OFFICIAL Carroll -CAN 5/9/17#ACTION #CallToAction #NationalCallToAction
ACTION: Protect the Wall of Separation of Church and State: Defend the Johnson Amendment
OVERVIEW: In the earliest days of the founding of the USA, the Constitution was written. Within a short period it was deemed necessary to draft several amendments. The first ten of which have become the Bill of Rights. These nearly sacred protections of our most fundamentally treasured rights include protections of speech, faith and religion. At various times our founders experienced profound persecution based on their religious beliefs. They also recognized the new country was a melding of many DIFFERENT religious beliefs. In honor of these concerns they put in place protections so ALL people are free to practice their own religion without fear of persecution from the government or other religious institutions. The founders also put in protections so that NO religious group could have State/Government rights above any other religious group (or favoritism in public life or service).
Thomas Jefferson is most noted for his "Wall of Separation" quote in defending the first amendment. This wall of separation has been knocked upon hard throughout our history. And yet it stands . It stands for all of us as a barrier to religious tyranny such as exists in predominantly Islamic States like Iran, Algeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, The Sudan, and Afghanistan. It is also a protection from some Conservative Christian movements like those gaining ground in Canada, Australia and the US. Notoriously, throughout history Theocratic Governing has led to great distress for minority, secular or even sect-different believers. Lastly, this Wall of Separation protects ALL religions from governmental intrusion and tyranny as well. To protect ONE we MUST PROTECT ALL.
President Trump has been courting the evangelical-fundamentalist vote since early in 2015. He is now attempting to make good on promises in the campaign to strengthen the power of these particular religious groups in government institutions. He is working toward the removal of the Johnson Amendment in the Tax Code, which will in essence do for large mega evangelical churches what Citizens United has done for Big Business: Allowing Dark Money to freely flow into political campaigns via religious institutions and other non- profit organizations, with no reporting of its origin...... And allowing it to be done tax free. This is contradictory to existing Campaign Finance Rules. Additionally, the removal of this tax provision, moves the United States one more giant step forward into Theocratic Governing. Such a choice would lead to the extinction of many civil rights still protected today. These include Women's Reproductive and Voting Rights; Science over religious teachings IN science classes IN public schools; LGBTQ+ rights; and many more.
TAKE ACTION: Last week, (May 4, 2017) Trump signed an Executive Order calling for the IRS to not enforce the Johnson Tax Code; And eliminating protections for women's reproductive rights and some of the rights of LGBTQ+. And while we are very concerned with the AHCA health care debacle, this erosion of Constitutional Rights through this loophole action, ALSO cannot Stand in the way of our healthcare by religious objectives.
Further, Congressional Representatives, Steve Scalise (LA -01) and Jody Hice ( GA-10) as well as Senator James Lankford have introduced legislation to repeal the Johnson Amendment.
ACTIONS TO TAKE TODAY And IN THE NEXT WEEKS:
1). Call your Congressional Representative and tell them to VOTE NO to H.R. 781, The Free Speech FairnessAct. Sponsored by Steve Scalise and Jody Hice.
2). Call your Senators to vote NO Against the Senate Companion Bill, S.B. 264, sponsored by Senator James Lankford ( R-OK).
Sample Script: Hello________________, this is ________________. I am calling to ask that Congressman/Senator __________________ vote against H.R. 781/S.B. 264. I support the freedoms of the Constitution and its amendments. I support the Wall of Separation between Church and State and the Tax Code provision of the Johnson Amendment. I do not want someone else's religion becoming laws and policies for me. I do NOT want any more dark money in political campaigns. I reserve my rights to practice my religious beliefs without interference. And I expect Religious and Government Leaders to act according to law and NOT play politics from the pulpit, mosque or synagogue.
3). Send this information to your Rapid Response Teams and especially to out of state friends so they can contact their Congressional Teams.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:
The Johnson Amendment Why Some Churches Back It, Others Oppose It:
The Johnson Amendment:
HB 781: The Free Speech Fairness Act is anything BUT Free Speech and Fairness:
SB 264: The Free Speech Fairness Act, Part 2
Trump's Executive OrderSignaling Congress to work on Repealing the Johnson Amendment: Moving to Gain Favor and Votes from Evangelicals:
Theocratic Governments of the Present: