Sep 292012
 

The Apocalypse. What is it? What should we be doing to avoid it/hasten its arrival? (Hint: The answer to both is Israel!) We will all soon find out come November 6th, when our Kenyan Overlord voter-frauds his way into a second term, ushering in the Morally-Crumbling American Hellscape that we thought only existed in the fevered nightmares of The Prophet Rick Santorum (p.b.u.h.).

So what will happen if Obama is reelected on November 6th? Will American Jesus finally come down and do something, ANYTHING AT ALL to even hint at his existence save us? Or will he just blow some more firebreath onto our corn fields, as punishment for us constantly having abortions all the time? The real question is this:

Well, let’s see. You could help register voters. You could contribute time/money to a PAC. You could canvass for a candidate…

Well, no, those are wrong. What Our Lord and Savior is requesting from us this election cycle is a different kind of activism – the kind where, instead of something, you do nothing, and then voilà! Roe v. Wade will be overturned before you know it! Here’s the Answer, cleverly couched within this math problem:

This is only one of an enormous consortium of Christian Right groups who are joining forces to pray and/or fast (not all groups are advocating fasting) over the next 40 days to try to convince Jeebus to please not destroy our  super-awesome #1 Christian Nation. He does seem pretty hell bent on doing it anyway, though, what with all the “economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.”

Now this is a religious event, but surely it is making a big-tent effort to reach across faiths – if not to the faithless – then at least maybe to reach across faith and denomination lines, right? Surely, in an election so very epic to Religious Conservatives, they would want to coalesce with as many groups as possible who share most of the same values, no? Because, otherwise, Socialist Doom. From their mission statement (emphases mine):

The place to start isn’t with primaries, platforms and conventions, but rather through prayer, fasting and repentance.

  • We are calling for pastors, priests and rabbis to open their churches and synagogues throughout America for 40 days for prayer and fasting, each person seeking their own level of unselfish sacrifice as we corporately and individually seek God for His intervention in our beloved nation.
  • We are calling for Christian and Jewish voters to make informed choices, voting not as Republicans or Democrats, but as followers of the living God.
  • We are calling for our leaders to have the wisdom and discernment to act according to His will and not based on personal or partisan considerations.

Is there any confusion about who is included and who is not? Message received.

Just to be clear, we are talking about millions of evangelicals starving themselves silly – for 40 days! – as they plead with a non-existent god to deliver the presidency to the candidate who…well, the candidate who is not NOBAMA.

Participants in this Very Important Event vary from the incredibly unremarkable to the delightfully insane.

On the snoozier side, If My People 2012 is encouraging churches to pray for America on the weekend before the election. How brave! This is only what will be going on in every church in the nation that weekend.

Bold.

Another group, 40 Days to Save America, has a telling list of partners on their site. The list includes the well-funded usual suspects on the national platform like Bryan Fischer‘s American Family Association, Ralph Reed‘s Faith and Family Coalition, Tony Perkins‘ Family Research Council and the Liberty Counsel. Oh yes, and World Nut Daily, of course.

And who else is listed there also, too? Four U.S. Congressmen, including Louis Gohmert (R-Liberals Caused the Aurora Shooting) and Todd Akin (R-October Baby) and one U.S. Senator, Roy Blunt (R-Uterus).

But fuck those guys. The most interesting part of this Awesome and Totally Reasonable Political Effort is going to take place next Sunday, October 7th, AKA “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” when “more than 1,000″ (Source: Fox News) pastors across the country plan to preach politics from the pulpit, and make explicit endorsements of  candidates. Their promo:

Poor, poor churches. They’re so oppressed! So what’s the purpose of this stunt?

The purpose is to make sure that the pastor – and not the IRS – decides what is said from the pulpit,” Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group, told FoxNews.com. “It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”

Stanley said pastors attending the Oct. 7 “Pulpit Freedom Sunday will “preach sermons that will talk about the candidates running for office” and then “make a specific recommendation.” The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS.

“We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened,” he said. “We have to wait for it to be applied to a particular church or pastor so that we can challenge it in court. We don’t think it’s going to take long for a judge to strike this down as unconstitutional.”

An amendment was made to the IRS tax code in 1954, stating that tax-exempt organizations are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

No, no, a thousand times NO.

The premise that the IRS is trying to censor religious leaders’ right to speak to their congregations about political issues. The reality is that churches unjustly enjoy tax-exempt status as 501(c)(3) organizations in the federal tax code – they always have and I’m willing to say that it is likely that they always will. Talk about “Entitlements.” For this completely indefensible privilege, they must follow some rules pertaining to political speech.

For the record, I love the First Amendment. Seriously, like, I-want-to-have-its-babies love. I think that preachers should be able to say whatever the fuck they want. But I also believe that they should pay taxes on their income.

To me, the more disturbing part of this is who wants to be told by their preacher how to vote anyway? You go to the same church, you believe similar nonsense and ostensibly you share the same values. So don’t you know who he/she is voting for already? Also, feel free to just ask, because these rules are limited to their sermons and public communication, obviously.

Giving churches the power of political endorsement would quickly devolve into an unholy alliance between the two, which we absolutely cannot have. Look at lobbyists and donors now – without churches included! You cannot see where one ends and the other begins because they have become disgustingly intertwined. If churches could make political endorsements, we’d be saying goodbye to Roe. And other rights, no doubt. Their political power is still enormous right now, but without this reasonable limitation it would become unchecked.

They’re doing this to get some negative, “religious freedom”-related attention for the Obama administration just before the election. Imagine the visceral response of millions of zealots to Fox News airing clips of a Secret Service-esque looking IRS investigators monitoring church sermons, over and over.  They’re comin’ for your freedum!

But it’s going to backfire, in my estimation. It is dubious that they will even get the response that they are after – or that the IRS will respond to this bullying in any significant way. It’s not worth it, politically, to them. That’s why they’ve ignored the churches who have been testing the limits already. And size doesn’t matter here. All we would need is one story about the federal government coming in to censor a little, small-town church in Middle America, and every church would immediately be at that church’s side.

For a group of people who exalt the virtues of playing by the rules and not expecting any handouts, they are poster children of the “welfare state”. They want to break the rules. And they don’t want to pay any taxes. It won’t stand up in court, if it even gets there.

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