Is a Tax Exemption Worth More Than America’s Soul?
©2019 CLIFFORD C. NICHOLS, ESQ.
“Free at last . . . Free at last.”
So said civil rights advocate Vernon Jordan when he retired from being the President of the National Urban League 15 years ago.
Because, to him, his departure from that institution signaled his release from the chokehold the federal government had for so long placed on his free speech due to his affiliation with a tax-exempt §501(c)(3) charitable organization.
The Internal Revenue Service prohibits section 501(c)(3) organizations from:
“Participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office;
“Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; and
Any violations of these prohibitions may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”
So — you might ask — why is this a problem today?
Because §501(c)(3) is being used by almost every church in this nation today to absolve itself of its duty to take a side in the genuine cultural civil war that is presently raging at a fever pitch in America.
America is clearly in the midst of a battle in which forces of evil are being allowed to defeat the good and determine the future morality — or immorality of this nation.
Thus, it may well be time for churches to ask whether the tax exemption for which they are selling their silence can continue to be worth what it is costing them?
How much longer can they justify remaining on the sidelines of politics to protect a monetary gain that allows politicians to be elected who are rising up like bats out of hell to legalize the morally absurd in order to commit us all to their deformed humanist amoral diktats?
So far, the willingness of churches to maintain the status quo of this quid pro quo has played a large part in giving Americans a culture in which:
God is removed from the town square in order to make room for beliefs that God has condemned;
Our Constitution is interpreted as a document that is living, while little, if anything, is done to stop the Rule of Law in America from dying;
The dissolution of the divine purposes of marriage has been achieved by a minority seeking to obtain the status of a constitutionally recognized class entitled to protection under the 14th Amendment;
Customers laying claim to this newly minted protected status are now empowered to put Christians whose faith may inconvenience them out of business, while our taxes actually subsidize a business that sells the parts of murdered babies to whom we have denied any protected status;
Our daughters can elect to kill their unborn child without parental consent before they are even old enough to vote for the politicians who have empowered them with this right; and
Our children are now being taught that gender-fluidity is a good thing, while we are all told we must accept that transgender men outcompeting our daughters in any given sport is not a bad thing;
To say the least, the present landscape of our nation’s morality is a hot mess. And that’s before we get to any consideration of how well things like the following are going to play out:
Presidential candidates now calling for the national legalization of both marijuana and infanticide;
The politicos of Hollywood putting pedophilia on a glide path toward becoming the next “right” some hope will be guaranteed soon under the 14th Amendment;
Members of Congress being placed on powerful committees who openly slander as Islamophobes anybody who objects to their giving voice to an increasingly blatant strain of anti-Semitism that is metastasizing in America;
Politicians sworn to uphold the Constitution turning a blind eye to little things like the sedition, treason, and subversion engaged in by some of our nation’s highest government officials who actively conspired to overthrow our duly elected President largely because of his opposition to many of their immoral objectives; and
Elected officials conspiring to deny due process and destroy the reputations of anyone who they fear might oppose their progressive agenda by grotesquely abusing the #MeToo movement’s mantra that holds all women must be believed no matter what — except, of course when it comes to Bill Clinton;
If this trajectory is allowed to continue on its present course, it is becoming very conceivable that the Bible itself could soon be declared to be a document containing illegal hate speech that must be banned.
The question is whether something like this is what it will take to persuade church leaders to stop taking “thirty shekels of silver” from the government to remain silent and abstain from participation in elections that will determine the outcome of this battle for America’s soul?
Simply put: Church leaders can no longer justify offering their silence in exchange for a tax break to appease an enemy that ultimately is coming to destroy them and their flock.
In the words of Winston Churchill:
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Yes, it is true that by surrendering their §501(c)(3) exemption, churches will pay taxes.
And yes, it is also true that revenues could decline to some degree due to the loss of the charitable deduction allowed to those who contribute to tax-exempt institutions.
But, suffice it to say that the Roman Empire offered the early church neither such an exemption nor deduction.
Yet, the word of God was not silenced then … any more than it should be today if the God our church leaders presently profess to believe in is the same God that was worshipped by the Apostles.
That fact alone should encourage the leaders of our churches to bite the bullet… to step out in faith… and to make the decision to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (taxes) and to render to God what is God’s to put a stop to our nation’s present slide toward Gomorrah.
And, who knows? Like Vernon Jordan, they might just find themselves shouting:
“Free at last . . . Free at last.”
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Clifford C. Nichols is an attorney licensed to practice in California and New Mexico. He is also a political commentator and the author of a recent satire — My Unspeakable Kindergarten Experience with Kavanaugh — that lampoons the Left’s mistreatment of Justice Kavanaugh. You may follow him on Twitter at @cnicholslaw and direct any comments or questions regarding this editorial to firstname.lastname@example.org.