Pulpit Freedom Sunday-that recent nationwide event objecting to the government's hog-tying of political speech from the pulpit-has me wondering. I don't know what to think about it.
I personally wouldn't want to go to a "Republican" church. Or a "Democratic" church. I wouldn't want the pastor bellowing Sunday after Sunday for or against Obama or McCain. Of course, I suppose I could always vote with my feet and find a better church in town.
On the other hand, I wouldn't want to see the anti-Christ coming, or another 1938 Germany, and be muzzled. Well, you might say, we are in no imminent danger of an anti-Christ or another Hitler. That is more than I can know. But part of me longs for a time when you didn't have to watch your P's and Q's and tax-exempt status so much.
LBJ was the man who slapped on the muzzle, quietly having restrictions on non-profits put into the IRS Code, in pique against a couple of non-profits who had supported his opponent during his 1954 Senate race. Some say (who can prove it?) that that's when the liberal agenda really took off in this country.
In 1789 we peeled off government encroachment by the enacting of the First Amendment. Now here we are again, up to our eyeballs in the kudzu of federal regulation as churches become unmeshed in the welfare state, ironically, through faith-based initiatives. Something about the piper calling the tune.
Some totally insane people have even put forth the notion that the First Amendment should be enough to give us tax exemption and that we don't need to go begging to the government for protection under its lousy 501(c)(3) status. As I recall, Ezra decided the government's "protection" came with too many strings attached (Ezra 8:22,23).