Tobacco companies are big on capitalism. They are big in laissez-faire capitalism, that's "let-do" capitalism. It translates into let us do anything we want. Don't have any laws against anything we do. Just let the market sort itself out. Just let the buyer beware. If the buyer is uninformed or relies upon misinformation we give, don't do anything about it. Just let consumers stop buying from us when (if) they find out.
Now, there are capitalists who qualify this position by adding that they don't support fraud. However, the standard position for most of them is that only the court system should deal with it. That means that such matters should be dealt with only after-the-fact. There should be no regulation upfront that would prevent the fraud from occurring provided the regulation is properly enforced throwing the fear into those who might otherwise be tempted to defraud others.
The tobacco industry has been big on giving money to so-called think tanks, such as the libertarian Cato Institute. It isn't the government's business (your business since the government belongs to the people and you're a person) whether or not tobacco is addictive. Individual freedom suggests that people have a right to market addictive and disease causing products and it's up to the individual not to fall prey. That's what they call "freedom" and "liberty."
However, there is also helping each other to remain free from predators. If people have the right to form so-called private contracts, they also have the right to form public or social contracts. Frankly, the difference is illusory. It is merely a matter of semantics. It is always a circular argument.
The real question comes down to coercion. You will notice that the laissez faire capitalists are against coercion with the exception of coercing others (even making war on them) to allow them (the laissez faire capitalists) to continue marketing and forming their private contracts. Everything is to be privatized with the exception that the state is there only to protect that otherwise wholly privatized system and to maintain the courts. Even within the state, everything is to be privatized as much as possible. Only the smallest amount of tax is to be leveled to support the collective system for enforcement of an otherwise private contractual system of life.
That position is of course hypocritical. It is a position of choice. The tobacco industry would have you believe that only what they deem freedom and liberty constitutes freedom and liberty. However, we have Jesus to tell us otherwise. Freedom from temptation from those pushing addictive and disease-promoting substances and behaviors is freedom. Freedom from evil is freedom.
One of the things that came out long ago is that the pushers lie and conceal their evil. They paid greedy, selfish people who were trained in science and medicine to lie for them. It's all documented. Now, you might falsely imagine that since they were exposed, they stopped. The link article,by Kathlyn Stone, May 10, 2008, shows otherwise.
Don't fall for the libertarian, laissez-faire, capitalist garbage. Capitalism is based upon antichrist principles of self-centeredness. It's opposite (purely voluntary cooperation) is in line with Jesus and true or real Christianity.
Of course, most of us live in a capitalist worldly world. There are places on the globe where such is not the case. In many of them, the people or souls are fairing better. The Hutterites are a prime example. This trend to greater real Christianity is growing. It is the solution.
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)