Sunday, November 26, 2006
Well, the laissez-faire capitalist stole the election in Mexico in 2006. They backed Ãlvaro Uribe in Columbia with billions of dollars in aid and military assistance. They undoubtedly funneled money and other support to Alan Garcia in the Peruvian election. They couldn't though keep Daniel Ortega from winning in Nicaragua. Nor could they keep Rafael Correa from winning in Ecuador.
- Correa of Ecuador and
- Ortega of Nicaragua now join the following:
- Bachelet of Chile
- Castro of Cuba, and
- Chavez of Venezuela
- Nicanor Duarte Frutos of Paraguay
- Kirchner of Argentina
- Lula of Brazil
- Morales of Bolivia and
- VÃ¡zquez of Uruguay
as relatively leftwing Latin American leaders, all duly elected with the exception of Castro.
We say "relatively" here, because these are not all socialists by any stretch. Only Castro can be called a socialist. Even Chavez, so far, has only put forth social-democratic policies and programs. For the most part, they are social-welfare state, mixed-economy advocates.
Correa, however, has no party representation in the legislative body. He wants a new constitution, but the current constitution doesn't give him the constitutional authority to hold a constitutional convention. Of course, authority comes from God by way of the grassroots. Will the people of Ecuador back Correa?
Interestingly, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, and Venezuela have agreed to visaless travel for each other's citizens. Citizens of these countries can enter any of the others for ninety days with just an ID card. This region is up-and-coming. They are headed in exactly the opposite direction of "Fortress America." Good for them. They aren't isolationists as are those for "Fortress America."
The European Union has a similar feature called the Schengen Agreement. All of the member states and Iceland and Norway are planning to be visaless concerning each other by the end of 2007 except for the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, which have more limited data sharing systems.
The issue is whether the data will be abused for fascism.
The South Americans are considering a union similar to the European Union: A South American Parliament.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
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.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)