Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today's Sermon: Politics, Imprecatory Prayer, & Rendering Unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar is not for the righteous church, whose sole mission is to spread the good word and congregate in joyous, uplifting song.

Then, there's Rev. Wiley Drake, who has a church and a radio show and some church stationery for his GOP political action endeavors... and some death threats for those who think he's crossed the IRS tax law line. Oh, yeah. He also has a email address. If you click on his name in the above radio show link, you'll see it.

Just another God Warrior?

Or just another tax cheat?

Minister: Death To My Tax Status Critics

(AP) A California minister who used church stationery and an Internet radio program to endorse former Gov. Mike Huckabee for president is asking his followers to pray for the deaths of those who filed a complaint against him with the IRS.

The Rev. Wiley S. Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., called for "imprecatory prayer" targeting Barry W. Lynn, Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"The prayer does call for serious, serious punishment on people. But I didn't call for that, God did," said Drake, a native of Magnolia who completed a term in June as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wow! Rev. Wiley's so righteous that he has a flag growing out of his head.

But even flag-headed ministers are required to know current tax laws so they can protect their flocks.

The ban on political campaign activity by charities and churches was created by Congress more than a half century ago. The Internal Revenue Service administers the tax laws written by Congress and has enforcement authority over tax-exempt organizations. Here is some background information on the political campaign activity ban and the latest IRS enforcement statistics regarding its administration of this congressional ban.

In 1954, Congress approved an amendment by Sen. Lyndon Johnson to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity. To the extent Congress has revisited the ban over the years, it has in fact strengthened the ban. The most recent change came in 1987 when Congress amended the language to clarify that the prohibition also applies to statements opposing candidates.

Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today, knowing that there are those who want God to smite you just because you question their actions.

And ponder how religious tax cheats like to hide behind (or under) the flag and ignore the New Testament's message of peace when they feel personally threatened.

Think about it.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--


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