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On Sunday 1000 Anti-Gay Pastors Think They’ll Be Breaking The Law In The Name Of God And Freedom

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In a premeditated and coordinated act, over 1000 religious leaders — preachers, pastors, and priests — across the nation have pledged to preach against same-sex marriage in Church this Sunday, and thanks to a push from conservatives like Jim Garlow, NOM Chair John C. Eastman (audio), NOM’s Bishop Harry Jackson, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, many of them think they’ll be breaking the law. By law, hundreds of thousands of religious organizations and employees are allowed to not pay any taxes, but must respect the IRS code and federal law that requires them to not support or oppose any political candidate or party. So unless a pastor, for example, condemns President Barack Obama for supporting same-sex marriage or for being pro-choice, for example, or the Democratic Party for including support for same-sex marriage in its platform, these supposedly activist pastors aren’t breaking the law. The Alliance Defending Freedom, (ADF, and formerly the Alliance Defense Fund before one of its allied attorneys was reportedly convicted of engaging in child porn) is a legal group that pretends to be the ACLU of the religious right. On Sunday they’re sponsoring yet another “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” and this time their mission is to stamp out public support for same-sex marriage:

Marriage – it is the basic building block of society. Yet it is under attack like never before. Alliance Defending Freedom has fought to protect the freedom of America’s pulpits because we know that the pulpit must be free to convey biblical Truth on the great moral and social issues confronting our culture. On June 9, 2013, join thousands of your fellow pastors by preaching biblical Truth about God’s design for marriage.

What they seem to be trying to do is convince pastors across the nation that there’s a vast left-wing conspiracy to take away their First Amendment rights if they speak against same-sex marriage, and the ADF is there to fight for them.

The ADF, in enticing pastors to speak out against same-sex marriage on Sunday proclaims:

Make your voice heard by participating in Pulpit Freedom Sunday on June 9, 2013. Make sure your congregation knows where the Church stands on marriage. The Bible has not changed.  God’s Word remains true that homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage is as God Himself defined it in the beginning pages of Scripture – between one man and one woman only.  Public opinion cannot change Truth. But Truth must be proclaimed to be believed and adopted.  And that is where your role as a pastor comes in. You are to proclaim the Truth of God’s Word “in season and out of season.” (2 Tim. 4:2).  After all, God’s Word is profitable for, among other things, teaching and correction. (2 Tim. 3:16). But, as the Apostle Paul reminds pastors, how are others to hear God’s Truth without someone preaching to them? (Rom. 10:14-15). The fact of the matter is that our society desperately needs to hear what the Creator of marriage and sexual behavior says about what He created. That’s what Pulpit Freedom Sunday this year is all about – marriage. Pastor, please do not let this opportunity pass you by.

And thanks to groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, many of these 1100 or so pastors who have signed up for “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” may think they’ll be breaking the law — but unless they go out of their way to do so, they likely won’t be. “Pastors have the right to freely speak to their congregations on political matters from a biblical perspective without undue regulations by the government,” the Alliance Defending Freedom proclaims, noting they “launched the Pulpit Initiative in 2008 to assert and reclaim this right.” That right was never taken away. Even when churches and other religious institutions and religious leaders have specifically broken IRS regulations and the law, the federal government has looked the other way and ignored it. In fact, last year, the very conservative Washington Times published this:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a watchdog group based in Madison, Wis., filed a federal lawsuit this week that cited the Oct. 7 actions of 1,600 pastors who violated the tax code on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” – a nationwide display of free speech. After weeks of silence from the IRS, the Freedom From Religion Foundation took the matter to court. “This looks like the only way to get some action out of the IRS,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation. She said the foundation has written to the IRS about the issue for years, but Pulpit Freedom Sunday was the last straw. “The tipping point would have been the braggadocio of [1,600] pastors claiming they endorsed from the pulpit. The number of complaints we’ve received has been escalating, and we have no explanation from the IRS. This is our way of finding out what is going on.” The IRS media relations office declined to comment, saying it does not comment on court cases. Erik Stanley, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said a lawsuit is exactly what his group was looking for when it launched the Pulpit Freedom Sunday initiative in 2008 to challenge the Johnson Amendment, the part of the tax code that requires nonprofit groups not to engage in political speech as a condition of that status.

This law, by the way, granting tax-exempt status to churches, synagogues, temples, priests, pastors, preachers, and many others costs American taxpayers an estimated $71 billion annually. Yes, your hard work — regardless of your religious beliefs — is subsidizing the acts of the tax-exempt elite. And yet, just like the dozens of Tea Party organizations claiming victimhood because they believe they are entitled to a tax-exempt status without having to follow the law, many of these 1000-plus pastors, organized by the ADF, have decided that they too are entitled to special privileges — and don’t have to follow the law that gives them that allowance. In other words, these pastors, the men of God, want to have their cake, not pay any taxes on it, and eat it too. The IRS notes that to retain their tax-exempt status, religious organizations:

■ must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation, ■ must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and ■ the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

What’s amusing is that the 1100-plus pastors who signed up for “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” may think they’re engaging in an act of civil disobedience and are breaking the law in the name of God, but unless they attack a political party or politician to their sermon, they’re legally allowed the preach against same-sex marriage all they want. What’s also amusing is that, increasingly, their congregations don’t want to hear it — and are fleeing them because of it.

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Bill Barr, the former Attorney General who served as then-President Donald Trump’s top protector, has spoken with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

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“So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know. We’ve never had that before.”

The draft memo was never formalized or enacted, and it is unknown who wrote it, but it was part of a massive, hard-fought document collection given to the Jan. 6 Committee by the National Archives after the Supreme Court refused to block its release. Trump tried for months to keep his official White House records from being released.

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According to a report from Business Insider, Michael Cohen admitted on Saturday that Donald Trump instructed him in 2012 to make sure that Don Trump Jr. be the one to take the fall instead of Ivanka Trump during an investigation by Manhattan’s district attorney into lying about property sales.

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You can read more here.

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Watch the full interview below.

 

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