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|Amendment 8, Trusting Government Over God||| Print ||
by KrisAnne Hall http://www.KrisAnneHall.com
September 4, 2012
Many states are pushing forward legislation to remove restrictions on the use of government funding for religious based activities or institutions. The argument in favor of such legislation claims preventing or restricting government money to religious organizations is an expression of religious bigotry and discrimination. That argument is a dangerous falsehood. Florida currently has this issue on their November ballot. Florida’s Amendment 8, titled “Religious Freedom”, is a misnomer to say the least. If this Amendment or others like it are passed they will actually be detrimental to Religious Liberty. This type of legislation will not promote religious liberty it will do the opposite:
If you question these conclusions, please read on and find out the truth. If you agree, please share this analysis so we may defeat this type of legislation and support religious liberty throughout the nation.
In Florida, Amendment 8 is an effort to repeal the Blaine Amendment, a common provision in many state Constitutions. The Blaine Amendment reads in part:
Opponents of the Blaine Amendment claim that the restriction upon using government funds for religious purposes or institutions is an attempt to discriminate against religions. Notice there is no particular religion singled out in the language of the amendment as some claim, the amendment clearly says "any." The truth is the Blaine Amendment reiterates principles dedicated to the preservation of Religious Liberty and the prevention of government intrusion into the church.
The newly proposed language will establish a Constituional right to tax funds. It reads, "No individual or entity may be discriminated against or barred from receiving funding on the basis of religious identity or belief." Did you catch that? NO INDIVIDUAL or entity may be barred from receiving funding. Wow! That's a big door. Notice that the language does not specify organizations engaged in non-religious activity such as soup kitchens, as some supporters falsely claim.
In our ignorance, we are repeating a battle in American history that our founders already fought and settled. Shortly after the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, several legislators, Patrick Henry being one, put forth a bill to pay Christian Teachers with tax dollars. The bill was titled, A Bill Establishing A Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion. The purpose of this bill was to pay Christian teachers’ salaries out of collected tax revenue. Patrick Henry was a great defender of Liberty and an ardent Christian. In this case, his desire to defend the faith blinded him to the dangers of inviting the government into the church in the form of tax subsidies. Fortunately, there were other legislators present that knew the dangers of such an act, and their stand helped to clarify why good intentions can lead to dangerous destinations.
To understand why it is wrong for tax dollars to pay for religious activities, we must really think about the process as a whole. When the government pays a person or an organization to perform a service with tax dollars, that individual or organization places themselves under the oversight of the government, much like an employee. Since, tax dollars are not the property of the government but of the American people, the American people cannot allow the government to spend their money with no accountability. Therefore, regulation of government spending of taxpayer dollars is required. So, to take tax dollars invites government regulation, influence and control into the religious organization. In opposition to Henry’s Bill, an “Association of Ministers and Delegates” wrote this response:
When tax dollars are spent, the organization using those funds becomes a quasi-government agent and thus opens itself up to government control. The government cannot allow the use of tax dollars in a way that will discriminate based upon criteria such as race, gender, religion, creed, etc. So if a religious organization accepts tax dollars for the performance of a service, the government must regulate that organization’s activity and prevent discriminatory practices. The organization can no longer perform its service free to the dictates of their religious convictions, but must adhere to a non-discriminatory practice as regulated and dictated by the government. In 1776, our founders believed that taking tax dollars into the churches was paramount to the destruction of religious liberty:
There are two main problems with Amendment 8. First, proponents of Amendment 8 professes that individuals motivated by “religious convictions” often engage in the same types of services offered by the government and therefore should be eligible for government funding.
However, the government’s benevolent services are not and cannot be motivated by religious convictions and they cannot provide religiously affiliated services because non-discriminatory requirements will not allow it. A private organization operating on religious conviction to establish religiously affiliated services will have to check those beliefs at the door, if they want to operate using government funding. To do otherwise would compel those who do not share those convictions to provide funding for them. This compulsion is unconstitutional and immoral. By becoming funded by the government, the original intent motivating the Floridians to action is nullified and they are no longer able to operate with religious conviction under a religious affiliation. But listen to what Thomas Jefferson has to say.
We must really think about Jefferson's statement. I understand that many Christian organizations are pushing for this type of legislation. But have they thought this through? When we compel the government to provide tax dollars to fund our Christian organizations which means the government must also fund ALL RELIGIOUS organizations. Your tax dollars will be used to fund not only Christian organizations but also Jewish, Islamic, Satanic, every religion you can imagine will now be funded by our tax dollars.
The Christian organizations who have suggested the Florida Amendment justify such by saying they are engaging in "secular activities" like secular organizaitons and are just as "entitled" to this money as the secular organizations. However, this amendment does not limit government funding to secular activities. That means that your tax dollars will also being paying for religious activities as well. Our tax dollars will fund the prosthelytizing of all religions as well as all Islamic activity wich will include Madrassas and Sharia Law.
It is immoral and sinful and a complete violation of my liberty to force me to pay for a religion I do not believe in!
The second problem lies within the first. Person’s acting upon “religious convictions” ought to also believe those religious convictions. To profess to operate under the conviction and direction of God and then demand the government to provide money, is a violation of the First Commandment.
It tells a world of nonbelievers that even believers cannot trust God to provide for the needs of His children, and that all must rely on government. It takes a nation that pledges to be “one nation under God” and tells the world we are actually “one nation under government.” This shameful display of lack of faith undermines the believers dependence on God, and undermines the gospel itself, declaring to the world that God is NOT sufficient to provide for our needs on earth, so how can we trust Him with eternal things?
The true application of the principle of “separation of church and state” is one that was won with over 700 years of battle. (for a detailed study in the true application of this doctrine, read here) This principle, that teaches that government has no place in the church, is wrecked by the likes of Amendment 8, where Christians, themselves, beg for their own destruction. I am amazed that even in light of the current battle to keep the government out of our churches in the matter of healthcare mandates, that Christians can even consider demanding government money for programs established upon religious convictions. Haven’t we seen well enough that where the government is invited in, it will soon run the house? How can we with clear conscience declare the government has no right to force a religion to operate outside its conscience and provide healthcare contrary to its beliefs and with the same body demand the government give the church money?
It is time for Christians of all denominations to live their testimony and show the world that we serve a living God who is sufficient in both eternal AND temporal things. How else can we be not just hearers of the word but also doers?
Christians, do what is right before God and vote NO on Amendment 8.