Churches Ignore Separation of Church And State

Churches Ignore Separation of Church And State

More than 1,000 religious leaders across the nation have decided to take a wrecking ball to the wall separating church and state. The Conservative group “Alliance Defending Freedom” has scheduled what they are calling “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” for October 7th, when church leaders across America will devote their sermons to the election and campaign on behalf of a political candidate.

According to I.R.S. law, churches enjoy tax-exempt status so long as they don’t participate in political campaigns on behalf or against any particular candidate. Those church leaders also plan to send video of their political sermons to the I.R.S., in hopes of triggering a legal case that could strike down laws against their tax-exempt political activity.

Let’s face it, today, many churches have been turned into very lucrative businesses. And those businesses haven’t shied away from using their wealth to aid numerous far-right political causes. If churches want to operate like a business, then it’s time they get taxed like a business as well.

Comments

clarlynn 2 years 12 weeks ago
#1

Totally agree. I also believe that the donations given to churchs should not be allowed as a charitable tax deduction when first of all, so very little of that money actually goes to charity, but even more so, if churchs use their money in politics. The U.S. tax code already does not allow political donations as a charitable deduction for individuals, why should the church be different? I totally agree churchs should be taxed like a business. See the 2 billion dollar City Creek Mall in Salt lake City, Utah as an example. (yes, $2 Billion, with a B) This should not be allowed. What's next? The way to end such a thing is to not allow church donations as a charitable tax deduction. Would Mitt Romney give $3 million to his church if he couldn't deduct it from his income taxes?

Global's picture
Global 2 years 12 weeks ago
#2

Why is it that liberals like Thom are constantly whining about not taxing people enough. It is a never ending battle to find ways to steal other people's money so they can feed this beast called government. Tame the beast and let people be free to take care of each other.

pjgea's picture
pjgea 2 years 12 weeks ago
#3

This has nothing to do with stealing. Our economy is only healthy when people have money to spend. Rich people take more and more money out of their businesses and stash it when taxes are low as they are now. When taxes are high (above 50%) people use money in their businesses to grow the business, their employees have more to spend and we all do better. Why oh why are people so willing to vote against their own best interest?

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 2 years 12 weeks ago
#4

Churches and religious organizations should have never been tax-exempt - not in this country.

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 2 years 12 weeks ago
#5

IT is a failure of our govenment to enforce the laws of the land. Who knows what was./is in "the Patriot Act" that seems to ahve overturned our constitution?

The government does/has not enforced Lily Ledbetter either nor protected women and abortion clinics from the frothing mobs intent on putting us uppity women back "in our places".

Media has failed us as well.

Law is a cherry-picking free-for-all right now and it's breeding chaos.

The relgion we have today ahs nothing to do with the soul. It is the very embodiment of totalitarinaism, IMO

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 2 years 12 weeks ago
#6

time to tax the churches!!! booya!!! imagine if its bad now! what will it be like when the real religious wars begin. Welcome to the new American power struggle. kind of reminds of some 900 years ago, or maybe, just maybe of what goes on just on the other side of the globe today. 'tis odd inded, odd indeed...

juliejerryclark's picture
juliejerryclark 2 years 12 weeks ago
#7

This article or point isn't about taxes....it's about the separation of church and state.....if churches want to avoid taxes, then they can't engage in political activities. It's pretty straightforward. Most churches today are very big business.....not just religious organizations.

jwhitmill's picture
jwhitmill 2 years 12 weeks ago
#8

Permit me to add a dissenting vote. This solution is a "baby with the bathwater" scenario. I agree that churches which engage in political activity on behalf of given candidates should lose their exemptions. I think the separation of church and state is important for both entities.

But I'm an employee of a church which does not participate in candidate support, nor will it. Were all churches to lose their exemptions, thousands of workers would lose their jobs - people who work long hours for mostly low wages ministering both to our members and our surrounding communities. At our best, we are a functioning part of the Commons. If someone needs food or gas, directions, help with a bill, money for transportation, etc., we don't stop and ask them what they believe or don't believe; we give them what they need. That's what we're about.

