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"Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The Capitalist, not the Communist!" read the sign outside Church of the Valley in Leakey, Texas. Beyond its inaccuracies, it was a clear violation of federal tax code, which prohibits nonprofits from ...

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Displaying 1–38 of 38 comments

Claire Guest

November 12, 2012  11:36pm

Excerpt from T. Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man..."

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Robert Iacobelli

November 11, 2012  5:09pm

No matter what your denomination or political affiliation this should not be acceptable, ever. The separation clause is not to promote secular/other goals, but to keep church's free from corruption by insidious political motives, and to deny any specific denomination such authority on earthly matters thus undermining democracy, and cheapening Christianity. What if the Christian Science became madly popular and had one national leader telling all leaders to vote for a candidate who wanted to ban hospitals? You see the dangers, correct? (Sorry CS!) If you are commenters are your agreement with this specific churches' sign because it's in current interests, I recommend you contemplate what you are actually advocating Denying the reality and potential risk of the situation is dangerous and irresponsible. Don't fall for your own self-deception due to, in the least pejorative way I can think to put it, rigid zealotry. Kudos to CT for being appropriate and objective, Christian and American.

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Claire Guest

November 01, 2012  6:33am

Tim, I appreciate your conciliatory words. I was not offended with you, but it seemed you were offended with me. Hopefully that's all out of the way now. Obama's statements of "faith" have been ambiguous at best, and his actions have definitely raised questions. I don't know if you saw the interview where he mentioned "my Muslim faith", whereupon the interviewer "corrected" him, or not. I don't know if you've heard him say that the Muslim call to prayer is to him the "sweetest sound I know", or not. I don't know if you know that he was registered as a Muslim when attending school in Indonesia. He has bowed to Islamist kings but has treated Netanyahu of Israel with extreme disrespect. No National Day of Prayer for him, but yes to Ramadan. His dispassionate [lack of] action re: Benghazi certainly raises serious questions. Singly, one such issue might be overlooked. But when you put them (and more) all together, it's enough to cause people to consider the evidence and draw conclusions.

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Claire Guest

November 01, 2012  6:32am

Watch this, Tim - virtually everything here is straight from Obama's own mouth. Note that whenever Obama mentions the Qu'ran, he calls it the "holy Qu'ran" (but he has made mocking comments about the Bible, and he didn't call it the "holy Bible"). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCAffMSWSzY

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Claire Guest

November 01, 2012  3:24am

Jim, as I understand it, there IS Scriptural grounds for churches having tax-exempt status. IIRC, the Scripture I've heard about this is in Ezra. I certainly don't have any problem with that - I would just like to see this issue handled even-handedly, period, with ALL churches being treated equally.

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Jim Ricker

October 30, 2012  6:04pm

In the end, there is no right under God (whether in the Scriptures or claimed in the Constitution) to a tax-exempt status for religious organization (of which local congregations that are incorporated are) - period. Whether or not there is a double-standard of enforcement (as there certainly has been historically speaking) is not germane to the point really. We are told that our yes be yes and our no be no and to be people of integrity (above reproach specifically for elders and deacons). Each incorporated church organization agrees to obey the law governing 501c3 and other tax-exempt organization which includes (and has included for over 40 years now) the elimination of partisan politics being expounded, encouraged or performed by those with the exemption. It matters not that others defy the law. Double-standards do not matter. Be honest and that means living up to agreements made. Any church org can drop the tax exempt status.

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Ted Weiland

October 30, 2012  12:47pm

Because most of today’s Christians have yet to fully comprehend the responsibilities that come with being the light of the world and the salt of the earth, the government has been able to muzzle most preachers by licensing them. He who provides the license also provides the rules of conduct. Even if preachers were to awaken from their slumber, the government would be able to control most of them by threatening to revoke their tax-exempt status. Whatever entity provides exemption is the jurisdictional god of what it exempts. Churches must rescind the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status that makes them subservient to the government instead of Yahweh.

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Tim Brady

October 30, 2012  11:05am

Claire, Only God knows what is in your heart. If I have said something in my comment that offends you I apologize. I agree with you we should stick to the issue. I believe this article was about the IRS and the comment on the church sign. As I understand the sign ,it says Mr. Romney is a Mormon and a capitalist. He has said he is both of them. The sign also says Mr. Obama is a Muslim and a communist. Mr. Obama has said he is a Christian and also believes in our system of government.So I believe putting a sign that is not true on a church reflects badly on Christ. My goal is to be a reflector of a holy ,caring, understanding, and unconditional loving God. I often fail, so again I apologize if you are offended by my thoughts.

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J Thomas

October 29, 2012  11:47pm

Let the IRS ascend on the churches so that we can take them to supreme court where they will be smacked down for a generation. The reason why the IRS does not carry out their charge is because they know that the outcome is certain. They understand that this law is unconstitutional and that it will be thrown out the minute it is enforced.

