Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed, drought problems have been severe, food and fuel shortages are acute, 83% of the population lives on less than $2 a day, half the people are malnourished, more than 10% of children die before age five, and the country's HIV/AIDS rate is the fourth highest in the world. In addition, average life expectancy plunged to 37.3 years, inflation is out of control, conditions are disastrous, and it was mostly engineered by 2002 western-imposed sanctions.
Fifteen EU member states and Australia support them plus America after passage of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZIDERA). Its effect has been devastating on an already weakened economy. It cut off the country's access to foreign capital and credit, denied its efforts to reschedule debt, froze financial and other assets of ZANU-PF officials and companies linked to them, and effectively brought the economy to its knees.
ZIDERA states that economic and other sanctions will be enforced until the US president certifies that the "rule of law has been restored in Zimbabwe, including respect for ownership and title to property....and an end to lawlessness." Unmentioned is the Act's real purpose – restoring white supremacist rule, exploiting the black majority and doing to Zimbabwe what's happening throughout Africa and in nearly all other developing states.
If Mugabe goes, the IMF can swoop in with a promised $2 billion (renewable) aid package for a new MDC government with the usual strings attached – sweeping structural adjustments, privatizing everything, ending social services, mandating mass layoffs, crushing small local businesses, escalating poverty, and returning the country to its colonial past under new millennium management under a black stooge of a president to make it all look legitimate.
RLCC Comment: Zimbabwe's Mugabe screwed up by abusing so many common people and by not reaching out to the White community regardless of their wrong-headed racism. That of course does not at all excuse capitalist White imperialists. Mugabe is now attempting to cheat in the current election. We sympathize with those who are squeezed by the selfish, greedy, covetous imperialists and colonialists, but violence is not the solution.
The evil of neoliberal capitalism is becoming more and more apparent. It needs to be scrapped and replaced by the all-volunteer giving-and-sharing economy called for by Jesus Christ.
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)