The loudmouthed rightwing church the media portrays is a cruel parody of Christianity; it's rightly condemned in this forum. But please don't make the mistake of thinking that's what all churches are about. Most of the churches I've served have eschewed politics and worked to take care of people who are hurting and in need.

Gregory Wonderwheel's picture
Gregory Wonderwheel 2 years 12 weeks ago
#9

Here's a related story from the fascist Christian organization "American Family News Network."

http://onenewsnow.com//politics-govt/2012/09/24/calling-on-christians-to-leave-democratic-party

Calling on Christians to leave Democratic Party

"A prominent black pastor, upset over the direction the Democrat Party has taken, is asking Christians to change political affiliations."

These people have no pretense at all to respecting the seperation of church and state.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 2 years 12 weeks ago
#10

the other night i was going to watch some good old star trek but found myself surfing and stumbled on to a movie from like 1988. i found the timing of the airing to be odd as the once united now devided states becomes ever more devicive. a truly tragic story set in Mississippi 1964 about activisim in the south. THe sheer horror of the way people treated one another, the fear mongering and bullying and inevitiably murder. The FBI "did" finally fiind the bodies and convicted, "lightly", the killers but in looking at it? 1964? today? what happened in between such that we returning to 1964? Just food for thought folks. Let religion, or a singular special interest (its bad enough that its a corpratocracy) infiltrate the government? Bet your bottom dollar times wil get a whole lot worse before they get better!

rruppena's picture
rruppena 2 years 12 weeks ago
#11

Let religion infiltrate government? Things will get much worse then----take a look at history!!!

Gator Girl 2 years 12 weeks ago
#12

This is blatant disregard for the law as it pertains to separation of church and state and any church which participates in this should have their tax exempt status withdrawn by the I.R.S. But I highly doubt that any one church let alone the whole lot will have that done because they have too much clout in out governmenet.

If the people who work in these churches do not want to lose their jobs because the church is breaking the law then they should, as a congregation, call those leading this to back it down or lose their parisioners. If not, well it is your choice.

We, as taxpayers, are picking up the slack for what churches do not pay. It used to be that the church was where the poor went for help but today all the churches are interested in is collecting their regular collections plates and having their congregations have more kids to keep the paying numbers up - especially the Catholics. Germany has started withholding the sacraments from anyone who does not pay their expected amount - threats work so well.

Our country was established to get away from the Church of England and the forces within and tax exemptions should never have been allowed for donations to any church. I know many churches that use the funds to enrich their pastors with a lavish lifestyle, big cars and homes, trips while their parisioners are being foreclosed on and many are sleeping in shelters, etc. Total hypocricisy.

If anyone knows of any church that uses that day to politic, use your cell phone to record it and notify the I.R.S. requesting that that church's tax exempt status be withdrawn. Any citizen can make that request. Of course, there is no guarantee that it will be done but if enough people were to do this the I.R.S. would have to take action. Unfortunately, most churches do not think they should have to be responsible for any charity for the people - oh, yes for their "missions" in other countries that mostly do not even exist. Plus, keep the hell out of other countries businesses and trying to tell them how to live their lives and convert them. How they live is none of your business. Religions have been doing that in this country since the first to land on the shores - the poor Indians.

LeeWenzel's picture
LeeWenzel 2 years 12 weeks ago
#13

Marriage was a Christian sacrament long before the U.S. constitution. If we are going to have a separation between church and state, government at all levels should get out of the marriage designation, leaving it as a religious or private covenant. Parallel civil unions could be the legal aspect. If we have constituional amendments regarding marriage, why not amendments governing the age of baptism? Otherwise the diversity is going to ruin the whole institution of baptism! We need to get the baptists, Lutherans and Roman Catholics together for a weekend convocation to settle the matter before an amendment decides the issue.

