Yeesh. This just strikes me as silly. We Christians hold up our martyr forebears because they underwent fire and sword and gladiatorial arenas to proclaim the truth, but these ninnies are scared to death of paying their taxes:
“ADF is not trying to get politics into the pulpit. Churches can decide for themselves that they either do or don’t want their pastors to speak about electoral candidates. The point of the Pulpit Initiative is very simple: the IRS should not be the one making the decision by threatening to revoke a church’s tax-exempt status. We need to get the government out of the pulpit,” said Stanley.
Perhaps I’m just getting tired of these sorts of things (I’m counting down the days until December 13, when the Supreme Court declares who the new president is), but I wish these preachers, if they really mean it, would just register as lobbyists and pay their taxes. Political campaigns pay taxes. Advertisers for political campaigns pay taxes. If they believe that such things are what Church is about, let them pay up. Then they can say whatever they want to whomever they want to say it, and they can do so alongside the tax-paying organizations they’re supplementing. I hope the federal courts will make these children eat their vegetables. After six years of Republican control of White House and Senate and the power of appointing federal judges that goes through those two halls, I don’t know what the odds of that are, but I still hope it’s the case.
And for what it’s worth, I also wish that more Iraq war protesters had been arrested, mainly because I think any real resistance to the powers-that-be should cost something. I think that televised protests are silly business, about as real politically as reality television is in general. But in an easy-divorce, abortion-on-demand world, nothing costs the privileged anything, and that’s the way they prefer to keep it. I realize that, having come up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, I am one of those privileged, and I’m not claiming not to be of that world. I am saying that trading the slow and frustrating realities of making a change one classroom and one soul at a time for the shiny “reality” of television time and immediate “fame” are an easy way out, and they do next to nothing to advance the real human goods that take lifetimes to develop, risking all along the way that Fortune might destroy it all. I am one of those privileged children, and my hope is that I can always devote my life to serving those who aren’t as lucky as I am, in quiet and fame-less places, using the natural ability and the cultural circumstances I’ve been given for a good beyond my own immediate pleasures and forsaking the silliness of televised protest. I don’t think that I’m ever going to face a sword as a martyr, but I do plan on bearing slow witness to a reality beyond what television cameras can see.