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Texas Pastors Being Watched

ChristianPunk
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10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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10/16/2014 8:41:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I wonder how the Christian pastors would like it if I were preaching in their churches about them worshiping false deities and building false gods?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
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10/16/2014 9:18:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

http://www.religionnews.com...

"The pastors made their sermons relevant to the case by using the pulpit to do political organizing," Evans said in her statement. "This included encouraging congregation members to sign petitions and help gather signatures for equal rights ordinance foes. The issue is whether they were speaking from the pulpit for the purpose of politics. If so, it is not protected speech."
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
ChristianPunk
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10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
ChristianPunk
Posts: 1,710
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10/16/2014 12:41:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

They should be allowed to preach anything, unless they advocate murder. I'd understand if there was recently a bunch of hate crimes where the killer was inspired by a pastor, but I wouldn't support taking sermons just because they are different views in politics. I'm taking Voltaires side on this issue of free speech. Also, I believe it was an LGBT group that ordered this.
annanicole
Posts: 19,793
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10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Fly
Posts: 2,049
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10/16/2014 1:05:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

Ah... the lawmakers.

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.

The often overlooked point is that churches are, indeed, special-- special in that they enjoy tax-exempt status. With that comes the commitment to avoid outright political lobbying, which is exactly what this pastor was not avoiding. They can lobby all they want if they are willing to lost their tax-exempt status. Of course, they are decidedly NOT willing to lose that status, so they cannot lobby all they want.

People want to have the best of both worlds, and when they cannot enjoy that, they cry foul. See: "persecution complex."
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
annanicole
Posts: 19,793
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10/16/2014 1:07:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:05:01 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

Ah... the lawmakers.

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.

The often overlooked point is that churches are, indeed, special-- special in that they enjoy tax-exempt status. With that comes the commitment to avoid outright political lobbying,

A tax-exempt status carries with it a requirement to avoid expressing political opinions about this or that?
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Fly
Posts: 2,049
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10/16/2014 1:14:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:07:26 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:05:01 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

Ah... the lawmakers.

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.

The often overlooked point is that churches are, indeed, special-- special in that they enjoy tax-exempt status. With that comes the commitment to avoid outright political lobbying,

A tax-exempt status carries with it a requirement to avoid expressing political opinions about this or that?

Please read (or reread) post #4 which explains how the line was crossed in this case.
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/16/2014 1:20:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

They should be allowed to preach anything, unless they advocate murder. I'd understand if there was recently a bunch of hate crimes where the killer was inspired by a pastor, but I wouldn't support taking sermons just because they are different views in politics. I'm taking Voltaires side on this issue of free speech. Also, I believe it was an LGBT group that ordered this.

Churches should not be preaching politics. That is illegal as a tax exempt entity. Surely, you're not endorsing illegal activity?

All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and special tax laws religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
- their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder
or individual,
- they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests,
- they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation,
- they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and
- the organization"s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.


http://www.irs.gov...

As far as the subpoenas, it is not clear to me why they want the sermons. It does seem that the mayor has not condoned that action, and has stated they will limit the scope of the subpoenas at an upcoming hearing. At any rate, if the church wants to become politically active, then it has crossed the separation of church and state line itself, and the state may do likewise.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
annanicole
Posts: 19,793
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10/16/2014 1:25:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:14:49 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:07:26 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:05:01 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

Ah... the lawmakers.

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.

The often overlooked point is that churches are, indeed, special-- special in that they enjoy tax-exempt status. With that comes the commitment to avoid outright political lobbying,

A tax-exempt status carries with it a requirement to avoid expressing political opinions about this or that?

Please read (or reread) post #4 which explains how the line was crossed in this case.

I saw it.

You are saying that encouraging listeners to sign a petition (or discouraging it, as the case may be) constitutes "devoting a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation"?
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
ChristianPunk
Posts: 1,710
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10/16/2014 1:29:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:20:07 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

They should be allowed to preach anything, unless they advocate murder. I'd understand if there was recently a bunch of hate crimes where the killer was inspired by a pastor, but I wouldn't support taking sermons just because they are different views in politics. I'm taking Voltaires side on this issue of free speech. Also, I believe it was an LGBT group that ordered this.

Churches should not be preaching politics. That is illegal as a tax exempt entity. Surely, you're not endorsing illegal activity?

All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and special tax laws religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
- their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder
or individual,
- they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests,
- they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation,
- they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and
- the organization"s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.


http://www.irs.gov...

As far as the subpoenas, it is not clear to me why they want the sermons. It does seem that the mayor has not condoned that action, and has stated they will limit the scope of the subpoenas at an upcoming hearing. At any rate, if the church wants to become politically active, then it has crossed the separation of church and state line itself, and the state may do likewise.

Thanks. I really needed to hear this. Just curious though. What would some examples be of this violation besides politics.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/16/2014 1:30:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

It is over a city ordinance, Anna.

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.

If the churches have been talking politics from the pulpit (which it appears they have), then they have been violating the law and have brought this scrutiny on themselves.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/16/2014 1:34:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:29:39 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:20:07 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

They should be allowed to preach anything, unless they advocate murder. I'd understand if there was recently a bunch of hate crimes where the killer was inspired by a pastor, but I wouldn't support taking sermons just because they are different views in politics. I'm taking Voltaires side on this issue of free speech. Also, I believe it was an LGBT group that ordered this.

Churches should not be preaching politics. That is illegal as a tax exempt entity. Surely, you're not endorsing illegal activity?

All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and special tax laws religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
- their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder
or individual,
- they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests,
- they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation,
- they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and
- the organization"s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.


http://www.irs.gov...

As far as the subpoenas, it is not clear to me why they want the sermons. It does seem that the mayor has not condoned that action, and has stated they will limit the scope of the subpoenas at an upcoming hearing. At any rate, if the church wants to become politically active, then it has crossed the separation of church and state line itself, and the state may do likewise.

Thanks. I really needed to hear this. Just curious though. What would some examples be of this violation besides politics.

I'm no tax attorney, but it would be the same as any other tax exempt entity. Politics is a big 'no-no' for churches as I understand it, though.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Fly
Posts: 2,049
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10/16/2014 1:41:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:25:42 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:14:49 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:07:26 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:05:01 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 12:45:39 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

Land's sakes, who is putting themselves forth in drawing the line as far as what is "politics" and what is not?

Ah... the lawmakers.

I'm surprised that a state like Texas - or any Southern state - would allow such a thing. This sort of policy seems more befitting for Massachusetts or California.

The often overlooked point is that churches are, indeed, special-- special in that they enjoy tax-exempt status. With that comes the commitment to avoid outright political lobbying,

A tax-exempt status carries with it a requirement to avoid expressing political opinions about this or that?

Please read (or reread) post #4 which explains how the line was crossed in this case.

I saw it.

You are saying that encouraging listeners to sign a petition (or discouraging it, as the case may be) constitutes "devoting a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation"?

I'm not an attorney assigned to this case. What I am saying is that this appears to be a valid case for the courts to decide.

It is yet another in a long line of examples of how organized religion DOES (or tries very hard to) stuff their beliefs in the faces of others...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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10/16/2014 2:00:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

The tax thing has been clarified--so it's not that they "wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon", it's more that "they would (possibly) be violating the criteria for tax-exempt status".

Things like this are why I really find the whole "churches are tax-exempt unless they start talking politics" thing to be incoherent. I've always felt that they should just be held to the same criteria as 501c3 organizations (that is, they have to assert they're mostly about some kind of non-profit public good), as opposed to just getting tax-exemption by default simply by virtue of being churches, with this weird and, it seems to me, often ill-defined limit on their speech.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Fly
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10/16/2014 2:13:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 2:00:35 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

The tax thing has been clarified--so it's not that they "wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon", it's more that "they would (possibly) be violating the criteria for tax-exempt status".

Things like this are why I really find the whole "churches are tax-exempt unless they start talking politics" thing to be incoherent. I've always felt that they should just be held to the same criteria as 501c3 organizations (that is, they have to assert they're mostly about some kind of non-profit public good), as opposed to just getting tax-exemption by default simply by virtue of being churches, with this weird and, it seems to me, often ill-defined limit on their speech.