Eliz77's picture
Eliz77 2 years 12 weeks ago
#14

Most of us are aware of who said, ““Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” [Mark 12:17] Whether or not the Constitution has exact language of separation of church and state, Christians are bound by the Bible to hold fast to that concept. It seems some of these so called Christian pastors haven't read that part of the Bible.

Consider: if every religion could place their beliefs and symbols in the halls of government, the building would cover the entire country, allowing in no sunshine, rain, or justice.

So many of our ancestors fled persecution from states in cahoots with the religious hierocracy of their time in Europe and the East. It amazes me that we so soon forget the “sins” of persecution through the many inquisitions of church/states. The people who wrote the American Constitution were very aware of the violence and terror that their mothers and fathers had fled in hopes of building a free country.

Some of the founders of the government of the United States of America were Christian. Some were not. Out of their diversity and vision they, together, drafted a document that has been a model for many states. The idea, that has been carried by those of us who seek to build on the highest ideals that we profess for this nation, is that we are the government and are responsible for the laws and policies that guide our daily governing, and as responsible citizens, we must not allow any religious pratice to promote or establish state religion.Telling congregations how to vote is promoting state religion.

The amendments of the Bill of Rights clarify the vision for freedom and responsibility so that power brokers cannot take our rights away. Our ability, to think all thoughts and choose our individual paths through life’s maze of dangers and opportunities, has made us strong.

As a reminder, the First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This great amendment should be understood clearly by every citizen, so that over time, every law of the land is measured by it.

And finally, because of the importance of this amendment for the establishment and maintenance of a free people, every phrase of it is under attack by the very power brokers it was intended to block.

Churches that preach political power and promote candidates, must forfeit their tax exemption. It is the law.

dedouglas's picture
dedouglas 2 years 12 weeks ago
#15

First and foremost, the church used to say, vote republican because the party is usually conforms to christian values, and it wasn't long ago that the church had major problems with other religions, especially mormonism that is now considered not so bad by christian republicans. The problem with allowing churches to preach politics which I have already seen recently is that republicans and democrats produce sin that was unacceptable to the lord, but in church you will only get the side of the party they choose which tells me that some sin is acceptable in the church and some is not. As I hear my christian brothers quote certain things from the bible bypass other things, one scripture stands out as supreme and all encompassing of the message the lord wanted people to remember if they could remember nothing else: Love your neighbor as you would love yourself. Preachers should be preaching how to build a better relationship with the lord since that is why people go to church. Through your relatioship, you will make your own decision on how you should vote. Besides, I would hate to bring a guy to church because his life is hurting and wants to change only for him to learn about how much more he hates Obama, or Romney instead of finding the love he needs. Sorry for rambling.

bobbler's picture
bobbler 2 years 12 weeks ago
#16

Jwhitmill,

I'm an atheist, but I have no beef with what you describe.. However it is a humongous problem when churches go beyond the bounds of religious freedom, crossing the line to where they begin to force their religionintro others. I suspect if we studied the details we would not agree where to draw the line. Prayer in school for example is a major problem.. Freedom says parents are responsible for their child.. Commandeering the public school system to install prayer as though one size accommodates all is a call for fightIng (as an example of clearly crossing the line). Children voluntarily expressing themselves during breaks, lunch, before and after schoolLiz not a problem for atheists (and groups like AU.org). Hopefully in your case I'm preaching to the proverbial choir..

GLOBAL:

You gotta be kidding me.. It's the richest 1-percent who are literally stealing money from the 99-percent.. Theperple who actually earn the money be actually doing the work should have a bigger piece of the money pie.. You seem to advocate funneling too much of the pie to the 1-percent. And this hurts society, and it itdestroying oureconomy (bc people don't have money to spend, when it's on some fat cats overseas bank account).

rs allen 2 years 12 weeks ago
#17

I understand the rationale of 'we the people' allowing the giving back in the form of a tax deduction to people who give to charity, or if you will, to a church. But doesn't that rather defeat the purpose in both the intend and definition of the term charity?

