Tag Archive for: religious freedom

IN Religious Freedom Law: Reviewed

Government involved in enforcing beliefs is always bad. Liberty says we are free to believe and to NOT believe as our conscience dictates. So lets review Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act based on the standard of Liberty.

Shaking my Duck Dynasty Head

Christians all over the country are standing with Phil Robertson, protesting A&E Why? A&E is exercising their liberty? Their doing what they believe is best for A&E. Besides Duck Dynasty is so wildly popular they shouldn’t have any problem finding another network. This is liberty and we as liberty loving patriots need to understand this. Why do these Christians want Duck Dynasty back on a network that supports an ideology totally contrary to what they believe! Why? Wouldn’t it be great if we could get the same people to unite and engage their government about liberty! Do you see what I’m saying?

This episode of the KrisAnne Hall Show is also available on YouTube by clicking here.

Amendment 8, Trusting Government Over God

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:

  1. It will open a door to silence religious organizations and their beliefs in order to receive government funding.
  2. It will force tax payers to fund ALL RELIGIOUS activity, to include Islamic, Satanic, and cult religious activity.
  3. It will give the government the ability to promote religious activities through government funding, directly undermining the true principle of separation of church and state; the fundamental principle that government has no place in the church.

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:

“No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.”

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:

“No man or set of Men are entitled to exclusive or separate Emoluments or Privileges from the Community but in consideration of Public Services.  (Quoting the Virginia Declaration of Rights)  If, therefore, the State provides a Support for Preachers of the Gospel, and they receive it in Consideration of their Services, they must certainly when they preach, act as Officers of the State and ought to be accountable thereto for their Conduct. . . .”

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:

“the Consequence of this is, that those whom the state employs in its Service, it has a right to regulate and dictate to; it may judge and determine who shall preach; when and where they shall preach.  The mutual obligations between Preachers and Societies they belong to . . . must evidently be weakened — Yea, farewell to the Bill of Rights!”

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.

“WHEREAS, their religious convictions motivate some Floridians to establish religiously affiliated schools, hospitals, adoption agencies, and other benevolent institutions that provide valuable services to society and to receive or utilize such valuable services from these benevolent providers, which could be subsidized by the state through public programs,” (emphasis added)

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.

“to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;”  Thomas Jefferson, The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom 1786.

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.

“[using tax dollars for religiously based programs] tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments,”   Thomas Jefferson, The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom 1786.

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?

Religion not invented by human policy, must have pre-existed and been supported, before it was established by human policy. [Relying upon government provisions serves]  to weaken in those who profess this Religion a pious confidence in its innate excellence and the patronage of its Author; and to foster in those who still reject it, a suspicion that its friends are too conscious of its fallacies to trust it to its own merits. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance 1785

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?

“Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion,”  Thomas Jefferson, The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom 1786.

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?

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:24, 30, 33

Christians, do what is right before God and vote NO on Amendment 8.

There Are Some Things Caesar Cannot Have

I just finished working 14 hours on my own and over an hour with my accountant trying to comply with today’s tax laws, so I am a little irritated at the level of corruption and power our current government wields in the form of taxation. Inevitably, my accountant and I begin to rant over the abuses of the tax system and how we work non-stop so others may live comfortably off our labour. I told her about my best friend’s recent experience.

My friend was in line at the grocery store, and the man in front of her had a cart packed full of hot dogs and buns. Curious my friend sparked a conversation to find out that this man had a hot dog stand on the beach and invited her to come sample his cooking. The conversation ended and the man began to purchase his hot dogs and buns, and much to the amazement of my friend, he pulled out an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer-welfare assistance) card to pay for goods. In absolute shock, my friend realized this man is running a full scale business using the welfare system. My accountant had several stories of her own and I am sure that many have similar experiences to share.

In light of tax season and the frustrations that we, the productive portions of society, have, I am sharing with you an article written by my husband. This is my first “guest” post, so I hope that you enjoy it. Remember, our founders were not just Taxed Enough Already, they were above all, Tyrannized Enough Already!

Happy April 15.

