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Stupid Letters To The Editor – Will SOMEONE Teach History?

Once in awhile there is a letter to the editor that is so moronic as well as void of facts and understanding, one wonders how the person who wrote it manages to walk without dragging their knuckles.

Such is that case with a letter written to the Florida Today by Tommy Gillis of Port St. John and published by the newspaper on May 24, 2012.

We realize and understand that letters are opinions, but on some level, one would think the newspaper would have some responsibility to make sure the premise of the letter has some – a smattering would be good – of facts before throwing it out to the public to read.

Here’s the letter in its entirety, and after that, we’ll break down the issues with it.

Churches Should Stay Out of Politics or Pay Taxes

I see the Catholic Church is suing the Obama administration for requiring it to provide health care coverage to its employees.

Great place to work, huh? Maybe the administration will hire the same lawyers to defend itself against the church that the church used to defend itself in its unthinkable cover-up of pedophiles and child molesters.

Let’s not forget organized religion pays no taxes. It receives tax-exempt donations and uses them for political gain. Look at the Mormon church and its support of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last year.

Why should churches get a tax break on political donations and not you or me?

Organized religion should get out of politics or pay taxes on their donations.

Where is the tea party? What would Jesus do?

Oy vey.

Let’s start off with the very first line:

I see the Catholic Church is suing the Obama administration for requiring it to provide health care coverage to its employees.

This is lie number one. The Catholic Church is not suing the administration over heath care coverage. The administration is being sued over the specific mandate which would require the Catholic Church to provide a benefit (not coverage) which is against the teachings and morally held beliefs of the church. Even the article in the Florida Today understands the difference between “health care” in toto, and the “contraception mandate:”

Roman Catholic leaders opened a new front against the Obama administration mandate that employers provide workers birth control coverage, filing federal lawsuits Monday on behalf of dioceses, schools and health care agencies that argued the requirement violates religious freedom.

It is quite clear to all but Gillis that lawsuits are not about “health care coverage,” but rather a mandate to fund something that has nothing to do with “health care.”

Great place to work, huh? Maybe the administration will hire the same lawyers to defend itself against the church that the church used to defend itself in its unthinkable cover-up of pedophiles and child molesters.

This is the type of “logic” that makes one go “huh?” Somehow Gillis is trying to equate the Church’s legal activity in assuring its First Amendment rights with a criminal activity. In Gillis’ mind, the thousands of years of work by billions of Catholics is wiped out by the acts of a few. Those acts – reprehensible as they are – does not mean the Catholic Church and its members lose their Constitutional rights. Gillis’ statement is a “false fallacy,” – a lie – when he tries to tie two unrelated actions into one.

Let’s not forget organized religion pays no taxes. It receives tax-exempt donations and uses them for political gain. Look at the Mormon church and its support of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last year.

Gillis apparently has no sense of history. The founding fathers understood the freedom of religion and the idea that the “power to tax is the power to destroy.” In recognizing those two ideas, the founding fathers realized that a religion or church could be taxed out of existence if the state was allowed to tax churches. They further realized that different sects and denominations could be targeted for taxes, thus suppressing the very freedom of religion the First Amendment allows.

Furthermore, in the California Prop 8 battle, the Mormon church had to pay all applicable taxes on goods, services and salaries. There was no “tax free” status given them for that activity.

(If you are keeping count, that is another statement of ignorance and another lie.)

Why should churches get a tax break on political donations and not you or me?

Well, this is an easy one: the churches don’t get a tax break on their donations to a political cause just like “you or me.”

Organized religion should get out of politics or pay taxes on their donations.

Gillis has no sense of history here. In essence, he is trying to make two points; neither of which can stand in light of history.

First, we challenge Gillis to find any passage within the Constitution which says a person or group gives up their right to free speech if they don’t pay taxes. Put another way, we challenge Gillis to find free speech being sold for the price of “taxes.” He won’t find any such support, but yet that is his belief.

Secondly, Gillis has no concept or understanding of the history of churches in this country – specifically during the founding of the country.

Religion played a major role in the American Revolution by offering a moral sanction for opposition to the British–an assurance to the average American that revolution was justified in the sight of God. As a recent scholar has observed, “by turning colonial resistance into a righteous cause, and by crying the message to all ranks in all parts of the colonies, ministers did the work of secular radicalism and did it better.”

Ministers served the American cause in many capacities during the Revolution: as military chaplains, as penmen for committees of correspondence, and as members of state legislatures, constitutional conventions and the national Congress. Some even took up arms, leading Continental troops in battle.

Without religions and religious leaders espousing the need for a new nation, people like Gillis would be speaking his idiocy with a British accent.

Gillis closes this letter with these questions:

Where is the tea party? What would Jesus do?

The “Tea Party” is right where it was 240 years ago – advocating for the freedoms of men.

As for “what would Jesus do?,” we suspect he would tell Gillis the same thing Paul told the Romans:

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools – Romans 1:22 – NIV




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