After all it's not charity if you're getting it back on the other end, is it.

As a nation we have decided to invest resources into the religious experience through the so called 'charitable' deduction. Why would anyone be surprised that those same institutions shouldn't think they have a big clout.

We don't tax those monies as the income it was against the donor nor as income to the donee. All we ask is that they keep their collective noses out of the sphere of the public square. Not all of us pledge alligence to god and I personally find it offensive to have it shoved in my face every time I turn around.

If I had my way charitable contributions would be just that, charity. Nothing asked in return and nothing gotten back at the end of the year.............then it could be called charity otherwise it's just a tax dodge.

Show me a tithe thats paved a road, built a bridge, funded a school or hospitial, funded the police or fire department (who by the way keep the zombies away from the door) or name any interprise the church claims they are responsible for that we the godless masses haven't actually in the end footed the bill.

klentz's picture
klentz 2 years 12 weeks ago
#18

Religion has to be the greatest business in the world - even more lucrative than corporate raiding and leveraged buyouts.

What other business sells a product (salvation) for which the 'company' pays nothing - prices that product at 10% of all of its members income generating roughly 100% profit. To get that profit, the principals only work one day per week. AND THEN PAY NO TAXES on that profit.

Sign me up for that line of work.

Sooner08's picture
Sooner08 2 years 12 weeks ago
#19

So you say do away with the government and turn it over to the likes of yourself. The only whining I see is the greedy trying to worm out of not paying their fair share, those of such that are 30 years overdue for a tax increases.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 2 years 12 weeks ago
#20

Yes, I believe in the separation of the Church and State. The congregation should vote with their feet when hearing politics from the pulpit, as I did once when hearing our Lutheran Paster preach politics. I was confronted by the Church Elder when leaving in the middle of the sermon, and I responded with my comment that "politics should not be preached from the pulpit." The Church Elder responded angrily saying "tell it the the Pastor!" My abrupt leaving the church was conveyed to the Pastor, obvioulsy by the Church Elder, and I received a telephone call a week later with an apology from the Pastor. The congregation has a responsibility and should have the courage irrespective of the Church Leadership to separate Church from State.

Kend's picture
Kend 2 years 12 weeks ago
#21

As a Canadian I love the fact that the US has kept there personal taxes low there. Doing that has created the highest standard of living in the world. We are taxed to death here and our standard of living is getting lower and lower. We are so lucky to have so many natural resources to subsidize the over spending.
The top 10% of Americans pay 70% of the federal bills how much more is fair?
One great thing here is we seperate church from state 100%. It has no place in any Government.
If non for profit organizations including unions want to be tax exempt they should have to fully disclose publiicly where there money goes.

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 2 years 12 weeks ago
#22

The article isn't about "taxing people enough," Global. Try reading the article again and see if you can get the point being made about these churches that are supposed to stay out of politics using their untaxed money for political purposes. Also, liberals don't talk about the middle class and the poor being taxed enough, liberals are talking about the fat cats at the top being taxed enough, more like "their fair share" that they haven't paid in fifty years. As far as any "whining" here, you're more like the whiner that doesn't want fair taxes being paid by the wealthy or you'll whine about it.

Kend's picture
Kend 2 years 12 weeks ago
#23

Johnnie I have asked everyone on Thom's Blog this question and never get a answer please help me out. The top 10% of Federal tax payers pay 70% of the taxes. Are you saying that isn't "Their fair share".

