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 inÂ childÂ 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 â€“ 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 Americaâ€™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 Godâ€™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 theyÂ 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 SundayÂ proclaims:
Make your voice heard by participating inÂ Pulpit Freedom SundayÂ on June 9, 2013. Make sure your congregation knows where the Church stands on marriage. The Bible has not changed.Â Godâ€™s Word remains true that homosexual behavior is wrong and that marriage is as God Himself defined it in the beginning pages of Scripture â€“ between one man and one woman only.Â Public opinion cannot change Truth. But Truth must be proclaimed to be believed and adopted.Â And that is where your role as a pastor comes in. You are to proclaim the Truth of Godâ€™s Word â€œin season and out of season.â€ (2 Tim. 4:2).Â After all, Godâ€™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 Godâ€™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. Thatâ€™s what Pulpit Freedom Sunday this year is all about â€“ marriage. Pastor, please do not let this opportunity pass you by.
And thanks to groups like theÂ Alliance Defending Freedom, many of these 1100 or so pastors who have signed up forÂ “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 theÂ Pulpit InitiativeÂ in 2008 to assert and reclaim this right.” That right was never taken away. Even when churches and other religious institutionsÂ 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 â€œPulpit Freedom Sundayâ€ â€“ a nationwide display of free speech. After weeks of silence from the IRS, the Freedom From Religion Foundation took the matter to court. â€œThis looks like the only way to get some action out of the IRS,â€ 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. â€œThe tipping point would have been the braggadocio of [1,600] pastors claiming they endorsed from the pulpit. The number of complaints weâ€™ve received has been escalating, and we have no explanation from the IRS. This is our way of finding out what is going on.â€ 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:
â– must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation, â– must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and â– the organizationâ€™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 forÂ “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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Watch: Bill Barr Has Talked to Jan. 6 Committee Says Chairman
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), asked by CBS News about a bombshell draft executive order directing the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, said: “We’ve had conversations with the former attorney general already. We have talked to Department of Defense individuals.”
“We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false,” Thompson said Sunday morning on “Face the Nation.”
“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.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 23, 2022
Trump Instructed Michael Cohen to Make Sure Don Jr. Went to Jail Instead of Ivanka
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.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Alex Witt, Cohen recalled that the former president was concerned about Ivanka’s well-being if she was sentenced to jail and that Don Jr. would handle it better.
According to the report, Cohen told the MSNBC host, “You may recall that there was the district attorney’s case here for Trump Soho where it was either Don or Ivanka was in very big trouble as a result of lying about the number of units that had been sold.”
“And Donald said it to me – I mean I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t said directly to me – he goes ‘if one or the other has to go to prison, make sure that it’s Don because Don would be able to handle it, ” he continued.
Cohen later said that he doesn’t expect Ivanka to willingly appear before the House committee investigating the Jan 6th insurrection and claimed the first daughter would likely plead the 5th before explaining, “Ivanka is only interested in Ivanka.”
You can read more here.
Trumps Could ‘Turn on One Another’ as Investigations ‘Go Up the Food Chain’: MSNBC Analyst
Former president Donald Trump and his family are facing “existential” threats from ongoing criminal investigations in New York and Georgia, according to MSNBC political analyst and Trump biographer Tim O’Brien.
“I think you’re going to start to see this vice squeeze in,” O’Brien said Saturday. “The Trumps will happily throw underlings under the bus as this gets hotter. I think the question is whether or not the family members will turn on one another as it goes up the food chain.”
“The Manhattan DA’s case has existential consequences to it,” O’Brien added. “Donald Trump and perhaps his children could end up in orange jumpsuits if that case goes the full route. That’s not going to be the case with (New York AG) Letitia James’ prosecution, that’s a civil case. I also think the Georgia case has an existential threat. Donald Trump acting like a 19th-century ward heeler, called up the secretary of state and said find me some votes, and there’s proof of that, there’s evidence.”
Watch the full interview below.
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