heads of 501(c)(3) non-profit groups are free to endorse candidates as private individuals, but the Internal Revenue Code does not allow them to use institutional resources, such as official publications, Web sites and other forms of communication, to back or oppose candidates,” Lynn added.

In fact, the university did not back Huckabee: Falwell did. And the code stil allows people to have letters in 501(c)(3) newsletters which state that one particular individual backs a candidate. To disallow that would violate the 1st Amendment about political speech. But, the AU cares not. What they care about is denying religion in the USA, pure and simple.

People can yammer on about the separation of church and state, but, it does not appear in the constitution. A letter written by President Jefferson to some northeastern Baptists does not constitute law, particularly not constitutional. Nor does SCOTUS decisions. Remember, at one time the Supreme Court ruled that Blacks were chattel. Didn’t make it right, did it?

In fact, the Constitution is very specific: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;. What it means is that Congress could not pass a law stating that, say, the Episcopal Church is the official church of the USA. This was inserted in response to the way the Church of England was involved in government during that time period and the time prior, which was the reason so many people came to the New World. It means that Congress cannot officially endorse one brand of religion over another.

But, it does not mean that a private citizen, even one of Falwell’s stature at the university, cannot personally endorse a candidate. The AU does not care. The mere fact of religion in government sends them in to apoplexy. If they could require ever government employee to repudiate God, they would be happy.

Funny how the AU never complains when a Democrat candidate visits a church and is endorsed by some sort of religious leader, such as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, eh?

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One Response to “WTW: Religion Haters At It Again”

  1. Well said! The courts started to squeeze religious values, references, and rights from the public square in 1947 in the Everson decision. In it, they quoted Jefferson’s metaphor “separation of church and state” but did not rely on the actual text of the First Amendment. Subsequent courts have built on that questionable precedent. These days, no doubt Jefferson’s own actions would not pass muster, and the court would disallow them based on Jefferson’s own metaphor! I wonder how quickly today’s courts would shout “separation of church and state” if the head of a public school system specified that the Holy Bible and the Watts Hymnal be used as the primary reading sources for the kids in school. That is what Jefferson did as president of the Washington, D.C. schools. Jefferson was very wary of a judiciary that would become too powerful and gradually take away more and more of our rights. It’s easy to imagine how he would react if his right to endorse a condidate were declared invalid by a court.

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