Monday, August 29, 2016

James Dobson: "Trump Will Unleash Christian Activism"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Dobson says Trump's commitment to abolish "The Johnson Amendment" will unleash the intended power of the church in the culture.

The Atlantic, a Progressive Left, widely read magazine says, "Trump wants to make churches the new super PACS."

Jerry Falwell Jr. says eliminating the Johnson Amendment "is almost as important for Christians as the appointment of Supreme Court justices."

For 178 years our founding Christian pastors gave guidance to our nation and our leaders by speaking out forcefully on moral issues in the culture---and on which politicians would support biblical views and which ones would likely not.

In 1954, then Sen. Lyndon Johnson slipped through an amendment, one that bears his name, that changed everything. Through it the government muzzled the church.

Trump says he will abolish the amendment---and has put the commitment in the GOP platform.

Jim Dobson, reflecting on an earlier meeting with Trump this summer, says he told Trump, "Our Supreme Court has struck down Bible reading in schools and even prohibited prayer to an unidentified God. Then, they banned the posting of the Ten Commandments on bulletin boards. From there, the limitation on religious liberties has become even more egregious."

He says he also told Trump, "Most recently, President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been referring to 'freedom of worship' rather than 'freedom of religion'."

Dobson says Trump responded in outrage that Christians have been deprived of their rights to speak openly on behalf of the values and principles in which they believe.

Trump has committed himself to abolishing the Johnson Amendment of 1954---and has seen that promise is included in the Republican Platform for 2016.

It isn't only protestants Dobson and Falwell, Jr. who are speaking out on the importance of this commitment---the Catholics are as well.

Deacon Keith Fournier says, "I was one of a small group of Catholics in attendance...I was honored to have been invited and I am glad I attended."

He says Trump addressed with "conviction and clarity the threats to the free exercise and free speech rights of the Christian church. He pledged to defend those rights if elected President of the United States---and getting specific, he called for the repeal of the Johnson Amendment."

Here's why the repeal is so important.

From our Founding, and the decades that led to the Revolutionary War, Christian pastors and evangelists led the nation morally and culturally.

In fact it was the spiritual "Great Awakening" of the 1700s that directly inspired America to declare our independence from England.

This public influence of pastors and spiritual leaders continued from 1776 to 1954.

In 1954, then Senator Lyndon Johnson sold Congress a bill of goods and offered an amendment to "overhaul" and "modernize" the Tax Code of the United States. It passed.

The Johnson Amendment "absolutely prohibits" non profit groups from "directly or indirectly participating in, any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate."

The Amendment makes exceptions "for certain voter education activities conducted in a non partisan manner---voter registration, get out the vote effort are generally acceptable to the state.

Once the Progressive Left understood the impact of this, they loved it---still do.

When the church awakened, it realized how deeply this undermines religious freedom.

Here is a brief look at how the state has removed---or greatly reduced the influence of the church from the culture.

Political appointees at the IRS determine when moral issues become political issues---and effectively censor churches and religious organizations with the threat of crippling penalties and loss of non-profit status.

This law contains many ambiguous phrases and the IRS is the sole interpreter.

For example, the law "allows" voter registration and education drives. But what constitutes "evidence of bias" and "favoring a candidate?"

Who decides? Whomever the current president has appointed head of the IRS will make the call.

Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS, by all the evidence declared war on conservative and Christian organizations. The evidence was so overwhelming, Lerner chose to "retire."

With far Left leadership in the White House, how much scrutiny do you think someone like Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Obama and Oprah's former pastor---Obama for 20 years) gets as opposed to say, Franklin Graham?

In practice, the Johnson Amendment discards the Constitutional presumption of innocence.

If the IRS decides an organization is in violation, they are penalized.

The Johnson Amendment makes a mockery of the language in the Constitution---"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Johnson's Amendment has led President Obama and Hillary Clinton to change their words when they speak of religious freedom---the issue upon which this nation was birthed.

"Free exercise" includes engaging in commerce, participating in politics and pursuing liberty and happiness as a full participant in the American experience.

The Free Exercise right was meant to protect citizens' deeply held moral and religious beliefs, even outside the walls of their churches and places of worship. It was never meant to censor the church or restrict its participation in the issues of our times.

If the Johnson Amendment had existed earlier, there would have been no fight against slavery in the 1840s, Margaret Sanger's eugenics in the 1920s or segregation into the 1950s.

There was no IRS when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted. Christian leaders, pastors, ministers, priests and public servants were welcomed and honored for the most part.

In fact, their message was seen as serving the public good.

Today, with the help of the Johnson Amendment, far Left progressives like Harvard Professor Mark Tushnet, who sees biblical Christians as the moral equivalent of the defeated Nazis and Japanese, create a drumbeat---a cadence, that leads each new generation down a path of destruction.

And they lead America to accept the notion that a bloated agency of the federal government, drunk with free flowing power, is the arbiter of interpreting our religious freedom.

This was not what our Founders had in mind.

The government, through the IRS and now other agencies, seek to sensor Christian claims that the right to life, as well as natural marriage between one man and one woman, are both written in the "laws of nature and nature's God," and should be recognized in the civil law.

This while they exclude such positions as "religious," ruling them out as unfit for public display and try to silence their advocates when they can.

Deacon Keith Fournier says, "The church must be free to speak from her pulpits and in the public square. The Johnson Amendment is a gag order backed by the guns and jails of the state, which threatens that churches which step out of line will have their savings confiscated and their leaders crippled by fines. As a member of the Catholic Clergy and a constitutional lawyer, I have seen this Amendment abused. In the hands of a president like Hillary Clinton it would be even more dangerous."

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active.