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View Diary: Organized Religion is a Protection Racket (69 comments)

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  •  No, I'm not confusing those things at all. (2+ / 0-)
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    Paul Rogers, VClib

    The Constitution doesn't say anything at all about what religious organizations can or can't preach. The First Amendment places a limitation on what government can do, not on what private individuals or organizations—including churches—can do.

    The idea that religious organizations should be treated in the same way as other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations—which means that they aren't allowed to engage in what the IRS deems "political speech" (explicit endorsement)—has been approved as constitutional by a 7-2 Supreme Court decision.

    So, we come back to my initial questions: How would you redefine "political speech" in such a way as to restrict religious organizations' current rhetoric on social and economic issues, while keeping in line with the principle that such a definition must apply equally to all political/social viewpoints?

    And are you suggesting that religious organizations, and religious organizations alone, be subjected to this more stringent definition of what constitutes "political speech" in order to keep their tax-exempt status?

    If so, how is that not in itself a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, in putting forth irreligion as a prerequisite for an organization to be allowed to engage in certain kinds of speech while receiving a tax exemption?

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:32:14 AM PST

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