Friday, March 14, 2008

Politics and religion

Part of the battle over Obama’s church is the threat of the IRS. As people hear what Mr. Wright has been saying over the years, they are starting to question Trinity’s tax-exempt status.

You see, churches are supposed to stay out of politics.

The incident has opened my eyes to my own church. I belong to a church with thousands of congregations throughout the United States. They are very careful about things legal. For example, new signs were prepared for all the rooms labeled “Kitchen”. They now read “Serving Area”. Why? Because the church could lose its tax-exempt status if food were prepared and sold, even for church fundraisers.

Then there is the sign in the church driveway that says, “Parking for church purposes only.” For several years they closed off the parking lots with padlocks and chains for one day a year in an effort to establish their territory.

As a boy growing up I recall our churches being used as polling places. And as recently as 50 years ago, church leaders were open about their political affiliations, at times even endorsing individual candidates.

Somewhere along the way the church halted the practice of holding elections in the churches. And they regularly read letters to the congregation to reaffirm political neutrality.

Now I come to find out that the change has less to do with theology and more to do with the IRS.

They have also been exerting their influence with state and national leaders in an effort to protect themselves against litigation. For example, when state legislatures debate holding charitable groups accountable for aiding and abetting illegal aliens, the church is there to protest.

It has less to do with illegals and more to do with protecting the church.

Most recently the church took issue with the SAVE act now being resurrected in Congress (God willing). They wanted congressmen to know that they were opposed to the part about churches sponsoring missionaries who are illegal aliens, but adding the comment, “The church has taken no position on the numerous other provisions in the bill.”

I’m getting less stupid all the time as I try to understand why. But that just begs more questions which makes me more stupid. One can never get ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment