George W. Bush's faith-based initiative unconstitutionally established an official U.S. religion, and contrary to the initial assumptions of most people, it isn't Christianity because it isn't based upon the life and teachings of Jesus.
Conservative Christian evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have expressed fears that government money would be handed over to such groups as the Nation of Islam, Church of Scientology, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Bill Berkowitz says that the faith-based "initiative has been used as a religious patronage system to recruit minority religious officials and bolster Bush's conservative evangelical constituency."
Who chooses which religion or denomination or non-denominational organizations qualify? Who discriminates between and among people who have faith in something? Are the requirements neutral in matters of selection? Regardless, how can the tax dollars be funneled through religions without the government "establishing"? In so doing, the government is securing the position of its favored religion(s). It is causing those organizations to be officially recognized and accepted as somehow superior to those that the government rejects as being unworthy. It seeks to enhance the reputation of one religion over another. It does this under its powers of coercion. It places a state institution within the broader body of the chosen religion(s).
Doing so is antichrist since it is coming out from the secular state and apostate (false) Christians who instigated the whole scheme from within the George W. Bush administration.
This is different from circumstances where people are captives of the secular state such as the military. Civilians seeking governmental services can also always avail themselves of the religion of their choice.
However, where the government is providing such services through the government officially established religion(s) in geographical areas where non-religious services are lacking, then civilians become captives of the established religion(s).
"If you are [suggesting] we ought to enlarge the ministerial exemption in civil-rights law to give religious nonprofits a right to discriminate against tax-funded employees on religious grounds, then I would urge caution. To level the playing field does not mean to tilt it in favor of religious nonprofits." [— John Dilulio, professor University of Pennsylvania; the first director of Office of Faith- Based and Community Initiatives]
In a press statement, Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, pointed out that, "Bush has never been interested in a level playing field for faith-based groups, as he often claimed. He has been interested in tilting the field toward favored religious organizations that want to discriminate with government funds."
Source:by Bill Berkowitz. ZMagazine. May 1, 2008.
I've written before on this:
Faith-Based Federal-Grant Money
This is a way for the selfish conservatives to just take more, coerced, tax dollars to further their proselytizing. It hasn't been applied constitutionally, because those who have made the choices of recipients have favored false Christians, whereas, the US Constitution is blind in matters of Christianity.
In another five to four ruling, the Roberts Court handed a victory to Bush's faith-based initiatives program. The court ruled that ordinary taxpayers may not challenge the constitutionality of White House efforts to help religious groups obtain government funding for their ostensible social programs.
Well, ordinary taxpayers are the owners of the government aren't they. They are supposed to be the government. "A government of, by, and for the people" (ordinary taxpayers) is the expression isn't it. How can they not have the right to challenge the White House on a constitutional issue? You see here the power elite at work. This is a government of, by, and for the rich. Everyone knows it. It always has been. It has always worked to dupe the ordinary person. It hasn't worked. The people are waking up.
As for the Bush faith-based initiatives, we written at length about them in There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist.
It is definitely the US government establishing religion. The Bush administration definitely favors so-called conservative-Christian denominations and churches, so it is the establishment of the so-called conservative-Christian religion. The recipients of the social services are a captive audience for religious surroundings. That is a form of proselytizing and evangelizing by the US government.
The Real Liberal Christian Church is for religion, obviously. We are against the separation of Church and state, since we believe that the real Church is the real state. However, the US Constitution is a false document, since it set up an ultimate impossibility. That's why it is headed toward utter failure.
Why Not Let the Secular Government Take Care of the Poor through Taxes?
As mentioned, the privatizers seek to be the largest beneficiaries of taxes raised under the coercive power of the secular state. Those privatizers usually take the form of for-profit corporations. It is not in their selfish interest to correct the problems but rather to build private fiefdoms where the problem sustains them. A fief is property held by those who pay taxes to those who grant the fief.
