[saymaListserv] FW: preaching political preference
listener at bellsouth.net
Sun Sep 26 18:25:32 JEST 2004
Please consider calling.
Subject: preaching political preference
In a move designed to crush all opposition, House Majority Leader Tom Delay
and House Speaker Dennis Hastert have joined with Rep. Walter Jones to
attach the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act (Jones bill/HR 235)
to the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (H.R. 4520). If passed, the Jones
bill would go far towards eroding the wall of separation between the
institutions of religion and government by reversing IRS tax laws that
prohibit houses of worship from engaging in partisan politicking.
The American Jobs Creation Act already passed the House and Senate and is in
conference committee. By inserting the Jones legislation into this bill
during conference committee , Delay and Jones ensure that the House and
Senate will never get a chance to vote on the Jones bill, which the House
has defeated in various forms twice before.
Shortly before the Congress moved into its August Recess, Rep. Jones,
according to The Hill newspaper, delivered a letter to the Speaker signed by
131 lawmakers stating that the House ³lost an ideal opportunity to change
IRS policy in regards to the ability of houses of worship to endorse
partisan candidates when the House passed the tax reform bill on June 17. In
that bill, The Interfaith Alliance along with nearly two dozen religious
denominations was successful in leading a bipartisan effort to defeat the
so-called ³Safe Harbors Act,² a variation of the Jones bill that would
have allowed houses of worship to endorse political candidates up to three
times without losing their tax-exempt status. Capitol Hill sources say that
the letter delivered by Jones to Speaker Hastert is a clear pressure tactic
reminding the Speaker that many Republican votes for the larger tax reform
bill are in jeopardy if the Jones legislation is not included in the bill.
On September 9, action alerts sprang up on Religious-Right websites
instructing their members to call Hastert and Delay stating, "³UPDATE: WE
NEED YOU TO MAKE CALLS TODAY! The hope of returning free speech to our
pastors is closer than ever. There is a solid possibility of inserting
HR235, the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, into the American
Jobs Creation Act of 2004 that is currently in conference committee on
Contact House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas and thank him for his past
work in preventing this dangerous and landscape-altering legislation from
becoming reality. Please ask Chairman Thomas to prevent the hijacking of the
Jobs Creation Act by Walter Jones and his Houses of Worship Free Speech
Restoration Act. His office can be reached by calling 202-225-3625.
Telephone calls are the only communication that will make an impact at this
point. With the strong network of right-wing organizations making calls,
please immediately let every national organization you are affiliated with
know about this.
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