Ted Cruz Sends Sermon To Pastors: How Many Will Violate Their 501(c)3 Rules And Preach It On Sunday?

With Donald Trump waffling on women’s health issues, the fanatical religious right is looking for a candidate they can throw their prayers behind. Ted Cruz wants to be that candidate. To that end, he has teamed up with another religious right grifter favorite, David Barton.

Cruz used Barton’s WallBuilders email list to send out an email to thousands of pastors, telling them to preach against Planned Parenthood and to push Congress to shut down the government if PP is not defunded. Cruz even sent a sample sermon. The sermon, provided by David Lane’s American Renewal Project, uses lies and manipulation to get congregations to step up the pressure on Congress.

Here’s how the sermon begins:

“Proverbs provides clear insight into God’s character. He has a personal hatred for seven things. God judges them to be so odious that they are an abomination to Him. His character will never allow His hatred of an abomination to evolve into a toleration of it. His children should be resolved to reflect His character, not to redefine it.”

So, their God hates things that the creatures he is purported to have created, do. Even though he instilled them, he won’t tolerate them at all. The reference to the parishioners as “children” is an apt one, as this sort of God is nothing more than a very strict Sky Daddy. One who, conveniently, hates what they hate. It continues:

“When an individual or a nation stiff arms the character of God and embraces an abomination as the law of the land, it ends in disaster. When rebellious people disregard the compass of the most powerful, it is a very short step to dismembering the bodies of the most vulnerable. Like other nations, America has taken that step. It is time for a turnaround.”

“Stiff-arms?” Are we playing football with God? Now, we’ve come to the meat of the sermon: America is rebellious and must be whipped like a naughty child corrected. Note the smooth jump from disregarding the “compass” to the actual topic:

“Recent videos exposing the gruesome practice of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of the organs of babies from their mother’s womb… There must be a point in which the accumulative error of an evil decision thrust upon the nation by secularist jurists stops… pray for your Congressmen and Senators to hear from God regarding the ending of the slaughter of the innocent. Let them know that you are praying for them, and you are expecting them to do the right thing. You will no longer tolerate any excuse when they have the chance to vote to end government sponsored support of the murder and dismemberment of babies in this session of Congress. God hates it. You can stop it. For God’s sake, make it happen.”

Once again, we see the arrogance and self-righteousness of the Evangelicals and far-right Christians that is turning people away from them at a precipitous rate. They know best. Their beliefs are the ones we should all follow. They want to make the rules for us all.

The mention of the government sponsored support of “the murder and dismemberment of babies” is not only demonstrably wrong, it is unconstitutional to ask churchgoers to pressure Congress about it. When pastors — or rabbis, priests, priestesses, imams, et.al. — tell their congregants to take an action to influence the government, that is unconstitutional. Churches and religious organizations are granted tax-exempt status predicated on the agreement that they not practice politics under the auspices of that organization. The IRS states:

“An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.”

Any pastor who preaches this sermon on Sunday is in violation of these 501(c)3 rules. It’s time the IRS did its job and enforced these rules. Tax the churches. Tax the businesses owned by the churches. And stop allowing the pulpit to act as a stump for candidates and legislation.

Contact the IRS. Tell them that you are tired of these right-wing zealots flauting the rules.

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