A very lucid point. It is very possible that churches enjoy a greater degree of "wiggle room" on this than other non-profits. Yet, the church leadership and congregation will still act as though they are being unjustly persecuted simply for holding the beliefs they do. Never mind that they are trying very hard to marginalize (read: persecute) a people group they don't like-- persecution complex at its "finest"...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
12_13
Posts: 1,365
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10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.
Skepticalone
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10/16/2014 2:46:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.

This is only ~ 5 pastors in the city of Houston who have allegedly participated in political actions from their pulpits (which is a violation of the law). It is by no means a state wide edict, nor is it persecution of the church.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
s-anthony
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10/16/2014 2:54:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

It is true. HuffPost also reported on it, and it's at the opposite end of Fox.
bladerunner060
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10/16/2014 2:55:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 2:13:13 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:00:35 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

The tax thing has been clarified--so it's not that they "wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon", it's more that "they would (possibly) be violating the criteria for tax-exempt status".

Things like this are why I really find the whole "churches are tax-exempt unless they start talking politics" thing to be incoherent. I've always felt that they should just be held to the same criteria as 501c3 organizations (that is, they have to assert they're mostly about some kind of non-profit public good), as opposed to just getting tax-exemption by default simply by virtue of being churches, with this weird and, it seems to me, often ill-defined limit on their speech.

A very lucid point. It is very possible that churches enjoy a greater degree of "wiggle room" on this than other non-profits. Yet, the church leadership and congregation will still act as though they are being unjustly persecuted simply for holding the beliefs they do. Never mind that they are trying very hard to marginalize (read: persecute) a people group they don't like-- persecution complex at its "finest"...

I recognize that the response isn't a particularly nuanced one--and can seem that it's a persectution complex. That said, I actually think they have a point. Because the default position, taxwise, is that "churches aren't taxed". Then it becomes "Well, churches aren't taxed unless they take a position on politics". That's pretty incoherent--there's nothing about religion, itself, that should preclude having a political opinion.

To create a somewhat oversimplified example, you could straight-up believe that Republicans are secretly run by the devil, and Democrats are secretly run by angels working for God--it's a religious position, the natural consequence of which is that you would spend a lot of time saying "don't vote for that Republican (servant of the devil), vote for this Democrat (on the side of the angels)", and thus lose tax exempt status specifically because of your religious perspective.

The original arguments for not taxing churches were, to me, absurd. The logic was, if I may paraphrase my opinion of it, "We're treating religion special, but that's okay, because there are other things that we AREN'T obliged to not treat special by the constitution that we treat special, therefore we're not treating religion special."

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I've always agreed with Justice Douglas, who said in his dissent: "one of the best ways to 'establish' one or more religions is to subsidize them, which a tax exemption does." He noted in the same dissent that James Madison objected in his Memorial and Remonstrance to any citizen being compelled to contribute even "three pence" to support a church. "State aid to places of worship, whether in the form of direct grants or tax exemption, takes us back to the Assessment Bill and the Remonstrance. The church qua church would not be entitled to that support from believers and from nonbelievers alike." "

http://ffrf.org...

I think, in the end, the problem is the incoherent approach to the issue. Similar to the whole issue of "corporations can have free speech because they have constitutional protections...except they aren't protected by the fifth amendment, or these other arbitrary ones" that is the current way things work for corporations. Ignoring incoherency means that you'll get cases like this, where on the one hand it might be clear that the entity is breaking the law, but on the other hand, the philosophical perspective makes a degree of sense.

To bring it back to the churches and repeat myself a bit, if the starting position is "churches should not be taxed", THEN it makes sense that this notion of "can't do politicking" is problematic, since it might be an inherent part of the nature of this entity that we've already said shouldn't be taxed because of its nature. If churches were held to the same standards as other 501c3 organizations (had to file the same paperwork, and had to qualify on "public good" grounds that aren't constitutionally problematic, i.e., without reference to any supposed inherent benefit in religion), then these sorts of arguments, I think, would be much clearer.
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bladerunner060
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10/16/2014 2:57:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 2:46:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.

This is only ~ 5 pastors in the city of Houston who have allegedly participated in political actions from their pulpits (which is a violation of the law). It is by no means a state wide edict, nor is it persecution of the church.

A pedantic point, but: It's only a violation of the law in the sense that it would (possibly and in theory) negate their tax-exemption, which means if they then FILE under the presumption of tax-exemption, they're breaking the tax law for doing that filing in that way, not for the actual preaching itself.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Fly
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10/16/2014 3:08:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 2:57:07 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:46:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.

