Churches better not dismiss this ‘wacko’ threat against houses of worship

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke says churches opposed to same-sex marriages should lose their tax-exempt status (Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images)

Martin Mawyer – Opinion

“He’s a wacko,” said Donald Trump after presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke announced his plans to eliminate tax-exempt status from churches that are opposed to same-sex marriages.

O’Rourke made the shocking statement during CNN’s town hall meeting on LGBTQ issues last Thursday.

After first saying there can be “no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone” opposed to same-sex marriage, O’Rouke made this staggering promise to the nation:

“And so as president, we’re going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

President Trump can’t be blamed for calling O’Rourke a “wacko.” It certainly sounds like a wacky idea.

But here’s the problem:

By labeling O’Rourke as a “wacko,” the President is also treating O’Rourke’s threat to deny churches their tax-exempt status as if it is so farfetched, so crazy and so improbable that it could never actually happen.

This is dangerous because churches will be tempted to simply dismiss O’Rourke’s remarks as nonsense.  They’ll be under the false impression that this threat can be safely ignored, that it deserves no more attention than perhaps reading it for a good laugh.   As a “wacko” statement, churches might let down their guard and collectively shake it out of their heads, treating it as the ranting of a madman.

But in truth, we all know that many loony, wacko and crackpot ideas put forth by the crazy left eventually become laws, policies, regulations and – yes – acceptable, normal and mainstream policies.

Evolution was once considered a “wacko” idea.  So was the idea that an unborn baby is nothing more than a mass of undeveloped skin tissue that can be intentionally murdered. 

I remember back in 1993 I predicted that President Bill Clinton would make a way for gays to serve in the military.  A spokesman for a major traditional family values organization criticized me at the time, even suggesting on their national radio program I was the one being “wacky” for even suggesting it could happen. Yet, in 1994 the Clinton Administration implemented the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy allowing gays to serve, as long as they didn’t openly announce their homosexuality.  By 2011, the ban on gays serving openly in the military was completely lifted.

In today’s crazy society, ideas that may seem wacky and easily dismissed soon become real, impending and plausible threats.

The once wacky idea that homosexuals should be allowed to legally marry is now a reality. The even wackier idea that boys can identify as girls, and vice-versa, is no longer considered to be wacky but mainstream, acceptable, normal and reasonable.

So now comes the crazed idea that churches opposed same-sex marriages should lose their tax-exempt status.  Of course it sounds wacky and can be easily to dismiss as a deranged idea coming from a frenzied presidential candidate who desperately needs some campaign momentum.

But this wacky idea of depriving opponents of homosexual behavior their tax-exempt status is not new.

Just last month, democrats in the House Ways & Means Committee floated the idea that traditional family groups that make remarks opposed to homosexual behavior should have their tax-exempt status revoked.

Here’s the official position of the Ways & Means Committee on September 5, 2019.

“These remarks are vile and only work to perpetuate hate crimes and stir division. There is no reason the U.S. government should continue to subsidize groups like these.”

The statement is not only outrageous but intentionally misleading.

The Ways & Means Committee would have people think that tax-exemption is the same as government subsidies. They want to create a public fury and outcry that their tax dollars are somehow supporting groups that are opposed homosexual behavior.

But as the Foundation for Economic Education clearly states: “Tax breaks aren’t subsidies…A subsidy is a cash grant from the government,” which churches and pro-family groups do not receive.

What? The liberal-left lie? That they would intentionally mislead and deceive the public for political gain? Would they actually want people to believe something is real, when actually it clearly isn’t? Yeah, like when they say a boy is a girl when anyone with eyes can easily distinguish the obvious truth.  But people still buy into these lies, don’t they?

Beto O’Rourke’s kooky idea to remove tax-exempt status from churches opposed to same-sex marriages may sound “wacko” at first, but if churches aren’t careful, this “wacko” idea may eventually become a “De facto” law.

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