By Pastor Chris Hall http://www.irbconline.com

Having been asked a question about taxes in Mark chapter 12, Jesus tells the Pharisees “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s

While declaring the government’s right to collect tribute, it is clear in Jesus’ statement that some things DO NOT BELONG TO THE GOVERNMENT. I’d like to suggest to you that THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT CAESAR CANNOT HAVE.

Caesar cannot have our religious Liberty. Our Liberty is a gift from God and was purchased by the blood of our forbearers throughout the centuries. Our religious Liberty cost too much and we will not surrender it. Not now, not ever.

In the 1630’s religious wars heated up all over Europe. Believers were murdered and executed for having opposing religious views. Charles I, going against the 500-year-old Charter of Liberties of 1100 and the Magna Carta of 1215, was trying to bend the Church to his will and a ragtag band of the persecuted made their way to the shores of America. And, as reflected in nearly every Charter and every State Constitution, they settled this land for the Glory of God.

The problem was that they brought the Old World model to these shores and set up State Churches. Not all faiths were represented in the State churches and some ministers who would not take a license were beaten, tarred and feathered, fined and imprisoned. Some even died because of their ordeals. Obadiah Holmes is said to have spent seven days on his hands and knees due to his public beating; simply because he would not submit to the state in religious matters. Our forefathers lived through the devastation of having the government in control of religion. Even on the soil of America blood was spilled as the government attempted to enforce religious dictates.

So when Virginia had to ratify the Constitution, demands were made by John Leland and others that religious liberty be protected. The Constitution was ratified and the First Amendment was adopted with the Bill of Rights, putting the government on notice that it had no authority to force churches or individuals to go against their conscience in matters of religion.

2 John 1:8 says “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” We have lost our history and our morality and as a result America has lost its way. Today we must renew our commitment to stand for the Liberty of ALL Americans to practice their faith – free from government intrusion or coercion.

John Adams said “Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.”

Caesar did not purchase my Religious Liberty therefore Caesar CANNOT HAVE my Religious Liberty.

In Matthew 25 the Bible says the master delivered to his servants his goods. He gave one: 5 talents, one: 2 talents and to the other: 1 talent. The first two prospered what the master had given them. The last servant buried what the master had given him in the sand.

Upon the master’s return, he demanded that the servants give account as to how they had prospered the master’s goods. The servant who let the talent sit idle in the dirt was told by the master that he was a wicked and slothful servant. The one talent he had was taken away and given to another.

Liberty is a gift from God and the Bible says we are to be good stewards of God’s gifts – to whom much is given, much is required. We cannot stand idly by while the gift of Liberty that God has given us is attacked and eroded. We must protect and prosper this precious gift; else it will be taken away and we will never get it back.

One day the Master will return. One day we will give an account.

Thomas Jefferson, in hisNotes on Virginia, writes “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the men that these liberties are a gift of God?”

Our founders understood that God is the Author of Liberty and that its fate rests on the people’s awareness that of that fact. Let us, as did our founders, pray to God for His providential deliverance and guidance. Let us pray for boldness to stand for the precious and precarious gift of Liberty.

Our founders did their part, let us do our part. Our forbearers sacrificed life, fortune and sacred honor to preserve Liberty for us. What will we sacrifice to preserve Liberty for future generations?

If we will not stand for our Faith, what will we stand for? Rest assured, that as Mercy Otis Warren declared before the revolution of 1776, “If we do not stand against tyranny today, our children will bow tomorrow!”

Caesar can’t have our Liberty! And Caesar can’t have our children! The Bible says, Children are a heritage of the Lord. It is my responsibility to raise my children, not the government’s. Today because of immoral and irresponsible leadership, the government is spending our children into slavery. They are destroying the future we had hoped to provide for them. This must stop. We must stop it, because there are some things that Caesar just cannot have.

Caesar can’t have our children And Caesar can’t have us; we belong to God! We are enjoined by Scripture to obey and submit to legal authority, but in the same context the government is given the duty to be a minister of good. This government is pursuing unrighteous ends and is rewarding evil. We will work within the system to correct this wrong. We will not go along with evil because we belong to God. And there are some things that Caesar just can’t have.