This is only ~ 5 pastors in the city of Houston who have allegedly participated in political actions from their pulpits (which is a violation of the law). It is by no means a state wide edict, nor is it persecution of the church.

A pedantic point, but: It's only a violation of the law in the sense that it would (possibly and in theory) negate their tax-exemption, which means if they then FILE under the presumption of tax-exemption, they're breaking the tax law for doing that filing in that way, not for the actual preaching itself.

If you can show where they are willing to lose their tax-exempt status over this, I think that would be end of story here. But there is a story, so I have my doubts of you finding that concession...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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10/16/2014 3:09:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 3:08:00 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:57:07 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:46:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.

This is only ~ 5 pastors in the city of Houston who have allegedly participated in political actions from their pulpits (which is a violation of the law). It is by no means a state wide edict, nor is it persecution of the church.

A pedantic point, but: It's only a violation of the law in the sense that it would (possibly and in theory) negate their tax-exemption, which means if they then FILE under the presumption of tax-exemption, they're breaking the tax law for doing that filing in that way, not for the actual preaching itself.

If you can show where they are willing to lose their tax-exempt status over this, I think that would be end of story here. But there is a story, so I have my doubts of you finding that concession...

I was just pointing out that the broken law is not the preaching, per se, but the tax issues surrounding it.
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/16/2014 3:09:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 2:57:07 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:46:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.

This is only ~ 5 pastors in the city of Houston who have allegedly participated in political actions from their pulpits (which is a violation of the law). It is by no means a state wide edict, nor is it persecution of the church.

A pedantic point, but: It's only a violation of the law in the sense that it would (possibly and in theory) negate their tax-exemption, which means if they then FILE under the presumption of tax-exemption, they're breaking the tax law for doing that filing in that way, not for the actual preaching itself.

Yes, I agree. I didn't want our friend from Finland assuming the worst. There is valid reason for more scrutiny on these pastors.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Fly
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10/16/2014 3:16:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 3:09:31 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 3:08:00 PM, Fly wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:57:07 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:46:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 2:26:06 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I am sorry to hear that. I thought that we have things bad here in Finland. But apparently we are freer here, at least in some things.

This is only ~ 5 pastors in the city of Houston who have allegedly participated in political actions from their pulpits (which is a violation of the law). It is by no means a state wide edict, nor is it persecution of the church.

A pedantic point, but: It's only a violation of the law in the sense that it would (possibly and in theory) negate their tax-exemption, which means if they then FILE under the presumption of tax-exemption, they're breaking the tax law for doing that filing in that way, not for the actual preaching itself.

If you can show where they are willing to lose their tax-exempt status over this, I think that would be end of story here. But there is a story, so I have my doubts of you finding that concession...

I was just pointing out that the broken law is not the preaching, per se, but the tax issues surrounding it.

Oh, gotcha-- for the benefit of the non US residents among us.

Of course, the "victims" frame this as a free speech issue. They wouldn't want to "confuse" the issue with any more of those pesky, relevant facts. Heavens, no...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
s-anthony
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10/16/2014 3:22:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 12:41:56 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:37:22 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 11:11:51 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/16/2014 9:09:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/16/2014 7:48:29 AM, ChristianPunk wrote:
I was checking my phone at school and saw Fox News was going to talk crap, but I found something weird. They talked about how in Texas, pastors were supposed to hand over their sermons to be reviewed. If it contained anything offending the LGBT community, they wouldn't be allowed to preach that sermon. Any thoughts?

I can't imagine this is true. Do you have a source/link?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Yea, I linked another source above. If the pastors are using the pulpit for politics, then it's game on as far as I am concerned.

They should be allowed to preach anything, unless they advocate murder. I'd understand if there was recently a bunch of hate crimes where the killer was inspired by a pastor, but I wouldn't support taking sermons just because they are different views in politics. I'm taking Voltaires side on this issue of free speech. Also, I believe it was an LGBT group that ordered this.

Under the separation of Church and State, if a church wants to keep its tax exempt status, it cannot tell its members how to vote. It can speak out against any issue until it's blue in the face (including homosexuality,) but it cannot endorse a political campaign.