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Claire Guest

October 29, 2012  9:26pm

To reiterate: What I've observed since the 1960s is that there is a huge double standard in our society: It has been perfectly acceptable for African-American churches and pastors to advocate for political candidates and views (usually Democrat), but just the opposite has been true for Caucasian churches and pastors. MLK Jr. is a good example of this, as he took political causes to church pulpits when virtually no Caucasian pastors were doing this (this could have made a positive difference re: Roe v. Wade, et al). Many more African-Americans, including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright, have done the same. So, if there is to be any sort of "investigation" into this, it needs to be equally applied to ALL churches - let's have equal rights across the board. IMHO, the most effective churches today, spiritually speaking, are those which are fully integrated and address ALL issues from a Biblical perspective. Anything less falls far short of God's purpose for His people.

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Claire Guest

October 29, 2012  9:19pm

Out with it, Tim. Do you see words of hate in my posts? If so, tell me, with statements from my posts which you believe support your POV. Accusations such as you and Pilgrim have made do not promote love and peace here. What I've observed at this website in general, in many comments on articles, is that statements of fact which supporters of Obama/Dems don't like are accused of being "hate", but with no corroboration whatsoever. The double standard I mentioned earlier (which others have acknowledged) IS and HAS BEEN a real issue, but I haven't seen any Dems acknowledge that fact. I took the time to give you evidence for statements you challenged, but you have not acknowledged that evidence. I have no problem with you personally, I certainly do not hate you (or ANYone for that matter). Accusations without evidence do not promote love or unity in any way. False accusations of hate are the worst because they are tantamount to personal attacks. We all should stick to the issues.

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Tim Brady

October 29, 2012  8:20pm

Rick, Words and how you phrase them do matter. You just stated that without a doubt you and Claire are not haters. However your words and how you phrased them for Pilgrim leaves me with a different impression. We all need to be equally kind and understanding even if we don't agree with their point of view. It is possible that any of us might be wrong on any issue or opinion of someone else.

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Rick Dalbey

October 29, 2012  1:39pm

Jim, hate is a big word. Does Claire hate? Of course not. Does Pilgrim hate? I hope not. Does Rick hate? Absolutely not. This is an elections year, stakes are high and even famously neutral evangelist Billy Graham is taking a position. Those who disagree with homosexual marriage are accused of "hate-speech". Conservatives are routinely called "Haters". Organizations like the Family Research Council are labeled "haters." I agree that there is too much hate language thrown around as a kind of cheap shot. It is like last years "Phobia". Homophobia, Islamophobia, etc. Jim, I disagree with you, but I love you as a brother. And by the way, Jesus was very judgmental...he called people children of the devil (John 8:44), pigs (matt. 7:6), dogs, sinners. Compared to His discourse, this has really been quite tame and civil don't you think? CT is to be encouraged by providing a venue for the free sharing of opinions among very concerned Christians.

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Jim Gustafson

October 29, 2012  11:13am

I see a lot of judgement and hate between brothers and sisters on this board. It makes me very sad. CT, maybe you should monitor/manage more closely the comments offered, or just shut down the board altogether. How is Jesus being honored here, or His Kingdom advanced?

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Claire Guest

October 29, 2012  12:01am

Charlie Johnson, your point is valid. One issue which is subtle, but very real, and all the more dangerous because it IS subtle, is the issue of the present administration substituting the words "freedom of worship" for "freedom of religion" as written in the Bill of Rights. This re-wording is intentional, for it could be used to limit ALL "free" expression of faith to boundaries within a house of worship. Christians need to be praying and seeking God daily, asking for His wisdom and discernment to be able to recognize such subtle (but very real) dangers in the offing.

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Claire Guest

October 28, 2012  11:55pm

ITA with Gary Roseboom, who said, "At the risk of political incorrectness, is it possible the IRS has pulled back because it recognizes the untenable position of going after 'Republican' churches but not the 'Democratic' African-American churches in which candidates are routinely allowed to campaign [I might add: from the pulpit] and receive endorsements?" I have observed the latter situation for decades, and have often wondered why this was so acceptable to political liberals, while at the same time they weren't willing for political conservatives to enjoy the same freedom others have had. This has been a huge and unconscionable double standard. And this is not always a matter of skin color: Black conservatives are also unfairly treated, worse than anyone else I can think of when it comes to politics.

