October 30, 2008

Focus on the Religio-crazies

Filed under: Commentary — Greg in cheeseland @ 7:48 pm

In September 2007, John McCain declared that “The Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”  That complete bullshit, however, was not enough for him to gain the support of prominent groups on the religious far-right.

Groups such as James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, and the Council for National Policy, the normally secretive network of right-wing preachers, political operatives, and profiteers who exploit religio-crazies all have been a major force in the Republican Party ever since they backed Ronald Reagan for president.  And they and their crusading ground troops were not yet solidly behind McCain.

Enter Sarah Palin:  Caribou Barbie described the building of a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in Alaska as “God’s will,” which she would work to carry out as governor.  She supports the presence of US troops in Iraq as a “task that is from God.”  Her religious convictions and her willingness to use the power of government to force them on others has won the McCain campaign strong backing from far-right groups.  Anyone who is a regular reader here probably realizes that McCain or the RNC picked this incompetent fool in order to get the support of the religious right.

A recent publication by Dobson’s Focus on the Family Action that was sent out to his Christian soldiers is not only a great example of religious insanity, but is also a clear show of support for the McCain campaign that has come about as the result of choosing Palin as his running mate.  You can read it here: .  Fear is the clear motivator in the letter, especially fear that evangelical Christians might vote for Barack Obama, because it suggests that “younger evangelicals” became the “swing vote” that elected Obama and the results were catastrophic.

That is the background, but this is the question I would like pose to readers here: Why is a group like Focus on the Family, which is clearly a religious organization with tax exempt status, allowed to meddle in politics and keep their tax exempt status?  Isn’t that a clear violation of the separation of church and state in our constitution?

I noticed that Dobson’s fear-mongering, religious drivel is published by Focus on the Family Action, so I thought there may have been some loophole in IRS tax code where the “action” group may not be tax exempt, but you can see from this tax filing in 2005 that Focus on the Family Action is also tax exempt:

So, this is my opinion: Religious organizations that choose to meddle in politics should lose their tax exempt status.  And, I’m not talking about a preacher expressing his views from a pulpit, that’s freedom of speech.  I’m talking about propaganda publications, mass mailings, political ads and the hate and fear that these groups spew out to the masses that have been known to influence elections.

Any opinions on this?  Any accountants or tax attorneys out there that can explain how these groups can get away with this?  I would like to hear from you.


  1. Thanks for helping out with the font, Jim.

    Comment by Greg in cheeseland — October 30, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  2. While the constitution did not establish the U.S. as a christian nation, the words “separation of church and state” are nowhere in that document either. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” is all it says. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you completely, but this is why Dobson and people like him can get away with this. I would support a law that stops this nonsense.

    Comment by venta58 — November 1, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  3. But, Venta, innumerable Supreme Court decisions and the letters and debates of the Founders confirm separation of church and state, both for the good of the nation and for the benefit of religion.

    This is kind of like the neocon argument that the Constitution does not specifically say you have a right to privacy, since it doesn’t use the word ‘privacy.’ This is the argument of an idiot. As Thom Hartmann and other Constitutional scholars have pointed out, ‘privacy’ in the late 18th century was a word associated with visiting the bathroom. A gentleman would excuse himself in those days for some ‘privacy’ in order to use the outhouse or the champerpot. Guaranteeing a ‘right to privacy’ back then would have been as ridiculous as a saying now that you have the right to take a crap and pee in private.

    In fact, the Fourth Amendment clearly states that the American legal right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” which has also been determined by Supreme Court decisions to be an incontrovertible ‘right to privacy,’ dimwit bubbleheads like Rush Limbaugh notwithstanding. (BTW, hypocrite Rushbo tried to claim a right to privacy for his medical records when he was under investigation for OxyContin abuse, so he can kiss my all-American, Jeffersonian Democrat, Constitution-understanding, freedom-loving, right-to-privacy ass.)

    Fourth Amendment

    Comment by RS Janes — November 2, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

  4. You’re right, RS Janes. Good call.

    Comment by venta58 — November 2, 2008 @ 10:10 pm

  5. My favorite insanity is when they argue that although you can’t romove the right to habeas corpus, it doesn’t mean that its specifically guaranteed.

    Comment by bittershaman2 — November 3, 2008 @ 12:25 am

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