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The Boston Globe rediscovers the Constitution

The Boston Globe is out this morning with yet another editorial against Mitt Romney's nascent run for the presidency. The Mormon lame-duck governor of Massachusetts has been talking with leaders and other figures in the Church about his campaign. They remind us that the "separation of church and state" is designed to not only keep the government from meddling too much in churches, but churches from meddling in the affairs of government.

It's a refreshing change of attitude for them, and I welcome it.

I also look forward to seeing it applied more universally (or, dare I say, "catholically") in the future.

I can't wait to see them use the same standards on the political ambitions and machinations of the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who often campaigned in churches and used their clerical status to reach out to voters.

Or on those noted Catholics, Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who routinely go against official church doctrine on such matters as abortion, infidelity, divorce, or the ethics of leaving young campaign workers to drown in submerged automobiles while constructing an alibi.

Or against clergy members who argue against the death penalty, or the war in Iraq, or abortion, or a host of other issues that churches routinely disagree with.

The Constitution is clear: the government can NOT establish an official church, nor can it interfere too closely with the practices of any faith. Likewise, a church cannot grow too embroiled in politics, lest it endanger its tax-exempt status and forfeit the blessings thereof.

So if Romney's outreach to his fellow Mormons is a foul, then that is the standard. And let's apply it fairly, across the board.

Personally, I suspect that this is the Globe's latest attempt to sabotage Romney's presidential aspirations, as they've done so often in the past and will undoubtedly do in the future. Their constant focus on his Mormonism, though, is starting to seriously push the boundaries of propriety.


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Comments (9)

Not to mention the Globe's ... (Below threshold)

Not to mention the Globe's embrace of Sharia, CAIR, and refusal to editorialize on why Muslims should not be allowed to inflict their religion on our politics.

<a href="http://en.wikipedi... (Below threshold)

McCulloch vs. Maryland technically makes taxing religious groups unconstitutional as an infringement on freedom of religion. As Chief Justice Marshall said in his ruling, "the power to tax involves the power to destroy." The "power to destroy religion" is explicitly prohibited by the first amendment....

Does anyone remember where ... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Does anyone remember where the Constitution says "The Church shall make no law respecting an establishment of government?" I must have missed it.

Oh, wait, no, here's the text that the Globbers are looking for : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". That pretty clearly states that the founders specifically didn't want some insane regulation against people's beliefs bugging around with politics.

But, apparently there's an implied collarary. Penumbral, even. Like The First Amendment not caring about potlicial speech, or the Second limits both the militia and the right to own arms despite the actual text. Nevermind the right to protection from unlawful searchs somehow protecting the privacy of an act observed by as many as ten medical professionals.

But to Liberals, every 'right' is only a protection of teir viewpoint, or nothing.

Gr...

As with every election seas... (Below threshold)

As with every election season, yesterday, during church meetings, the local leaders of the LDS Church read a statement to their congregations from the First Presidency reiterating that the church is neutral when it comes to who to vote for and that church facilities and resources are not to be used for the election campaigns of individual candidates. The LDS Church will only get actively involved in elections to support or defeat ballot inititives of social importance like gay marriage, gambling, etc.

As you pointed out, it would be refreshing to see other churches make the same statements from the pulpit. I'm sure that if Mitt Romney was talking with leaders of the LDS Church about his presidential ambitions, he was probably reminded of the LDS Church's policy on elections (which has been in place for more years than I can remember). Of course, that wouldn't make much news for the Boston Globe, so they convienently forgot to report that part of the story.

Churches only need to follo... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Churches only need to follow the 'laws' of the land they signed to become tax exempt. All 501c exemptions are limited on what they can do as a group. Violate the rules you agreed to and lose the tax exemption. There should be no questions and no delay by the IRS in pulling the exemptions.

Jay, I would respectfully d... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Jay, I would respectfully disagree with your reading of the Constitution. The Constitution DOES NOT prevent religious people from participating in government. It prevents the governement from endorsing one religion. The "seperation of church and state" is a one way street.

Anyone who is remotely fami... (Below threshold)
tongancat:

Anyone who is remotely familiar with the LDS church knows that they are adamant about not crossing the line into political endorsements. As has been stated previously, the church routinely has for years read letters during election seasons that admonish members to not involve the church in politics.

Romney didn't meet with church members. A close friend and his son did. This was not to gain the support of the leadership, and more can be read at: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4535225

Fortunately, Scrapiron... ... (Below threshold)
D.Dore:

Fortunately, Scrapiron... churches don't need to file to be 501(c)3 to be exempt from taxation (eventhough too many of them have made that mistake thinking that it gave them some sort of protection, or were poorly advised by well intentioned tax advisors). The tax law inside 501(c)states that Churches are already automtically considered exempt. That can be inferred from reading the constitution.

Remember, churches were tax exempt prior to Lyndon B Johnson's administration that gave us that tax code.

However, the Constitution has nothing in it that says that a Church who's pastor says something about a politial candidate loses it's exempt status.

This needs to be more clearly understood in our churches. Ministers, Priests and Rabbi's need to have the freedom to speak without the fear of government intervention or reprisals...

if they don't, then the so called "separation of church and state" has been breached.

CAIR - 1, FREE SPEECH - 0<b... (Below threshold)

CAIR - 1, FREE SPEECH - 0
Islamonazi CAIR Intimidates Yet Another American Business In Dhimmitude

http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/videos/MS092506.php - MSNBC video

Free Patriotic Corner Banners: http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/cb/




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