Tom Usher wrote or added | The Constitutionally guaranteed rights of these people were violated and subjugated to a religious tenet of Islam that is anti-US Bill of Rights.
"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...."
Every aspect of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, except for the very last bit ("and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"), was violated by the City of Dearborn, Michigan, USA, and its possible off-duty, moonlighting officers.
This should not be happening anywhere in the US. The Islamic community should shut this down themselves ASAP before there is a legitimate backlash.
It is a religious requirement of Christians to proselytize. The area of the Bill of Rights dealing with religion was developed largely with Christian history in mind. Christianity in name had been used as an abusive instrument of the state. While the idea was to prevent that in future, it was also memorialized for good reason that Christians would not be persecuted in future by the state, which persecution had also all too often occurred.
I know that the First Amendment was and is a mere Band-Aid on the problem cutting both ways, but to begin to elevate Sharia over Christianity or any other religion or ideology where all other things are taken as equal doesn't bode well for atheists or anyone else who is not a Muslim of the particular strain supporting this "law" in Dearborn. Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Harris would have been subjected to exactly the same treatment. Think about it.
It would not be right to stop Muslims from handing out religious tracts or for atheists not to be able to handout their info either in front of a Christian church or festival. It might not be good taste, but it shouldn't be prohibited anywhere in this nation.
By the way, in looking over the Answering Muslims website, I see that the festival in question was not a Muslim or religious festival but rather a secular, Arab cultural festival. It was supposed to be open to people of all faiths or none, not that any of that should make a difference. It shouldn't. The Christian believers were not even in the festival when they were arrested for handing out the Gospel of John, as they are required to spread the Word and so many Arabs and Muslims have never even been allowed to read the Gospels to decide for themselves whether Mohammed spoke correctly of Jesus, which he did not.
I am against any Muslims denying any right to distribute or to read the Gospels or the New Testament anywhere on the planet. I am speaking here about public property and also allowing all other religions equal rights in this regard. There are, of course, limits that apply to all religions (but equally). There ought be no favoritism that coerces. Let the best ideas prevail without being censored. Let each religion have an equal opportunity to defend and to promote its positions. Let the people expect religions to answer "challenges" of other religions and to not duck, dodge, and obfuscate. Then let the individuals and groups decide but not persecute. Let them have their rights of private assembly too and to exclude from those whom they will.
Shame on Dearborn, Michigan.
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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.
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Political Campaign Intervention
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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:
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- 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)