Reclaim Your Sense of Outrage
An interview with John Cusack
by Scott Horton
Interview conducted May 22, 2008.
John Cusack: ...
But when you really get down to it, if you want to believe that it's okay for Exxon to, say, hire a private army to protect their oil fields, well then okay let's say you could make that argument: that it's okay for corporations to have a private army that's totally outside international law and not accountable to anybody. Well then you could say, "Alright, well you know, they're producing the oil and they've got to protect their pipeline or whatever they've got to do, so I guess, you know, yeah, let them pay for it." Well that's an insane argument: to say that it's okay for a corporation to have its own private killing army, but let's say you went with that, but even that's not true, because we pay for it. We are paying Blackwater – the U.S. taxpayers. So it is not even like a free market. It is not even these people kind of just taking care of themselves in the lawless international land, I mean all these myths are bullshit, you know?
Horton: Right they like to call it "free market fundamentalism" when what it really is, is fascism. It's mercantilism at war. What else could you call it?
Cusack: Yeah. I don't know another name for it. Nor do I think you should be polite with it anymore. I think We have to be past that point. So, you know, if you think it's okay for these corporations to help create these conditions for war, drive us into war, and then make money bombing the place, make money rebuilding it, all the while barring other people from the competition, right? And then come back on television and preach about the free market, when they are orchestrating a vast protectionist racket, where they are securing their market and profiting off of people's death and destruction. I mean that's what's happening, We're in a place right now where it's okay for people to not only do the United States' torture, but we've turned torture into a for-profit business that is paid for by and the U.S. taxpayers. We have outsourced interrogation, right? – you know, a gentle semiotics for torture.
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)