Published by Fred Soto, whitehouser.com. March 3rd, 2008:
Barack Obama talks about U.S. relations, peace and world affairs
As president of the United States, I will directly address the people of the Muslim world to make it clear that the United States is not at war with Islam, that our enemy is al-Qaeda and its tactical and ideological affiliates, and that our struggle is shared. In this speech, I will make it clear that the United States rejects torture — without equivocation, and will close Guantanamo. I will make it clear that the United States stands ready to support those who reject violence with closer security cooperation; an agenda of hope — backed by increased foreign assistance — to support justice, development and democracy in the Muslim world; and a new program of outreach to strengthen ties between the American people and people in Muslim countries.
I will also make it clear that we will expect greater cooperation from Muslim countries; and that the United States will always stand for basic human rights — including the rights of women — and reject the scourge of anti-Semitism. Simply put, I will say that we are on the side of the aspirations of all peace-loving Muslims, and together we must build a new spirit of partnership to combat terrorists who threaten our common security.
In one breath, Barack Obama brought up the difference between Muslims and fundamentalist extremists, he rejected torture, and promised to close down Guantanamo. He also denounced violence, urged cooperation between nations of the world, promoted justice and wants to help mend the harm done to our relationship with the Muslim world under President Bush's leadership. You can call it mere rhetoric or "all talk and no action" but it is effective in helping to quell problems that have arisen out of our poorly conceived attack on Iraq.
[RLCC: Fred Soto's article goes into much more than just Barack Obama. His point concerning Barack Obama though is consistent with Fred's entire thrust. Fred does just about the best job anyone can do while still missing the larger point that the system itself is fatally flawed. That system is a coercive means of attempting to hold together (force together) irreconcilable spirits. It won't ever work. The only thing that will ever work is people displacing all their coercive emotions with the spirit of service. Those who truly know this and do it completely that is consistently are of, by, and for the spirit of Jesus Christ. It takes all of what Jesus teaches and does totally to be of the real spirit of service and not of the spirit of half-truths. Nothing may be left out or added. It's perfect and perfectly beautiful. If you agree, chime in.]
if you believe it contains sufficient original content or commentary.
Just change the title if the title of this post has already been used on Digg.
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)