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Charlie Johnson

October 28, 2012  11:54pm

We'll see how Christianity will fare in our society... Regardless of the IRS' regulations, the media has decided that Christianity is irrelevant and intolerant, and unnecessary. The church has a tough time ahead! Charlie Johnson, CPC http://www.nabpc.org

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Claire Guest

October 28, 2012  11:48pm

Tim, have you heard of Black Liberation Theology, the ideology of Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor of 20 years? If you look up Wright at Wikipedia, this is plainly stated about his church, the Trinity United Church of Christ: "The church's mission statement is based upon systematized Black liberation theology that started with the works of James Hal Cone." Here are some links about this: 1) http://www.marketfaith.org/non-christian-worldviews/the-gospel-according-ba rack-obamas-pastor-black-liberation-theology/ 2) http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2008/04/02/marxist-roots-black-liberati on-theology ALSO - Obama was indoctrinated into communism from birth by his mother and maternal grandfather, was registered as a Muslim at the school he attended in Indonesia, chose communist mentors as a young man (including college professors) - then he chose a church which was based on Marxism. His Marxist ideology/policies are why our nation is even worse off than it was 4 years ago.

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John Baptista

October 28, 2012  6:25pm

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's"

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Tim Brady

October 28, 2012  6:22pm

Mr Miles, Please inform us with your facts that Mr. Obama is a Muslim and a Communist? Or anyone else that has some facts I can verify. Thank you

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J Thomas

October 28, 2012  4:04am

They don't enforce it so that it can be kept in the arsenal for one good political assault before the supreme court does away with it. The minute the leftists unsheathe that sword and thrust it into the Body of Christ, the supreme court will get that case and throw the law out. So they either hang onto it and wait for other legislation to reinforce it, or save it for one good use as an intimidation tactic in some future election.

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Claire Guest

October 27, 2012  11:42pm

Thank you, Chip Watkins, for telling it like it really is.

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Chip Watkins

October 27, 2012  9:37am

Churches endorse candidates of both parties. While endorsements of Republican candidates usually get more press coverage, Democratic candidates are speaking in and endorsed by many churches composed of African-American parishioners on a weekly basis. I believe that's simply part of the culture of those congregations. As a tax lawyer who represents churches and other nonprofits, I believe the IRS prefers not to enforce the prohibition on "intervention in" a political campaign. In several audits of organizations other than churches, the IRS has initially stated that the activity in question--which was not a clear endorsement or denunciation--was political activity, but then backed off when challenged on the basis of its own prior rulings. It will not litigate cases except in the case of endorsements. As applied to many other kinds of activity, the law may be unconstitutionally vague. The line between permitted "voter education" and prohibited political activity is often unclear.

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Dennis Lovin

October 27, 2012  3:05am

The IRS and those who wrote legislation prohibiting pastors from commenting on political issues failed to understand that churches are a manefestation of the human tribal instinct. Churches are small "tribes", mini-cultures organized around shared beliefs, values, assumptions, attitudes and behaviors. The pastor/priest/rabbi/imam serves the tribe as its tribal leader. To attempt to interfere with normal tribal functioning in America is a fundamental violation of the ideas in our Constitution, particularly the First Amendment. The threat of cancelling tax-exempt status based on a disagreement with the government and a groups shared beliefs and values, however repugnant, is a dangerous precedent and challenge to our nation's foundational principles.

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Claire Guest

October 27, 2012  2:04am

Pilgrim, your hateful characterization of the Republican Party in general shows that you are VERY angry, so I can't understand why you're accusing others of being angry. Your uber-critical statements make it clear that you didn't watch the RNC at all - none of the speakers there fit your descriptions in any way. Many were minorities (the very opposite of xenophobic), many were women, many were young, many have come from very humble beginnings, and they were passionate about helping this country regain its equilibrium. The fact that Reps know Obama's ideology and policies are not working to help this country, but only to harm it, does NOT mean that anyone hates him. Are you a Christian? If so, does it NOT bother you that Obama (and Dems in general) have adopted such a blatant anti-God, anti-Bible platform, and that they booed God at the DNC? These things are facts.

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Claire Guest

October 27, 2012  1:57am

Pilgrim, I haven't defended that sign any more than I defended ugly attacks against Bush I used to see online which called him a Nazi and showed posters of him as Hitler with a bullet hole through his forehead. He was demonized from Day One, and a whole lot of folks not only didn't mind, they got a big kick out of it. Concerning Mr. Obama -- we know that he WAS indoctrinated from childhood into communism by his staunchly communist mom and maternal grandfather, we know that he spent time in Indonesia where he WAS identified on his registration form as a Muslim, he chose communist mentors as a young man, he chose a Christ-denying church and takes unBiblical stances on moral issues. He even told a news reporter that he was Muslim. So, even though that sign is unpleasant, there IS evidence that the statements re: Obama are in fact true. His economic policies are not Biblical and they are not working. Obamacare does smack of socialism. He has not distanced himself from that ideology.

