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Here We Go Again: Poor, Persecuted Christians

Reported by Judy - December 1, 2006 -

If it's December, it must be time for the secular progressives to be roasting Christians over the coals along with their "holiday" chestnuts. And it must be time for Fox News to be bravely fighting it.

This time, it was Uma Pemmaraju waging war against the Christian-roasters on the "Live Desk" on Friday (December 1, 2006).

With the election season almost a month behind us, the "Live Desk" for some reason brought up the topic of churches being prohibited from taking part in political campaigns. Pemmaragu managed to muddy the issue by mixing up endorsing political candidates from the pulpit with preaching about social and moral issues. Federal tax law bars churches from partisan political activity, including endorsing partisan candidates.

Here is her lead-in: "For over 50 years, churches in the U.S. have been prohibited from taking part in political campaigns. But every campaign, we hear religious leaders speak out about politics. Probably the most famous example is the civil rights movement in the 1960s. If religious leaders can effect such social change, should churches, synagogues, and mosques have to pay taxes if they preach politics?"

The civil rights movement in the 1960s was not about endorsing candidates in partisan campaigns, but Pemmaragu failed to make that distinction.

Her guests were the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Michael Johnson of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is funded by groups founded by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

Lynn stressed that religious leaders should be expected to talk about the moral issues of the day, but they cross the line when they endorse candidates from the pulpit. They are free to form political action committees outside of church, to endorse candidates individually, and to do other things that don't involve the tax-exempt resources of their churches, he said.

Johnson, of course, interpreted that as a violation of religious leaders' free speech.

"We want to empower them to speak to the great moral and social issues of the day. Now in contrast, Barry’s group is trying to restrict free speech. They want to constrict it. They’re frankly a bit intimidated by the fact that people of faith might speak out and oppose their really kind of radical secularist views for the nation," Johnson said. "I think you’re (Pemmaraju) right. I think churches and pastors should speak to the issues and they ought to be enmpowered to do so."

Lynn noted Johnson's attempt to blur the issue and imply that religious leaders cannot talk about moral issues. There's no problem with that, he said, only with churches like one in Texas that was caught writing checks to a local Republican Party.

Johnson, apparently, had no problem with such activity. His only response was to slander Lynn by calling him a censor. "You want to intimidate and silence your political opposition," Johnson claimed, violating at least two of the Ten Commandments in one sentence.

Johnson is one of those smarmy Christians who smiles all the time while saying really nasty things about people he disagrees with. He's also a hypocrite, demanding free speech for Christians so then use it to stifle everyone else's.

Take a look at some of the ridiculous claims that Sourcewatch says Johnson's group has been involved in:

"In 1994, ADF solicited funds on Christian radio with an ad claiming, 'Pro-life demonstrations may soon be illegal. ... Religious broadcasting may soon be censored. Hiring homosexuals in Christian schools, churches, and even as Sunday School teachers may soon become the law of the land. ... Don't let Christianity become a crime.'"

What a great source for a national news network to rely on.