Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other churches

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, May 4, 2017.

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  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Church of Scientology and other churches.

    NOTE: I am placing this here, and not in the politics section, because it necessarily concerns the Church of Scientology. Could we please avoid having this thread devolve into a general Trump thread, stay on the topic of Scientology, and avoid having it moved to the politics section?

    Reuters: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by churches

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-religion-idUSKBN17Z2O2


    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    By Steve Holland | WASHINGTON

    President Donald Trump is expected to take executive action on Thursday to effectively lift a ban on political activity by churches and other tax-exempt institutions, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.

    Trump will mark the National Day of Prayer by issuing guidance to federal agencies like the Treasury Department on how to interpret a law that says churches and religious organizations risk losing their tax-exempt status if they participate in political campaigns.

    The order is expected to give the Treasury Department guidance on how strictly to enforce the 1954 law known as the Johnson Amendment, the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as details of the action were still being worked out.

    Trump frequently complained about the amendment during his campaign for the presidency, bolstering his support among religious conservatives who contend it violates free speech and religious freedom rights.

    Changing the law altogether would require action in the Republican-led U.S. Congress.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

    New York Times: Trump Is Expected to Relax Tax Rules on Churches Taking Part in Politics

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/us/politics/trump-religion-executive-order-gay-rights.html?_r=0


    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * *

    By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, LAURIE GOODSTEIN and MAGGIE HABERMANMAY 3, 2017

    WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to mark the National Day of Prayer on Thursday by issuing an executive order that makes it easier for churches and other religious groups to actively participate in politics without risking their tax-exempt status, several administration officials said.

    Taking action as he hosts conservative religious leaders Thursday morning, Mr. Trump’s executive order would attempt to overcome a provision in the federal tax code that prohibits religious organizations like churches from directly opposing or supporting political candidates.


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * *

    Time: President Trump Plans to Loosen Rules on Political Organizing by Churches

    http://time.com/4766166/donald-trump-johnson-amendment-churches-executive-order/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Zeke J Miller,Elizabeth Dias

    Updated: 9:08 PM ET | Originally published: 6:32 PM ET

    President Trump plans to sign an executive order Thursday in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer to relax prohibitions on political activities by religious organizations, White House officials and stakeholders said.

    Two Administration officials said the order will primarily pertain to the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision in U.S. tax code that prohibits political activities by 501(c)3 tax exempt organizations like churches. Conservative religious groups have long sought the repeal of the provision, a position embraced by Trump on the campaign trail. But the prohibition was put in place by Congress, potentially limiting the impact of Trump’s executive action to more of a symbolic move. A White House official says the order directs the Internal Revenue Service to exercise "maximum enforcement discretion" in cases related to the Johnson Amendment, but that "all laws still apply."

    An Administration official added that the order would take steps to free religious groups like church-affiliated hospitals, universities, and non-profits from requirements that employees receive contraception coverage in their health insurance plans. The requirement was the subject of a Supreme Court case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor. A White House official said the order would provide "regulatory relief" broadly, but that it would not state the specifics.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  2. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Trump to sign executive order making it easier for Church of Scientology and other churches to support political candidates

    Washington Post: Trump to sign executive order making it easier for churches to support political candidates

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/poli...64dc781686f_story.html?utm_term=.7b128915af51

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    By John Wagner, Abby Phillip and Julie Zauzmer May 3 at 10:07 PM

    President Trump on Thursday plans to relax enforcement of rules barring tax-exempt churches from participating in politics as part of a much-anticipated executive order on religious liberties, according to senior White House officials.

    The order will also offer unspecified “regulatory relief” for religious objectors to an Obama administration mandate — already scaled back by the courts — that required contraception services as part of health plans, the officials said.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  3. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    I want James Madison to walk in sit right down and tell Didacted. The churches messed with my first draft of the 1st Ammendment and you are now doing it again because of their lobbying? . OKay, I am of the Church of the reborn and my mission is to bebirth the 1st Ammendment as I drafted it so you guys can stop with this idiocity. What the hell has gotten into you guys...scientology or some other similar kind of mind F)^$ ?

    We founders were well aware of the oppression of churches over the centuries in Europe and in fact we came here to have freedom in our lives.

    oh well, sorry to be so simple.

    Maybe we should all go live under Allah it would save sharia law a lot of work that DIDACTED is laying the ground work for. oh my heavens...I will didact that....nah that doesn't make any sense...Didacted banned them, so uhmmm we could be <free> from oppressive ideologies?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  4. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    This sounds like it will be fun. Davey will openly endorse some candidate, and be shocked that a Scientology endorsement turns into a "kiss of death".
     
  5. George Layton

    George Layton Silver Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur


    As long as it comes with a large enough donation some of them may not mind. scientology has plenty of cash in the safe point account.
     
  6. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    I expect that Trump's Executive Order will be challenged as it clearly raises issues of separation between church and state.
    But regardless, for Scientology, with Nation of Islam members constituting a significant percentage of new members this could pose problems. For example, Republicans tend to be much more pro-Israel and pro-Zionist than Nation of Islam members, who can charitably best be described as anti-Israel/Zionist.
    As long as Scientology was working to curry favor with Congressional Black Caucus members and other Liberals, the Nation of Islam would be fine about it. But the Evangelical community with few exceptions tends to be extremely supportive of Israel, which Farrakhan deeply reviles. This is just one, of many highly charged issues that divide our political parties in the current minefield of politics.

    And Scientology, with its documented history of forced abortions and broken-up families may find it much too difficult to make inroads in the Conservative and Evangelical segment of the political spectrum. Keith Ellison, the DNC co-chairman, and former Nation of Islam member, may be a more receptive figure. It also bears remembering that during the 80's Scientology cozied up to the extreme right in the form of the Liberty Lobby, so Scientology practices a politics that could best be described as situational and opportunistic. It's worth recalling that when Scientology lent it's support to anti-LGBTQ legislation in California they paid a huge price, in the form of Paul Haggis' wonderful and public resignation.

    Scientology, as a psycho-political cult, is not immune from the consequences of the extreme polarization that has overtaken American politics and, although currently they've insinuated themselves into both political parties, they may find it an ever increasing challenge veering on the impossible, to continue to straddle both sides.
    Will this create increasing problems for Scientology? Or will Miscavige be able to thread the needle?
    I guess we'll just have to watch and see. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  7. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    You make it sound as though Trump specifically lifted the ban for Scientology.

    It's politically incorrect to say but left leaning churches have long been exempt from the ban on political activity.

    [​IMG]

    Wherever Scientology goes it corrupts. It does so, best, covertly. This - if it ever comes to pass - will not help Scientology as it pertains to open and visible influence.

    There will be a vigorous effort by the powers that be to maintain the current corrupt system of exemption for some but not all.
     
  8. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Trump signs order aimed at allowing Church of Scientology and other churches to engage in more political activity.

    Washington Post: Trump signs order aimed at allowing churches to engage in more political activity

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/poli...hp_hp-more-top-stories_johnson:homepage/story

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    President Trump on Thursday said he would direct the Internal Revenue Service to relax enforcement of rules barring tax-exempt churches from participating in politics as part of a much-anticipated executive order on religious liberties.


    The order — which Trump formally unveiled in a Rose Garden ceremony with religious leaders — also offers unspecified “regulatory relief” for religious objectors to an Obama administration mandate, already scaled back by the courts, that required contraception services as part of health plans, the officials said.


    “For too long the federal government has used the state as a weapon against people of faith,” Trump said, later telling those gathered for the event that “you’re now in a position to say what you want to say … No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.”

    * * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  9. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Trump Eases Restrictions On Political Activity By Scientology And Other Religious Organizations

    New York Times: Trump Eases Political Activity by Religious Organizations

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/politics/religious-organizations-executive-order-trump.html

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    WASHINGTON — President Trump pledged on Thursday to protect religious liberty in America, telling a gathering of faith leaders in Washington that members of the clergy should be allowed to endorse candidates without fear that their churches will lose tax-exempt status.

    Mr. Trump signed an executive order directing the Internal Revenue Service to avoid cracking down on political activity by religious organizations, making good on a campaign pledge he used to help build support among religious conservatives.

    “For too long, the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs,” Mr. Trump said in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

    “You are now in a position where you can say what you want to say,” he said, earning several standing ovations from his invited guests.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * **
     
  10. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    I think we are way beyond any rational political discussion about what a Church is and what it can or cannot do. Someone should start The Church of Xenu just to see if the COS will challenge it on the basis that they already own the patent and copyrights for Xenu and the sacrament of exorcising BTs.
    _____
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/03/30/the-first-church-of-cannabis-was-approved-after-indianas-religious-freedom-law-was-passed/?utm_term=.3c73c0369a9c

    ///
    The church’s founder Bill Levin said he filed paperwork in direct response to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence last Thursday. Secretary of State Connie Lawson approved the church as a religious corporation with the stated intent “to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all.”

    (Letter provided by Bill Levin)
    Cannibis is listed as the church’s sacrament in its doctrine, Levin said, and he will set up a church hierarchy. The church will plan to grow hemp, he said, though it will not buy or sell marijuana.
    ///
     
  11. Little David

    Little David Silver Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    [​IMG]

    The ACLU, with whom Anderson rarely agrees, agreed, saying the executive order wasn't even worth a lawsuit.


    Follow

    [​IMG]ACLU National
    @ACLU


    We thought we'd have to sue Trump today. But it turned out the order signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome.
    2:42 PM - 4 May 2017






    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/04/politics/trump-religion/
     
  12. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    I suspect the ACLU is saying that because the ACLU and everyone else expected the Order to address "religious liberty" -- i.e., the right to discriminate against LGBTQ persons -- and this Order didn't do that.

    In any event, the ACLU is seriously wrong for reasons I'll only begin to describe below.

    As noted in the Washington Post article excerpted above, "President Trump on Thursday said he would direct the Internal Revenue Service to relax enforcementof rules barring tax-exempt churches from participating in politics as part of a much-anticipated executive order on religious liberties."

    This raises difficult issues under what is known as the "take care" or "faithfully executed" clause (which are the same thing), as well as the issue of standing. See only as a starting point the discussion of the decision in Heckler v. Chaney.

    Then again, when the issue was DACA (Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals) as I recall the lower Courts were generally ruling against the Obama administration on such issues.

    Interestingly, when it came to DACA it was generally the Republicans who were arguing against unilateral executive action and for strict enforcement of the "take care" or "faithfully executed" cause, while the Democrats argued for executive action and against strict enforcement of the clause. Now, their positions are reversed.


     
  13. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    I have no idea how to easily confirm your recall that the lower Courts were generally ruling AGAINST .

    It doesn't seem evident per this

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferred_Action_for_Childhood_Arrivals

    excerpt:
    "As of June 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received 844,931 initial applications for DACA status, of which 741,546 (88%) were approved, 60,269 (7%) were denied, and 43,121 (5%) were pending. Over half of those accepted reside in California and Texas.[4]

    however this follows and is very tricky to follow.

    In November 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama attempted to expand DACA.[5] However, in December 2014, Texas and 25 other states, all with Republican governors, sued in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas asking the court to enjoin implementation of both the DACA expansion and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (a similar program).[6][7][8] In February 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued a preliminary injunction blocking the expansion from going into effect while the case, Texas v. United States, proceeds.[9][10] After progressing through the court system, an equally divided (4-4) Supreme Court left the injunction in place, without setting any precedent.[11]

    ----------

    regarding the 'destruction of the Johnson Amendment' I read in the last couple of days that something like 70% or greater of religious organizations are AGAINST such a destruction mostly because they didn't want politics to mess with their faith community [it would distract and possibly divide withing the faith community] (that was a surprise to me) I will try to find that article.
     
  14. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Although I didn't re-find the religious groups opinion of the destruction of the Johnson Ammendment, I did find this and I am very happy that I did.:happydance:

    Tried to keep the snippet short but the article is so delicious...lol

    http://americanhistory.oxfordre.com...99329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-29


    "Religion and Government are certainly very different Things, instituted for different Ends; the design of one being to promote our temporal Happiness; the design of the other to procure the Favour of God, and thereby the Salvation of our Souls. While these are kept distinct and apart, the Peace and welfare of Society is preserved, and the Ends of both are answered. By mixing them together, feuds, animosities and persecutions have been raised, which have deluged the World in Blood, and disgraced human Nature.1

    John Dickinson, one of the Founding Fathers, wrote the above statement in 1768 on the advent of the American Revolution. As a Pennsylvanian, Dickinson was not criticizing his colony’s religious establishment (there was none); rather he was commenting on one of the rising issues of the day: the proper relationship between religion and government in a society that increasingly identified with the principles of natural rights and rationalism originating in the Enlightenment. The immediate context was a controversy over a proposal to appoint the first American bishop of the Church of England, the presumptive established church for the British American colonies. At the time, religious establishments—that is, government support for “public ministers” and houses of worship through forced taxation or “assessments”—existed in nine of the thirteen colonies, but the Anglican Church was only dominant in four southern colonies. Colonialists living in the remaining colonies—those residing in colonies without establishments as well as those in colonies with “multiple” establishments that favored dissenting sects such as Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Dutch Reformed—feared that a domestic Anglican bishop would not only increase the power of the Anglican Church at the expense of other Protestant bodies, but also would threaten the civil and religious liberties that the colonialists had grown to expect over 150 years of benign neglect.

    Even before the political crisis arose in 1765, these Americans overwhelmingly identified with the opposition Whigs in England, who criticized the corruption and authoritarianism of the established church. As patriots raised claims of political liberty in those formative years, matters of religious liberty and conscience were also on their minds..."

    ETA: Having finished the article and a few others related to it. I have to say it is well extremely well written and what one thing I particulary enjoyed was its broad scope which really helps diminish bias while educating. I would be wonderful to have Steven K Green participate in this very important thread.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  15. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Not that surprising. If a church is ALLOWED to take a political stand, then some members will DEMAND they take a political stand. Then the people with opposing political views will be unhappy and possibly leave (or at least greatly reduce their financial contributions).

    Consider the case of why Paul Haggis left Co$:

     
  16. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    That makes a lot of sense and that concept was in the article I read.
    I guess what suprised me was that I had the concept that a lot of the various Christian sects were actually being led by their leaders to support and vote republican.
    I actually don't know if that is the case or not but it contributed to my surprise.
     
  17. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Scientology's support of proposition 8 was on oddity. Possibly an attempt to form some sort of informal alliance with the more accepted cult of Mormonism. Does anyone really think that David Miscavige cares about the traditional institution of marriage as delineated over the ages by the great ("wog," R6 Implanted) religions?

    C'mon. :eyeroll:

    The plus side of this is that it resulted in one person leaving Scientology, which then resulted in even more people leaving.

    I recall the proposition 8 hullabaloo in California, some years ago. The voters had decided that they wanted to support traditional marriage as it had existed for thousands of years - that being between a man and woman - and the Left went bananas depicting ordinary people, from Orthodox Jews to many Christians, as "hate filled," bigots," etc.

    As it was, as I recall, gay couples could have civil unions which were the legal equivalent of marriage, and also could easily find a church which would perform a marriage ceremony. So it was hardly an emergency. Yet the anger and - yes - hate, coming from the Left, calling others haters, was a bit much.

    I recall some Left leaning Churches (and it's considered stylish and trendy to be Leftist in some places) prominently displaying signs denouncing, as "haters" and "bigots," people who simply wanted to maintain the tradition of marriage.

    This has nothing to so with my views on the subject. I've no problem with gay marriage and am certainly not a Christian, but the sheer hatred coming from those denouncing others as "haters" was unsettling, especially when it was from churches.

    Perhaps the strangest manifestation of this sort of thing is the alliance between the Left and Islamic extremism and its front groups and operatives. For example the woman's march of a while back was led by a Sharia advocate, and none of the participates seemed to notice or mind.

    This also shows up in churches.

    [​IMG]

    These random thoughts occur to me as the Sunday French election looms. It does appear, at this point, that France is going to join Germany and other nations of Western Europe on the suicide spiral. Tragic.

    IMO, we are watching two things occur: The gradual imposition of a computerized existence where virtually everything we do is monitored and, ultimately, controlled remotely. (From cars that "drive themselves" to the abolishment of cash, etc.). The other development is the manifestation of what seems to be the zeitgeist (the spirit of the age or, more accurately, the - largely thoughtless - mass mind) which is happily welcoming the decline and fall of Western Civilization.

    How far it will fall is any one's guess.

    Trump, in his own clumsy way, if anything, is attempting to act as a speed bump to slow the decline.

    IMO, this latest is a signal to the IRS to back off from going after non Leftist religious groups, or at least treat them equally.

    It's mostly symbolic.
     
  18. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Scientology did not support nor oppose Proposition 8. It appears that an individual staff member put himself down as supporting Prop 8, Paul Haggis found out about it, and then demanded that Scientology officially come out against it. When Tommy and DM refused to issue an official statement, Paul had a hissy-fit.

    As to what happened to the staff member who started that flap, I have no idea. My guess is he got declared.
     
  19. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    That makes more sense. Thanks. :)

     
  20. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Trump to sign order lifting ban on political activity by Scientology & other chur

    Many Churches have become government vendors for processing refugees or providing legal and social services to illegals.

    Membership has been declining in the US and churches have been using illegal immigrant Christians from South America to backfill membership. The positions on this can vary depending on the political orientation of each priest or location.

    As one church location becomes too left or right for the membership, the membership will migrate to a location that better meets their orientation. There can be both hard left or right congregations in the same town in the same denomination. Eventually this can lead to a schism.

    Trying to stereotype a particular denomination as politically left or right isn't so easy anymore. I think it is fair to characterized the Roman Catholic Church as a kind of dictatorship but I don't consider them a cult. Some Bishops have been known to manage their own diocese with their personal brand of individuality. I do not see any provision for that kind of diversity in Scientology. If an ED in a particular org tried to exercise some political agenda that even remotely deviated from DM's I expect they would be brought to heel quickly.

    LRH envisioned Scientology being paid by the government as a replacement of public schools and I'm pretty sure he envisioned receiving government and insurance money as a replacement for psychiatry. I'd expect the COS to pursue these kinds of goals in the political arena.
    _____
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-govern...-program-resettle-refugees-40-percent-muslim/
    ///
    As Refugee Resettlement Watch reported, there are multiple ways for these VOLAGs to generate revenue from this program:
    a. $1,850 per refugee (including children) from the State Department.
    b. Up to $2,200 for each refugee by participating in a U.S. DHHS program known as Matching Grant. To get the $2,200, the Volag need only show it spent $200 and gave away $800 worth of donated clothes, furniture, or cars.
    c. The Volag pockets 25 percent of every transportation loan it collects from refugees it “sponsors”.
    d. All Volag expenses and overhead in the Washington, DC HQ are paid by the U.S. government.
    e. For their refugee programs, Volags collect money from all federal grant programs – “Marriage Initiative,” “Faith-based,” “Ownership Society etc., as well as from various state and local grants.
    The program is so lucrative that in some towns the Catholic Church has lessened support for traditional charity works to put more effort into resettlement. It uses collection offerings to promote the refugee resettlement program.
    ///
     

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