Friday, February 15, 2008

Grassley should re- focus on the political speech by a 501 c 3

Grassley should Focus on the Family
02/12/08 07:52 ,
Last November, Senator Grassley (R-IOWA) (a), opened an investigation on six major television evangelists and their lifestyles(b). This came on the coattails of the Oral Roberts University scandal and lawsuit this fall(c). A friend of mine e-mailed me a article about the investigation knowing my interest in church-state matters.

Understanding that the ministries are not required to file 990’s, I figured it wouldn’t amount to anything so dismissed it. I had done some quick research on Seanator Grassley and found he is no fan of disclosure himself, so to want television evangelists to provide him information beyond what the government requires makes we wonder just how conservative he is. (This letter is unbelievable.)(d)

It is ironic that the senior senator seeks people to cooperate upon his request when he himself will not. Senator Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Grassley REPEATEDLY REFUSED TO PROVIDE ANY RESPONSES TO CITIZENS ON ISSUES THROUGH THE 2004 NATIONAL POLITICAL AWARENESS TEST. Senator Charles E. ‘Chuck’ Grassley REFUSED TO PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION WHEN ASKED TO DO SO BY:

Major News Organizations and key national leaders of both parties including,
John McCain, Republican SenatorGeraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic CongresswomanMichael Dukakis, Former Democratic GovernorBill Frenzel, Former Republican CongressmanRichard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President.

One starts to ask why Grassley is investigating the televangelists all of a sudden and then it becomes a bit clearer. Many of the television evangelists were part of the Board of Regents of Oral Roberts University . In May 2006, ORU was contacted by the Internal Revenue Service over a complaint about the school’s involvement in a local political campaign in potential violation of its 501(c)(3) status(e). Now that is fair game. If a organization wants a 501 (c) (3) exemption, and especially a religious organization, it should abide by the rules of the law it places itself under (f), and if they violate it , be subjected to the penalty of the law.

Now to the rescue of the televangelists comes Garry M CCaleb : “We’re not representing any of the parties involved, but when I see a senator charging into organizations, wielding this kind of budget ax and laying bare religious figures and expenditures, huge constitutional questions are being raised,” said Garry McCaleb, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious liberty legal group founded by Focus on the Family and other influential evangelicals. Interesting to find, Robert “Bob” S. Waliszewski ,Media and Culture Director, Focus on the Family, sits on the Board of Oral Roberts .(g)

Where Senator Grassley gets legal authority to conduct such an investigation og lifestyles of televangelists is beyond me (though abuse of power has been the trend in government ); investigating tax exempt organizations that abuse their status and disregard the spirit of the law is quite another. Last week I was listening to the news and on comes Dr. James Dobson(h), (introduced as founder of Focus on the Family), claiming to speak as a private citizen(i), not just endorsing a candidate, but also speaking against another. Now of course, CitizenLink (j) makes sure it is “not really” the voice of Focus on the Family, so that Dr. Dobson can speak as a private citizen and thereby skirts the rules of the internal revenue service. But when someone hears Dr. Dobson, it carries the weight of “Focus on the Family” with it , disclaimer or not.

I have no problem if Dr. Dobson wants to register as a 527, register as a lobbyist, or be part of a political organization of his choice. That is HIS right. However, his feigning of speaking as a private citizen reminds me of “it depends on the meaning of is”(k).

Focus on the Family’s Dr. Dobson Says GOP has Abandoned Values Voters
Tuesday’s Losses Suggest “The Big Tent Will Turn into a Three-Ring Circus”
Contact: Gary Schneeberger, Focus on the Family, 719-548-5853,
COLORADO SPRINGS, Nov. 9 /Christian Newswire/ — Focus on the Family Chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., issued the following statement today on the results of Tuesday’s election:
“Laura Ingraham said it best. When Congressional Republicans wait until the First of October to begin reaching out to their base, they are destined to lose. That was the GOP’s downfall. They consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power until it was late in the game and then frantically tried to catch up at the last minute. In 2004, conservative voters handed them a 10-seat majority in the Senate and a 29-seat edge in the House. And what did they do with their power? Very little that Values Voters care about.

“Many of my colleagues saw this coming. I said in an interview with U.S. News and World Report shortly after the 2004 elections, ‘If Republicans in the White House and in Congress squander this opportunity, I believe they will pay a price for it in four years — or maybe in two.’ Sadly for conservatives, that in large measure explains what happened on Tuesday night. Many of the Values Voters of ‘04 simply stayed at home this year.…Someone should tell him that without the support of that specific constituency, John Kerry would be President and the Republicans would have fallen into a black hole in ‘04. In fact, that is where they are headed if they continue to abandon their pro-moral, pro-family and pro-life base. The big tent will turn into a three-ring circus…."

Senator Grassley, it is not your place to dictate lifestyles and salaries of televangelists, no matter how distasteful their message may be to your Baptist theology. Constrain yourself to the law.
Dr. Dobson, please quit giving religion a black eye with your lack of forgiveness to Senator Mc Cain for tagging some evangelical leaders ” the ‘’self-appointed leaders” of the religious right, depicting them as intolerant empire builders who ”have turned good causes into businesses” while trying to exclude all but ”card-carrying Republicans” from the party.
Mr. McCain singled out for criticism two of the Christian right’s best-known leaders, Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority. He compared Mr. Robertson to ”union bosses who have subordinated the interests of working families to their own ambitions,” and he accused both men of trying to distort his opposition to abortion and ‘’smear the reputations of my supporters.”
”The politics of division and slander are not our values,” Mr. McCain said in a somber address to some 4,000 people who packed a high school gymnasium here only a few miles from the headquarters of the Christian Coalition. ”They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country.” The names of the ”agents of intolerance ” in 2000 may have changed but the description is spot on.. You are making his case for him and endangering legitimate non-profits tax exempt status by abusing yours. Please stop the transparent power struggle and Focus on the Family, not republican politics. God is not a republican and isn’t draped in a American Flag.

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