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Churches Challenge IRS: Ban on Discussing Politics Unconstitutional

From Big Government:

Oct. 7 was Pulpit Freedom Sunday, when thousands of pastors organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom(ADF) discuss the upcoming election and endorse political candidates.

Doubtless many of you are thinking to yourself, “That’s illegal—churches can’t endorse candidates.” You are correct that such endorsements violate a federal statute. However, that statute is almost certainly unconstitutional.

Lyndon B. Johnson was an extreme liberal, both as a U.S. senator and later as president. Through legislation, executive action, and judicial appointments, LBJ ranks just shy of Barack Obama in how far to the left he pushed the United States.

When serving in the Senate on July 2, 1954, Johnson pushed through the Johnson Amendment on the Senate floor without any committee hearings or discussion, making it illegal for nonprofit tax-deductible entities to speak in any manner intended to influence an election.

As ADF—a Christian legal organization that fights for the unborn, marriage, parental rights, and religious liberty—explains at its Pulpit Freedom website, this broke almost 200 years of practice where American pastors could freely speak on their understanding of how biblical principles applied to major issues facing the country, and which candidates for office those pastors believed did a better job of adhering to Christian principles in their proposed government actions. Video messages from leaders such as Pastor Jim Garlow and ADF’s lead lawyer on this project, Erik Stanley, walk visitors through the history of this issue and the specifics of ADF’s plan to combat this silencing of churches.

The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution protects the ability of churches—including pastors and lay Christians—and adherents of other faiths—to freely live out their faith through participating in the political process. And the Supreme Court has made it clear for more than a century—most recently in 2010 in Citizens United v. FEC, that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment guarantees that citizens can speak as freely through a corporate entity (such as a church) as they can individually about political and social issues.

So now over 1,000 churches are challenging the Internal Revenue Service, by recording their political sermons on Oct. 7’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday, and sending them to the IRS with a declaration that they believe the Johnson Amendment is unconstitutional, and inviting the IRS to try to penalize them so that these churches can take the matter to court.

This is a fascinating form of civil disobedience. Although churches are quick to obey the biblical command in Romans 13:1 (among many other verses) to submit to authority, these pastors also understand that in this country the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and that any federal statute violating the Constitution is not the law and lacks any authority.

The goal of Pulpit Freedom Sunday is to provoke the IRS into taking the matter to court, where either at the outset or later on appeal, the Johnson Amendment will very likely be struck down in what would be a historic case—or so many churches would openly defy the Johnson Amendment that houses of worship nationwide would come to realize that there is no real threat of being penalized for speaking out on applying biblical principles to choosing our nation’s leaders.

The past four years have seen unprecedented attacks on religious liberty, and now churches are starting to wake up to the seriousness of this danger and reclaim their historic role in Western Civilization as being “salt and light” in society to declare truth with boldness and with love. Now the ball is in the Obama administration’s court, and we’ll see how they respond.

Breitbart News legal contributor Ken Klukowski is director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council.

Economics 101: What the Tax Code Really Costs America

From Moonbattery:

Ignore for a moment the fact that only half of the country pays all of the income taxes, more or less. How much does it cost to just comply with the United States Tax Code? Too damn much. $338 Billion (more than $1000 per legal American citizen), not to mention the immense cost in time — the IRS itself estimates that Americans spend 7.6 billion hours a year dealing with the complexities. More fun facts below.

Take-home lesson from the video: Heads they win, tails you lose.

Homework: Read more here on the wonders of our perverted tax system and some saner alternatives.

IRS to Hire 12,500 Agents for ObamaCare

Apparently, the Internal Revenue Service is going to be the enforcer for ObamaCare…and they are going to need 12,500 people to do the job:  (From The National Review Online)

As the health-care debate enters its final hours, the biggest specter for House Democrats may not be Nancy Pelosi, but the Internal Revenue Service. GOP leaders tell National Review Online that they’ll spend the next few days hammering on-the-fence Democrats for supporting, via the health-care bill, new funds and responsibilities for the much-despised IRS.

“One of the things Democratic members of the House, particularly those in moderate districts who are on the fence about voting for the health care bill, haven’t thought through is the massive expansion of the IRS in the Democrats’ health care bill,” says a House GOP aide. “Do they really think the American people are going to like a bill giving more power and money to agency as unpopular as the IRS?  This is something that you will definitely hear House Republicans talk more about going forward.” Press conferences are already scheduled on the topic for later today.

According to the House GOP’s analysis of CBO scores, Obamacare will dole out as much as $10 billion, or about $1 billion per year, to the IRS:

New revenue is needed so the IRS can implement the new policies established by the bill and to carry out new responsibilities, including enforcing the individual mandate by reviewing insurance policies held by Americans, employer penalties and other new taxes.  The IRS will have lots to do to implement and enforce the new taxes and mandates included in the bill.  In fact, the Senate Democrats’ bill references or amends the Internal Revenue Code 180 times.

While it is not possible to predict with certainty how many new IRS employees and agents will hire to complete all these new responsibilities, it is possible to compare current staffing levels and make an estimate.  Take for example the IRS’ Taxpayer Services Division.  Based on the current cost to employ this division’s workforce, an additional $1 billion per year would mean 12,500 new employees at the IRS.  That’s more than 12,000 IRS employees that will be examining taxpayer records to enforce the government’s definition of “affordable” and “acceptable” insurance coverage, and working to comply with the bill to get people into government-run insurance.

What will all these new IRS employees do?

Read the rest at the National Review Online.

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