‘The Christocrats are coming! The Christocrats are coming!’ / PsiCop modified graphic, based on 1940s illustration of Paul Revere’s ride / National Archives #535721, via Wikimedia Commons (url: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paul_Revere%27s_ride.jpg)The Religious Right has agitated against the Johnson Amendment — a decades-old regulation that prevents non-profit entities from endorsing political candidates — for many years now. It’s not as though its existence has prevented them from building a religious-political edifice of their own; but they think, somehow, that it has stifled them. They claim it hinders churches’ free speech, but that’s a lie. Right now, any church in the country can, in fact, endorse political candidates. All they need, in order to do it, is to forfeit their tax exemption. That seems a small price to pay to get true “freedom,” but they love their money more than they love their freedom, so they refuse, and bitch and whine about it.*

With the election of a Groper-in-Chief who’s promised to end the Johnson Amendment (Archive.Is cached article), they finally have someone in the White House who could make that reality. As the Associated Press reports via Yahoo News, the Religious Right-dominated House’s proposed tax plan will do exactly that (cached):

Churches would gain the right to endorse political candidates and still retain their tax-free status under a provision in the House GOP’s tax overhaul plan.

The bill would repeal a 63-year-old law credited to former President Lyndon Johnson when he served in the Senate.…

Campaign finance groups warned the change could have far-reaching implications, turning “churches into tools for secret campaign spending,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United.

More to the point, though, it will turn churches into political engines in their own right and help them promote Christofascism even more than they already do. It will further open the door to increased Christocracy.

* Strangely enough, Jesus himself clearly ordered Christians never to be concerned with money. Among some of his more famous teachings:

  • “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. … No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:19-21, 24)
  • And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20)

But let’s be honest, Christians have vociferously ignored Jesus’ teachings for close to 2,000 years; at this point I don’t think the poor little things can help themselves any more.

Photo credit: PsiCop original graphic, based on original from Wikimedia Commons.

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  • It’s too late now, but I’ve long wished that it were somehow possible to (a) scrap all the controls on political activity by churches, and simultaneously (b) make them subject to taxation exactly like any other kind of business is. It’s not violating the separation of church and state to treat churches the same as everything else.

    That would get the government out of the business of (a) having to define exactly what is and is not “political activity” by a church, and (b) most dangerous of all, having to define what is and is not a legitimate religious entity.

    They’re constantly pushing the envelope on political activity anyway, and what they can get away with mostly depends on who’s in power. Better to drop the façade. And taxing churches like any other business would do wonders for the deficit.

    • You have a point. But in a way, your desired scenario is available now. Churches can — right now — forfeit their tax exemptions and endorse candidates. I guess what you’re looking for is to make this the rule instead of the exception. I can’t say it would be any worse, that way, than it is right now, wherein churches already have a large amount of political power and influence but aren’t taxed at all. 

  • Bezukhov

    I would like to know what candidate some wingnut Domionist Christian leader is supporting. So I can support the opponent.

    • One can argue many people around the country, this past Tuesday, did the same …  

      • Bezukhov

        And I’m happy they did. Truth is I don’t vote. It’s against my political beliefs. I’m an Anarcho-Capitalist, which really isn’t as horrible as it sounds. I do cast a ballot, however. Last year I wrote in Kevin Cockknocker for President, and Debbie Douchebag as VP. It was very cathartic.

        • When it comes to voting for president, I vote … but my vote doesn’t count. I mean, not really. I live in Connecticut, all of whose electoral votes (7 in all) were going to Hillary, a year ago, without regard to how I voted. (No, I didn’t vote for the Groper-in-Chief, nor did I vote for Hillary.) It was a pointless exercise, but I did it anyway.