There are non-profits and religious organizations now receiving funds out of mandatory U.S. taxes. In the case of religious organizations, the system has been termed "faith-based initiatives." In this instance, the secular government demands taxes. It then allocates funds to the religious organizations of its choosing based upon the predilections of the executive in power at the time swayed by political contributions and deals that are, in fact, a form of kickbacks. A government kickback is where some of the money received via a contract is given to the governmental official or his or her causes directly benefiting the official and at the direct negative expense of the general welfare (the benefit of all regardless of personal persuasion, opinion, position, and the like). The U.S. Constitution was established to "promote the general welfare": Everyone. The religious organizations receiving the tax proceeds are thereby boosted in both visibility and operations over other religious organizations not in favor with the executive. In a competitive society, the selfish are incentivized by the secular executive at the time to take the funds and further his or her cause over the general welfare. Those who refuse to participate in this coercive scheme are reduced in both visibility and operations relative to those who participate. That is the intention of the program. It's deceptive: Basically dishonest. It's double-dealing and double-crosses tax-payers at-large.
Don't the Poor and Others Still Receive Help?
They do, however, not without at a minimum some proselytizing effect by the given "faith-based" organization paid for out of the general and coerced tax revenues of the secular government. Just the fact that the given organization is, in turn, giving away coerced taxes given to them lends itself to a more positive, albeit false, impression of that organization in the eyes of many recipients and much of the general public. Also, there have been instances where aid recipients have been required to undergo even overt religious proselytizing and evangelizing. This is not right coming out of the secular government that forces people to pay taxes: Forcing people to work, earn, and pay taxes to further religions with which they don't necessarily hold. Jesus forced no one to support his cause. All was and is to be voluntary. Even when he cleansed the Temple of those conducting commerce, he was working within his own house where everyone joining is to do so voluntarily. None of those conducting commerce were required to join the real religion. They were free under Jesus's interpretation to choose to be slaves to unrighteousness but not in his house.
This is not a condemnation of those taking funds from the secular state. Even Jesus walked the paved roads of the coercive Roman Empire. Those roads were coerced tax money at work. It is the coercion that is the offense against God's way.
Yes, But Isn't the "Faith-Based" Program Democratically Derived?
Laying aside issues of limited, representational, democratic republicanism as the form of government and how the U.S. came to have such a government and whether or not it is properly functioning, the U.S. Constitution nevertheless forbids the secular government from changing from being a secular government to a government that has established religion without amending that Constitution. That means that the U.S. government as the state may not institutionalize a religion as an organ of that state. It cannot make a religion part of the structure of the state. This is balanced by the provision that the state cannot forbid the free exercise of religion. Hence, since people in military service are captives of the state while in service and in order to not prevent their free exercise, chaplains are provided who have traditionally functioned in a highly ecumenical manner. Forbidding establishment and guaranteeing free exercise was an attempt to preclude historical abuses done by religions as governments and to religions by such governments. To be honest, the faith-based initiatives are an end-run around the establishment clause. There are so-called Christians who want to see this, but Christians are supposed to go about things in an honest manner — being able to justify actions under a full reading of the teachings and deeds of Jesus. Doing otherwise is to fall to succumb to temptation rather than rising above and overcoming as called for by Christ.
The Christian Commons is Better
- The Commons does not coerce.
- It does not result in fiefdoms. Unlike the privatized (secular-government-funded private contractors), the Commons will not contain a layer of people taking the lion's share.
- The Christian Commons is leveling and fair. It raises the bottom.
- The Commons seeks to correct problems. The Commons does not benefit by systemic poverty. There are no kickbacks in the way of the Christian Commons. Those who give expect that the general welfare of both Christians and non-Christians will be the goal.
- They will know that non-Christians will be voluntarily converted when they see the giving and sharing path advocated by Jesus Christ in operation in the open.
The Commons is designed deliberately to shine the light into the world.
Real Christianity and the secular state are to each other as the proverbial sheep and the goats. They are irreconcilable and will be separated for righteousness' sake. The secular state will be displaced peacefully by real Christianity once everyone comes to understand what it is. It is not at all what has been passed off as Christianity by the violent, greedy, and otherwise depraved.
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)