PhoobarID's picture
PhoobarID 2 years 12 weeks ago
#24

What these fundamentalists don't understand is EVERY member on the church rolls are responsible for any type of IRS fine. Chances are...the IRS wouldn't...but if they wanted to make an example and slap these "churches" down with their members...they would be singing a new song.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 2 years 12 weeks ago
#25

Asking or expecting Members to rein intheir churches won't work -- as organized religion by it's nature creates a superiority attitude in members who feel their way IS The Way, and Society should be run that way. And, ... this has been masterfully exploited by one or both Political parties, depending on local culture, time and place..

I've visited friends in parts of the country (and lived in countries overseas) where "religion" IS the local culture and social-scene. Sunday, Wednesday-night, Friday, Saturday, ... almost all social life revolves around the church (or the Tavern).

I can see in the past where the Church(es) in a small community, were the local meeting-house, whether for Boy Scouts or Political Town Hall Meetings. They also did whatever social-services were needed in the community. Government reasonably said, "better to contribute to local welfare locally using volunteer labor, than create some governmental bureaucracy," and tax-policy encouraged that. Now however, in Cities and States of millions of folks, life is way more complex than those simple models -- with hustlers scamming the systems at every turn. These are no longer "communities."

We got ourselves a mess. And the forces of Corruption are better organized than the People in general. We gotta get a whole lot smarter, learn to overcome decades of persistant propaganda -- not easy.

I'm all for Taxing Churches, prohibiting Politic-ing -- but I know places that it's utterly unthinkable. Such is the power of entrenched religion.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 2 years 12 weeks ago
#26

Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. Without separation of church and state we would become a Christian version of Iran.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 2 years 12 weeks ago
#27

When the top 10% own 70% of the wealth, paying 70% of the Taxes is not unreasonable. This is an ("% vs absolute") argument that has no resoultion, and can be endlesly argued.

diluzional's picture
diluzional 2 years 12 weeks ago
#28

Um yeah, people forget we have free speech? Talking about something doesn't cross the line between church and state. For example, the line was crossed long ago when the Roman Catholic church had members in European government and dictating law. That is what part of the law of separation church and state pertains to.

And concerning taxation. If churches get taxed, then all non-profits should get taxed to make things fair. Is that what people want?

Kend's picture
Kend 2 years 12 weeks ago
#29

No I am not talking about wealth. I am talking about taxable income in one taxable year. It just seems very unfair and the middle and lower income people should be satisfied with that heavy of a lift from a small percentage People like that. Here I Canada it is spread out a lot more even.

bernicecabral's picture
bernicecabral 2 years 12 weeks ago
#30

Money always talks. Either remove the exemption for the guilty parties, or remove it as a perk for all religions. I have known people who have gotten licenses as pastors in order to avoid paying income taxes. They are thumbing their noses at American citizens, the Constitution and Christianity because they are liars and thieves who can not be trusted to keep an agreement.

The IRS should move on this immediately. These sleazeballs will roll out of the pulpit and back onto the streetcorners where they belong.

nigle77's picture
nigle77 2 years 12 weeks ago
#31

me name is marqus,

and this wath will go on with Mit Romney & Paul Ryan !

one or two months before janaury 6,2013 Mitt Romeny is going to run ad ads about President Obama, and it going to be all over the TV !

1) But mitt Romney is going to tell the American Womens & Mens "All Lies"

2) Mitt Romney said he (Mitt Romney) "do_not care about the 47%

3) Mitt Romney told 60 min. that he (Mitt Romney) goning to win the 2013 !

4) So ?

5) DO_NOT for get November2,2010 when the Republicans told the people "Lies"

6) President Obama came up with the "American Job Act Bill"

7) But the Republicans Congrees VOTE it down ! or did not vote for the Bill !

God Bless the 62 on up & the 98%

Thank you for your time,

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 2 years 12 weeks ago
#32

Because the Inquisition still operated (its last burning-at-the-stake was in 1721) and the horrors of the wars of religion were fresh in collective memory, the innate savagery of Christianity and the deadly dangers of state religion were a major part of the Founders' reality.

