The Bible and Political Office
Dear Brother Ron
I know there is a separation between church and state. But that does not mean that we should stand by and do nothing. Strong Bible Christians should be raised up in the church to run as politicians in order to save this country of ours Why Not? Churches and synagogues have a lot of money to raise up their own.
While I agree that elected officials should have a strong spiritual foundation, there are some problems with churches breeding political leaders to serve their dogmatic agendas. First, the founding fathers of this country learned from history what happens when a religious organization gains political and military power. The Catholic church of a thousand years ago used its political and military power to carry out the crusades and the Inquisition. The damage from these episodes is still being felt hundreds of years later.
Actually, we need look no further than today's news reports to see what happens when a religious organization aspires to political goals. Each day, we hear of new horrors inflicted by Islamic fundamentalists in the name of God. Every year, homosexuals and other "undesirables" are persecuted and killed by those who think they are carrying out the will of God. If a religious organization was to gain political and military control in this country, the United States as we know it would cease to exist.
But there is a more practical reason why your idea won't work. If there is anything the churches fear more than the pains of hell, it is the loss of their tax-exempt status. IRS Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, clearly lays out what political activities are allowed and prohibited for churches. If a church violates these regulations, they can be forced to pay taxes on their income (including tithes and other contributions), their properties and other assets. This would cost most churches thousands of dollars and would force many to reduce their staff and their support of worthy causes. I have often stated my belief that churches can use the money more efficiently than the government.
Churches have tried for years to get around these regulations. Every effort has failed. I'm afraid you are just going to have to find candidates who reflect your ideals and support them. The government will not allow churches to grow their own politicians. All things considered, that's probably a good thing.
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