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Pilgrim Progress

October 27, 2012  1:36am

There seems to be no end to the anger, scorn, and irrational attacks of many christians. This church, with the ugly, false accusation and obviously malicious sign is not a sign or intelligence, decency or public civility. Since when have christians become gladiators? You don't even have to read the article to know the sign is in Texas, at a fundamentalist church. They are the angriest people.

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Claire Guest

October 26, 2012  11:08pm

What I've observed since the 1960s is that there is a huge double standard in our society: It is perfectly acceptable for African-American churches and pastors to advocate for political figures and causes (usually Democrat), but just the opposite has been true for Caucasian churches and pastors. MLK Jr. is a good example of this, as he took political causes to church pulpits when virtually no Caucasian pastors were doing this (this could have made a positive difference re: Roe v. Wade, et al). Many more African-Americans, including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright, have done the same. So, if there is to be any sort of "investigation" into this, it needs to be equally applied to ALL churches - let's have equal rights across the board. IMHO, the most effective churches today, spiritually speaking, are those which are fully integrated and address ALL issues from a Biblical perspective. Anything less falls far short of God's purpose for His people.

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claudette Robertson

October 26, 2012  7:08pm

Gary, I'm not concerned with political correctness. Your assessment is correct. The Black church has always been a platform for political reform since its beginning under the Freedman's Bureau. That's why MLK Jr. was assassinated. It's surprising why non-Black and non-Muslim religious organizations have been under the IRS microscope all of these decades but the Muslim and those Black churches that are politically outspoken, such as Jeremiah Wright's church, have not.

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claudette Robertson

October 26, 2012  7:02pm

The unwavering judgements of Christians against their brethern and the unwavering ignorance of non-Christians who judge Christians must be equally tiring to God. The IRS has no business dictating speech rules to churches. NPR and PBS, both non-profits, equally promote their support for Barak Obama on an hourly basis. The commentators couch their approval in subtleties, unlike the outspoken preachers in churches. Maybe pastors should be like Billy Graham and preach their views without naming parties or politicians.

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Rick Dalbey

October 26, 2012  6:15pm

Dee, lawlessness is removing any reference to God from your political platform, and booing God during a "No God" voice vote. The gap between Democrat and Republican churchgoers has widened, according to a 2011 Gallup poll and the trends are just increasing. The report shows that 52 percent of Democrats seldom or never attend church. The survey also shows that Democrats tend to be less religious and less likely to identify with a religious denomination than the average American. One in five Democrats identify with no religious faith compared to only one in 10 Republicans who feel that way. This explains why religion plays a more prominent role for Republicans. In the 2008 election, 71% of non-religious whites voted for Democrat Barack Obama. Atheists tend to support Liberal or Social Democrat parties. Barak Hussein Obama's Kenyan father was a Muslim, his mother registered him as a muslim in Indonesia schools though he converted to a UCC black liberation theology "Christianity" later.

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GARY ROSEBOOM

October 26, 2012  5:08pm

At the risk of political incorrectness, is it possible the IRS has pulled back because it recognizes the untenable position of going after "Republican" churches but not the "Democratic" African-American churches in which candidates are routinely allowed to campaign and receive endorsements?

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Marianne Sutter

October 26, 2012  4:48pm

If we love the Lord, we don't need a tax exemption to get us to give Him His tithe and our offerings. If we don't need a tax exemption, then we don't need the government to approve our speech. Elections come and go, but we as Christians need to remember Eph. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. We have a right/responsibility to vote in this country, but no election will change the fact that we live in a fallen world. Christ didn't come into the world to condemn it, but to save and woo it back into fellowship with Him. We need to walk in the love of Christ, pray and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit and then after we have done everything, stand.

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Dee McDonald

October 26, 2012  4:40pm

Ok Rick, now move to listing off the lawlessness of which the Republican party is guilty. By the way, Mark is right when he says that this sign posted in front of this church is lawlessness, unless of course lying is no longer a sin.

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Corey Mondello

October 26, 2012  4:23pm

Christians Get Special Rights and Exempt From More Laws AGAIN

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Rick Dalbey

October 26, 2012  3:56pm

Mark, you just make these wild assertions speaking on behalf of the Holy Spirit? Lawlessness is voting 3 times against letting a baby live if it survives an abortion. Lawlessness is promoting homosexual marriage. Lawlesness is abusing the poor by denying them a job and pushing more middle class into the ranks of the poor. Lawlessness is spending money you don't have and borrowing to pay the bills. Lawlessness is killing individuals without due process in foreign countries by drones.

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Mark Matthias

October 26, 2012  2:14pm

It these last days, it is so easy to see why churches are dropping like dominoes. This vulgar display speaks of the lack of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus left to serve as our Comforter. A church in possession of the HS would be incapable of this lawlessness. As usual, it's embarrassing.

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Tim Brady

October 26, 2012  12:27pm

This message on this church only hurts the cause of Christ. I hope and pray that was not their intention.

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