Understanding both the need to disempower the church by separating it from the state and the need to protect religious believers by prohibiting persecution by government, their constitutional solutions -- the establishment clause and the First Amendment -- were the most effective such measures in human history. Hence they have been under attack by Christian fundamentalists ever since.

Thus the relevant question is not whether we believe in separation of church and state -- I like all rational U.S. citizens surely do -- but how much longer it will be before the lavishly financed, subversively entrenched forces of Christian theocracy prevail.

Funded as they are by the One Percent -- theocracy is the method of social control vastly preferred by capitalism (not the least because it literally grants divine-right rule to chief executive officers and all other bosses) -- the Christians long ago established themselves as the de facto masters of the South, with the Ku Klux Klan (colloquially known as "the Saturday Night Men's Bible Stidy Class") functioning as the equivalent of the Morality Police characteristic of Islam.

Now, their influence expanded by the "faith-based initiatives" started by Bush II and steathily grown to unprecedented magnitude by Obama, the Christians are planning their final assault on secular society -- the real significance of the Alliance and its test cases.

Obviously the proverbial fix is already in, the Christians assured that when their cases reach the Robbers' Court, the majority will rule the U.S. is a Christian nation, not just ending forever the last vestiges of the American experiment in constitutional democracy, but reducing the United States to nothing more than a Christian variant of a zero-tolerance Talibanic dictatorship, complete with public stonings and burnings.

jwhitmill's picture
jwhitmill 2 years 12 weeks ago
#33

Bobbler, I absolutely agree with you. I'll sing in your choir any day.

jwhitmill's picture
jwhitmill 2 years 12 weeks ago
#34

Klentz, I agree - if you could find that line of work, you should grab it.

But thinking clergy and other staff work only one day a week is akin to thinking teachers only work until 3 pm 9 months out of the year; it just ain't so. Most pastors - at least the good ones - with whom I've been associated work 60-80 hours/week and are frequently on call 24/7 for emergency calls. I'm frequently at church 7 days/week - and I'm not even full-time.

And the idea that we pay no taxes on our pay is a misunderstanding; we pay full income and payroll taxes - the same as anyone else.

You may not like churches - and I'd be with you, regarding some - but I don't know of any where the staff works so little and gets tax-free pay. I'd grab that job, too, if it existed.

Global's picture
Global 2 years 12 weeks ago
#35

Never said do away with government, you need some government in a civil society. I say tame the beast, put it back in its box. the same old talking point of pay their fair share is really lame. What is fair about our tax policy? The upper ten percent wage earners pay 70 percent of income tax collections now. We don't have a tax problem we have a spending problem. allowing the Federal reserve to continue to print money for the government to spend what they don't have will devalue the dollar and drive the price of commodities higher. Hince, the silent killer - inflation. It will hurt the very people the liberals say thforwent to help -- the middle class and the elderly. Now that is cruel.

Hankk MI's picture
Hankk MI 2 years 12 weeks ago
#36

Churches all over the USA are the owners of huge amounts of property and if nothing else, should be taxed for everything except the lot/lots the church is on. However when they enter into the political arena they need to loose their tax exemptions. It is so easy to be brainwashed in a church, by a Priest, Pastor, ETC, ETC, that if they are going to be in that arena the church should be paying taxes on everything, just as I do. Over the years there has been much injustice done by Priests, Pastors, ETC, ETC, like stealing, pedophiles, prostitutes, ETC, ETC,. Before they take up Politics they need to clean up their behavior. hankk MI

geo214@comcast.net's picture
geo214@comcast.net 2 years 12 weeks ago
#37

Thom brings up some very interesting points here as he did on his TV show last night.

Thom sighted Christ saying “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s, as a basis for the separation of church and state. Very rarely do I have issue with what Thom puts forth and I do not completely disagree with what he states here. I just think that his example conflicts to a certain degree with another thing Christ did that Thom often and justifiably sights. It is also one of the few times that Christ showed anger. It was the turning over of the money changers tables and casting them out of his Father’s house.

