NARTH appears to be fully aware that SB 1172 is running straight into the Bill of Rights with the Free Exercise Clause figuring very prominently in that. NARTH repeatedly mentions that it believes that losing in California will stimulate anti-NARTH type forces in other states. In fact, we've seen how "Truth Wins Out" has openly declared its intention to get legislation introduced in a number of other states and soon. If the religious are held at arm's length by NARTH, I believe NARTH realizes that it would be actually aiding "Truth Wins Out" and others like them against NARTH.
To me, it seems a simple matter that people who speak personally from a religious perspective are not speaking for NARTH, per se. For what it's worth, I've had little difficulty accepting where NARTH has been placing itself vis-a-vis religion. If I'm out and about and hearing people saying things that are in favor of the rationale behind SB 1172, I often mention NARTH on purpose. I get back the usual blanket, ignorant, false statements about NARTH. It's an opening to set people straight. I've had people attack me because I'm a professing Christian, but that just gives me more openings.
I'm thinking right now about Dr. Nicolosi as the director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic. Isn't that the same Thomas Aquinas who was, and still is, the top Roman Catholic theologian? However, Dr. Nicolosi does not force religion that I've seen anyway.
I am convinced that we are up against those who would seek to split the ranks of those who believe that NARTH should be allowed to treat those under 19. If NARTH were to say, for example, that no religion may be discussed on NARTH sites, that would be slapping many of NARTH's strongest supporters and would work to the direct benefit of "Truth Wins Out," etc.
I suggest that we continue honing the points in ways that keeps this a big tent so to speak.
Lastly, I'm reminded of how Dr. Nicolosi again had made clear that his field is not the same thing as the "hard" sciences.
I'm religious, but if someone wants to support NARTH from a totally materialist position, I won't tell them that they should do that over there in that corner because it might otherwise offend big backers such as Focus on the Family or whomever.
Right now, this is about the mundane, secular, civil libertarian issues that NARTH has outlined often in its articles. It's about parental rights. It's about whether hurting children are left without help that not all parents no how to supply. It's about where "Truth Wins Out" and those like them intend to stop. We know the pedophiles have marched in their parades. Fifty years ago, where we are now would have been unthinkable. What will the next fifty bring? Not only that but change appears to have greatly accelerated just within the last five years.
So, yes, this is not a religious group, per se. It just has lots of religious members. I don't think that's an accident.
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)