Monday, September 27, 2010

Pulpit Freedom Sunday - #2189 - Chuck Colson: Why the Church Has (Legislated) Laryngitis - Crosswalk

It was a voice vote that silenced the voice of the church for generations. In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was in the middle of a particularly bruising re-election battle. Two nonprofit groups had been especially troublesome to the senator, vocally opposing his candidacy. So, on a hot summer day in Washington, D.C., Johnson slipped an amendment into the IRS 501(c)(3) code that governs nonprofit organizations in order to restrict their speech -- including the speech of churches. Johnson's amendment stated that nonprofits could not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing and distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office." The penalty for such "participation"? Revocation of their tax-exempt status. Without debate, the Senate held a quick voice vote on the amendment. As the chamber filled with a chorus of "Ayes," the church became infected with an instant case of laryngitis, thanks to the Senator from Texas. Before the Johnson Amendment, churches had a strong and vibrant voice in our political and cultural discourse. Their speech was not muzzled, and the church played an important role in speaking out and shaping public opinion on issues such as slavery, women's rights, child labor, and civil rights. Read more...... This is a continuation of the post below, I am so.... surprised..... it was Lyndon Johnson who orchestrated this on the churches.  I am sure most people do not know the origination of why churches are not guiding their congregations even on Biblical issues that are in the public square.

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