If the money changers own the government due to their purchasing of our political officials, how can the religious not follow Christ’s example and attempt to turn over their tables. The tables upon which are presently being gathered greater wealth for the wealthy at the expense of what is needed to provide for the security, food and shelter of our less fortunate and exploited brothers and sisters.

We actually need more of the “nuns on the bus”. The separation of church and state may call for restrictions of endorsing an individual candidate, but it does not stop them from doing more from their pulpits to encourage their worshipers to be better informed, vigilant and educated voters.

It does not stop them from preaching that whoever they vote for, or whoever wins the Presidency, the winner should fulfill the intentions of our nation’s Framers and Founders. Their intentions are clearly expressed in the words of Gouverneur Morris. He was renowned among his fellow Federal Convention colleagues. He authored the words of the final version of the Constitution. He made a strong case for the establishment of a strong chief executive. He contended that the chief executive should act as “the guardian of the people, even of the lower classes, against legislative tyranny, against the great and the wealthy who in the course of things will necessarily compose the legislative body.” *

Steve of Occupy Philly

* Taken from the Philadelphia Inquirer article in the series "1787 The Inventing of America"

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 2 years 12 weeks ago
#38

The Armageddon is actually the beginning. Einstein used an expression that God rolls the dice. For me the chaos of life is Gods fire wall. Anyone can approach to play; our constitution calls it a free will. Though the caveat, in a general metaphor, be careful on which buttons you press. So, one can ascend to the other world quickly, perhaps get picked to carry out Gods work, here or there. Or as a friend of mine says there is nothing out there after life. To which I disagree. But a cripple like Stephen Hawking quotes;

“As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn't reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions.” LOL.

http://atheism.about.com/library/quotes/bl_q_SHawking.htm

So, The Grand Design is without God. But even Hawking admitted the universe is so very fine tuned.

For me, thoughts of the bible reflect on God’s Kingdom, actually loaded with tyranny. One of the most popular bibles, King James, because of the elegant language. Translated the bible during the time of Shakespeare. Don’t forget, Jesus condemned Usury. Yet, America will ask Christians to accept loan legislation awry with details and angels. Likely Luther the fallen Dark Angel. As Romney once said something like “The devils in the details”. His dark angels are backup to bankruptcy. The Church administered justice and torture for centuries. Good reason to separate it from government. Water dunking or stockades use in early America for heresy or treason. Just surrendering the army garrison at West Point to the British was considered treason. Done by a high ranking Gen. Benedict Arnold.

The evil is in the Usury, loan business. America is in this squirrel cage economy where the Federal Reserve can issue money out of thin air to only those connected at the top. However can easily electronically down load a pay pal to my account. An ordinary citizen. Just a voter. And, why not? This wagon wheel effect can work on the low end too. The jack wagons on the top end of the money spectrum are contemplating this. Soon, that time when the numbers line up in an unusual way once in a life time this December the twenty first two thousand and twelve. That is 12,21,12. If one studied numbers like this realize it is unique. All PRIME. Unit value one. Unity. The mathematicians call it the basis system. We can be sure the sun will rise to a new day. A happy day for those ninety nine percenters. They just need to vote.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 2 years 12 weeks ago
#39

Forcing ones religious beliefs upon others by gaining political power via the elimination of separation and state church points out just how insecure those seeking to do this are in belief of their own mythologies. Throughout all of history, state sanction of religion has always lead to inhumane horrors of the most extreme sort...... Salem .... 1692.....reality....not mythology!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 2 years 12 weeks ago
#40

The question is, will the IRS follow the tax exempt status law and apply it to those participating in "Pulpit Right Wing Extremism Sunday."? We have laws for a reason, and they don't get much more important than this one!...... and..... The Bill of Rights is still valid....last I knew!

Global's picture
Global 2 years 12 weeks ago
#41

That's funny Ken, you won't get an answer because liberals want to punish the success -- it's called jealousy. Bring on the hate taxes, lets destroy the rich and then eat them. That will surely get this economy going in the right direction.

rs allen 2 years 12 weeks ago
#42

The so called laws separating church and state have been ignored, glossed over, partisianly pandered to from all sides and generally given way too much leeway for a country that professes in it's founding charter as a separation from some god or another.

Why would those from my generation been made from kindergarten on have been forced to pledge an allegiance to some god or another? If for any other purpose than indoctrination?

The religious segment in the last few years have gain so much traction in the public square that they effect everyones life these days. Hospitals and doctors that won't perform legal procedures, insurance companys that can't or won't cover all common place health issues, people who can't even join with a partner of choice, etc. Think about all the ways religion entrudes where they have no business these days.

Consider, we have a pharmacist who relegiously objects to selling one pill or another, he can refuse to sell that product.....AND still keep his job! Excuse me!!!!!! It seems to me he's unfit for the job at hand as the person legally wanting that product is within the public square. I'll liken it to a bartender who gets a sudden epiphany and will only sell Virgin Marys or club soda yet demands that he be allowed to still work and be paid as a bartender.

If one person or an orginization is going to slake their thirst at the community well, than they damn well should learn to keep their collective noses out of how the community chooses to live in harmony with each other.

rs allen 2 years 12 weeks ago
#43

Yeah # 24, you think so?

Where to you think all those riches come from? You think the riches just come out of thin air? You think they just happen because someone gives a bunch of people jobs?

Here's a clue #24, the wealth starts with the slob scrapping the dirt in some unsafe mine somewhere in the world for just enough money (just maybe) to feed himself the family.

The wealth has been made on the backs of slave labor; stolen from the rightful owns of land though oppression, outright war or outright slaughter. Now the ploy is setting one hungry mass against another. How does that benefit you or any of us?

What ever happened to your Ayn Randian concept! Didn't you read close enough? It says 'fair value in trade'......always. Otherwise you're a moocher, a thief or politican.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 2 years 12 weeks ago
#44

I've heard for years that liberal churches have been languishing (I know some that are booming), but the situation Thom describes is surely among the more right-wing fundamentalist and Evangelical churches. This pushiness in the present "conservative" groups is spilling into churches. They will regret doing this. They may be the next ones languishing.

There is a strong "libertarian"-streak in the GOP now. And there are areas where libertarians and progressives agree as well as areas they definitely do not. It is very difficult to understand how real libertarians and fundamentalists can get along, In fact, the Ron Paul devotees were flipping-off and cursing the GOP after the convention. There are potential eruptions within the party that could yet shake it to the core.

What I think you have is some right-wing Evangelicals who are so frustrated from decades of fighting gay rights and Roe that they are ready to trounce on the very principles of the Constitution to which they say they are the truest adherents. The hypocrisy is incredibly blatant. You'd think they could see it. I was once one of them, and the politicization of these churches has ruined them and rendered them blind to their own hubris.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 2 years 12 weeks ago
#45

Why do rich republicans constantly whine about, "Give me a trillion dollar bailout so I can raise interest rates on poor people and fraudulently cheat them out of their houses."

Why do rich republicans constantly whine about, "Start this war for my business interests, start that war for my business interests, and give my corporation tax refunds even though it doesn't pay any taxes."

Why do rich republicans constantly whine about, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps while I steal your money, or I will call you a socialist."

slojohn76's picture
slojohn76 2 years 11 weeks ago
#46

Well, if the average american has to pay 35% of thier gross income and a very select few pay half that they are not paing thier fair share. We as a country are taxed a percentage rate for income that is earned and then a seperate rate for investments whose returns are generally funded on the backs of people who actually work and then pay a larger percentage of thier income to taxes. What about this sounds fairt for all involved?

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine