CLEARWATER — It was the evangelical Christian right that cheered President Donald Trump’s early promise to revoke the law that forbids churches, with their tax-exempt status, from endorsing political candidates. Now that Republican lawmakers have tucked a provision softening the Johnson Amendment into the House tax reform bill, the impact could be broader than the Trump supporters envisioned, giving aid to the Church of Scientology, with its history of seeking legitimacy through proximity to politicians. While the House version of the tax overhaul includes wording allowing religious leaders and nonprofits to back candidates without losing their tax-exempt status, the Senate version doesn’t
Comments: It´s never been legal for tax-exempt organizations like churches to become nakedly political (like Rev. Wright´s TUCC, attended by Obama), but the feds aren´t about to land on their allies in the pulpit. If Scientology happens to benefit from a change in tax policy, so what? If the provision is too objectionable, it´ll disappear in reconciliation anyway. This story is at the top of page one today, a dead giveaway of the Times´s yellow dog Democrat proclivities.
Again, I emphasize that this article is directly under the paper´s masthead in Sunday morning print edition.
Some churches have been intensely political places for two generations, under roof faith frequently corrupted by politics, almost daring the authorities to pull their tax exempt status. Might as well give up on that one. That horse left the barn long ago.
On the other hand, during the ´90s my congressman would show up at my well attended non-denominational evangelical church every year or so (he was, I´m certain, Greek Orthodox) for a Sunday service. There´s no doubt that most parishioners were supporters of his, not to mention the pastor, who welcomed the congressman to the church, and then remarked that he couldn´t legally endorse anyone ... (he trailed off as everyone including the congressman laughed)... so he wouldn´t. Said with a smile. The congressman knew he was among friends. We just couldn´t say so out loud in church. Wouldn´t be prudent. Stick to the Book.
As I implied in the OP remarks, the Times´s hyper-liberal editorial staff are grasping at a thin reed to warn us that overall beneficial changes in tax policy might also benefit the megalomaniac David Miscavige and his obedient brainwashed uniformed slaves around the Ft. Harrison Hotel. We can´t have that, can we?
So I guess that breaks it. Now because I think Scientology is satanic garbage it must follow that I´m a Democrat opposed to all sensible taxation, and must oppose anything that slightly benefits real churches as well as a fake one like Scientology. Nice try, Times.
Media Matters can have tax exempt status, and spends all their efforts on pursuing the interests of the Democrat Party. But churches must be silent, or lose their tax exemption? Muslims do what they like, but christians must remain silent? No, I don´t think that is working. It is time for Christians, who founded and built this country, and are its history, to speak as they please.
No problem. We have Scientology´s number and L. Ron Hubbard´s joke of a church will remain the refuge of those willing to give them the family fortune in exchange for all of the brainwashing they want. Would you follow the guidance of little Tommy Cruise?
I am a Missouri Synod Lutheran. I haven´t attended for some time, but I was a regular and anytime an election was held, the pastor only said pray for our politicians. No endorsements. I know when Kennedy ran, many if not most had the Catholic Church telling the congregation to vote for one of ours. Politics is ruining the NFL, probably will hit the NBA and will ruin both sports. The same with churches.
Today the Associated Press headlines: “Cumming: Important to portray gay character in time of Trump.” For liberals, it doesn’t matter what the topic is, it’s always “the time of Trump.” Actor Alan Cumming, who is portraying what is believed to be the first gay lead character in a broadcast network drama, said Saturday that it’s particularly important that the milestone is happening during President Donald Trump’s administration. Really? Why? Trump’s record is at least as pro-gay as Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s, if you assume that is a good thing: (Snip) What on Earth is Cumming talking about? What “violence and persecution
The Democrats are doing the same thing to Donald Trump that they did to Ronald Reagan–questioning his sanity, claiming he is senile and unstable, denying his fitness for office. There are two differences: the Democratic Party controls the press more monolithically today than it did durning the 1980s, and the Democrats hate Trump even more than they hated Reagan–something I never expected to see. In this crazed historical moment, Ambassador Nikki Haley is, as usual, a voice of sanity. She responds to George Stephanopoulos’s faux concerns about the president. Notable quote: “Having been governor, now an ambassador, I’m always amazed at
Blue state governments are reeling following enactment of the tax reform bill, which among many other virtues, corrects an injustice: residents of low-tax states like South Dakota will no longer be forced to subsidize residents of high-tax states like New York. Or at least, not to the same extent. State and local taxes will still be deductible, up to $10,000. The Associated Press reports: “States exploring tax changes in response to federal overhaul.” In New Jersey and California, top Democratic officials want to let people make charitable contributions to the state instead of paying certain taxes. Sure, that’ll work. In Connecticut and New York,
TARPON SPRINGS The boys leaned forward in their boats on Spring Bayou, poised to leap as soon as the white cross flipped into the air. • Some wrapped their arms around their shivering chests. Some rubbed their hands together. Others clenched their fists, muscles taut, ready to spring. It was one of the coldest Epiphany celebrations in years, but nothing would stop the boys from their chance at a year of blessings. "You only get three opportunities in your life," diver Frankie Giallourakis, 17, said before the plunge. From the thrashing of limbs and waves would emerge 18-year-old Christian Chrysakis, slack-jawed as he thrust
The new mantra against Donald Trump is that he´s "mentally unstable!" "unfit!" "like a child" and "losing his mind." That´s rich coming from the community that brought us giant vagina costumes as a form of protest. #ThingsJesusNeverSaid Put on a large vagina costume and fight for women´s rights. pic.twitter.com/Rx9DisIJVZ — Pink Taco (@Nastypinktaco) May 6, 2017 These are the people who are so sane they want us to believe they can declare other people insane without medical degrees or any kind of expertise. Not only do they think dressing up as genitalia is a delightful and totally normal thing to do on a Saturday,
Fox News´ Tucker Carlson had Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on his show Friday to discuss the multiple investigations surrounding former Secretary of State state Hillary Clinton. Fox News´ Trace Gallagher reported that the U.S. Attorney´s office and FBI have actually been looking into the Clinton Foundation for months. Additionally, the Department of Justice is exploring the Clinton email probe, the Uranium One investigation, and the allegation that the Obama administration quashed a DEA investigation into Hezbollah narco-terror activities in order to smooth the way for the Iran nuclear deal. "There may have been acts that occurred at the State Department as a
TAMPA — Christine Lee wants the world to know she does not own a bobcat. She spent much of Thursday fending off phone calls from friends and news reporters who had learned of a lawsuit alleging she does. The civil complaint claims a bobcat attacked a contractor who entered her home on the 18th floor of the Skypoint Condominiums in downtown Tampa. That man, Marcos Hernandez, is suing Lee and the Skypoint Condominium Association for unspecified damages he says he suffered as a result of a creature clawing his arms, according to court and police records. But the feline in question is not a
Sightings of sharks off Florida coasts are as common as the tides, but not the great white — or at least, that’s what scientists thought before they started tracking the animals. Three adolescent female great whites — given the names Katharine, Betsy and most recently, Miss Costa — have all made the journey to the Gulf of Mexico after they were tagged in New England starting in 2013, suggesting that great whites may be fairly common in these waters. Miss Costa’s tag sent a signal to a satellite tracker while the animal’s dorsal fin was above the water’s surface Monday off the
The ladies of ABC’s “The View” just could not shake the Fox News in Greta Van Susteren during her Thursday appearance. She’s ex-Fox News now, having said it hadn’t felt like home for a few years. She even did a stint on their favorite MSNBC before that network canned her and replaced her with Ari Melber. But to no avail. Even MSNBC couldn’t wash away her Fox News stench. No matter what Van Susteren said, she just could not get the ladies to warm to her. Greta was on the show to guest host at the “Hot Topics” table and discuss her
One of the underappreciated aspects of the crisis in Iran is its linkage with Venezuela. This collapsing Caribbean nation has a geostrategic alliance with embattled Iran. Some aspects are financial. Venezuela is relying on Iran and Syria to pull it out of the economic mire. "Facing potentially debilitating oil sanctions from the Trump administration, the Caracas government is searching desperately for new ways to get its most valuable commodity — oil — to awaiting buyers. ... The Venezuelan government is working with Iran and Syria to start construction this year on a new refinery in Syria that will process up
TAMPA — High atop the concrete jungle of downtown Tampa, in the confines of a posh condominium, a bobcat raged. On May 17, the animal lashed out at visiting contractor Marcos Hernandez, leaving him seriously injured. That’s according to a lawsuit that Hernandez filed last month against Christine Lee, the owner of the bobcat, according to a civil complaint. Hernandez is seeking unspecified damages. The attack is alleged to have occurred in Unit 1814 of the Skypoint building, the 36-story high-rise at 777 N Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. Lee lives there and had custody and control of the bobcat on the date
A recent study of adolescents in the state of California by researchers at UCLA found that an eyebrow-raising percentage now identify as "nongender conforming." "We found that 27 percent of youths age 12 to 17 in California, or about 796,000, are GNC," the study stated. The study grouped the kids into three definitions: "gender conforming," "androgynous," or "highly nongender conforming." They found that 20.8 percent were categorized as "androgynous," and an additional 6.2 percent as "highly nongender conforming." This is a huge number that does not align with any prior studies, such as the 4.1 percent of the population of the country that
Monica Lewinsky, who was widely vilified and ridiculed when details of her infamous affair with former president Bill Clinton surfaced in 1998, revealed that not one political player who mocked her at the time has ever apologized. ´Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,´ Lewinsky said during her first ever public ticketed talk at the Park City Institute in Utah. When Lewinsky was 24 years old she became internationally famous overnight as the most private details spread on the internet. ´Overnight I went from being a completely private person to being completely publicly humiliated,´ Lewinsky told an audience of about
Left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer, who is leading a campaign for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, plans to hand-deliver 535 copies of Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, to every voting member of Congress. Steyer told San Francisco Bay Area public radio station KQED: ““We believed when we started this impeachment petition on Oct. 20, we felt every subsequent day would bring information that would bolster our argument that this was a dangerous, unfit president who needed to be removed from office, and from what I can tell, this book makes that case in very bold
CNN host Jake Tapper clashed with senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over claims in "Fire & Fury: Inside The Trump White House," Michael Wolff´s explosive new tell-all about President Donald Trump´s campaign, presidential transition, and administration.In an interview on "State of the Union" on Sunday, Tapper pressed Miller to respond to some of the most high-profile claims, including Bannon´s assertion that a 2016 meeting between the Trump campaign and a Kremlin-linked lawyer was "unpatriotic" and "treasonous."Miller dismissed both Bannon and Wolff´s credibility, saying the author was a "garbage author of a garbage book," and that claims in the book were
On Friday, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) listed some of the things she’d do with the money President Donald Trump wants to protect America from the threats posed by illegal immigration. On her Twitter page, Pelosi introduced her series of posts by claiming the border wall funding “could do so much more” – if it wasn’t used to secure the border: “President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump, that border wall funding you are asking for (again) could do so much more good in other places….” Pelosi followed with eight separate Tweets, each touting something she’d spend the border wall funds
LONDON - The author of a book that is highly critical of Donald Trump’s first year as U.S. president said his revelations were likely to bring an end to Trump’s time in the White House. Michael Wolff told BBC radio that his conclusion in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”-- that Trump is not fit to do the job -- was becoming a widespread view. “I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect,” Wolff said in an interview broadcast on Saturday. “The story that I have told seems to present
In July, MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough showily announced on Stephen Colbert´s CBS show that he was leaving the Republican Party. No one on the Republican National Committee flew a flag at half-mast. The announcement was at least a decade behind the reality. In 2006, he basically called then-President Bush an idiot. Last week, he did the same to President Trump. There is consistency here from the man who craves attention.Scarborough is the MSNBC equivalent of David Gergen, someone always twiddling his spit-covered finger in the wind and switching his allegiances depending on which option benefits him the
First, a few thoughts on the DOJ´s reported interest in taking another look at Hillary Clinton´s protocol-violating and national security-compromising email server, a scandal about which she lied repeatedly: (1) I´d be a bit surprised if DOJ ends up pursuing charges, as that ship likely sailed when James Comey (wrongly, in my view) chose not to recommend prosecution in July 2016. (2) I´m somewhat uncomfortable seeing the supposedly-independent Justice Department clearly bowing to incessant political pressure from the president on this subject. It´s true that President Obama telegraphed his preferred outcome
President Trump on Saturday launched a remarkable defense of his mental fitness for office, calling himself a “very stable genius” and “like, really smart.” Trump made the defense in a series of tweets that appeared to push back on questions raised by a new book that painted a chaotic and dysfunctional picture of his campaign and early months of his presidency. “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump tweeted. The president said doubts about his mental capacity have been frequently raised by his critics, but he proved them wrong
Mitt Romney changed his Twitter profile location from “Massachusetts” to “Holladay, UT” as soon as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced his retirement on Tuesday. It is clear that Romney intends to run for the open seat, and pundits agree that he is likely to win. But in all the speculation about whether Romney would run in Utah, no one has asked whether he should, or what broader purpose his victory there would serve, beyond his own ambitions.
Now that Steve Bannon has carried his political jihad to its logical conclusion, martyrdom never looked so meaningless. A bright and talented man has sacrificed himself over nothing more significant than anger and vanity. Consider a recent report that Bannon was mulling the idea of running for president in 2020. Presumably that was part of his plan to elect a batch of Roy Moores, depose Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and reshape congress to match his own definition of economic nationalism. As such, Bannon’s decision to go out in a blaze of personal attacks on the president and everybody else in the White
Google changed corporate America and Silicon Valley with company perks, like free bikes for employees to get across sprawling office parks. But the community of Mountain View, California — where Google is headquartered — has caught on, forcing Google to rethink just how "free" its bikes really are, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company estimates that between 100 and 250 of it´s 1,100 multi-colored "Gbikes" disappear on a weekly basis, and it´s started to take actions to reduce those numbers. Among the solutions, the company hired a team of 30 contractors and five designated vans whose only job is
Whether it is merely the FBI trying to restore its shattered credibility or justice finally being done, the news that the pay-to-play activities of the Clinton Foundation are going to get renewed and serious attention is welcome. The Clintons have made a career of ignoring, skirting, and breaking the law. Up to this point, crime has paid off handsomely for the Clintons, but now they may find themselves caught between Little Rock and a hard place: The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served