Strip Tax Exemption From Churches – Not the N.F.L.

Apparently the petulant brat in the White House is butt-hurt that he has been unable to bully the National Football League’s team owners in his fabricated outrage over athletes exercising their constitutional rights. To further rile up his base, Trump came up with some “fake news” that brings up a point of contention, and a cost of hundreds-of-millions of dollars, among many American taxpayers; churches’ tax exempt status.

After scheduling a propaganda plot with his evangelical buddy Mike Pence, Trump took to Twitter to ramp up his base’s animosity toward the N.F.L. to portray the wildly popular sports league as unpatriotic “takers.”

Trump said Congress should eliminate a law that allowed the N.F.L. central office to avoid paying taxes as a nonprofit entity. It is important to note that “only the central office” was tax exempt, like every church in America has been for far too long. The teams, players, and team owners all pay taxes and Trump knows it.

Another bit of news Trump is aware of is that the N.F.L. “voluntarilygave up its tax exemption in 2015; there is nothing Congress can do to eliminate the N.F.L.’s tax exemption they no longer have. Trump is guilty of fabricating “fake news” that he projects on every news outlet on Earth that fails to praise him as a Republican demigod.

It is important to note that the N.F.L. central office’s tax exempt status didn’t bother Trump when he was trying, and failing, to buy an N.F.L. team in 2014. As an aside, many pundits assert that Trump’s current attacks on the league are, besides a distraction from his glaring incompetence, retribution because the league didn’t accept his bid to buy the Buffalo Bills because it was considerably lower than billionaire Terry Pegula’s.

On the only media outlet that Trump has a semblance of control over, his Twitter account, he tweeted:

Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country?” Change tax law!

Ignoring the fact that the N.F.L. is not getting any “massive tax breaks,” there is more “fake news” from Trump that the 32 teams that make up the “league” are disrespecting “our anthem, flag and country.” Neither the “league” nor any one of the 32 teams are disrespecting a song, a flag or America any more than the players exercising their First Amendment rights are. The players are protesting racial injustice and they are paying taxes; something no-one knows if Trump is doing because he is too corrupt to release his tax returns. Everyone knows churches are not paying taxes.

One would support eliminating the N.F.L. central office’s tax exempt status if it still existed on one condition; first strip the tax exempt status from every church in America and do it with extreme prejudice.

According to the last time an organization “estimated” how much church tax exemption is costing American tax payers, that free welfare amounted to about $8.5 billion annually in 2013.  It is noteworthy that the $8.5 billion does not include tens-of-millions in “faith based” initiative money or the double-dipping members of the clergy enjoy on what little they claim on their personal income tax returns. Added in those number are religious organizations exemption from paying sales tax, property tax, federal, state, and local income tax, or investment taxes.

Trump’s claim the N.F.L. Is disrespecting “our country” applies “bigly” to evangelical and Catholic Church organizations. According to their namesake Jesus Christ, and  “their” almighty god’s immutable words, Christians are commanded to pay taxes as well as obey the government on pain of everlasting damnation in eternal Hellfire.

Instead, primarily evangelicals and Catholics regularly violate federal and state laws they claim don’t comport with their “religious beliefs;” even though those “deeply held beliefs” are not part nor parcel of either faith. Those groups also disrespect the United States Constitution by denying other Americans their constitutional equal rights or freedom from religious imposition. It is a monumental form of “disrespect” to other Americans and the Constitution to violate their equal rights and still take the “violated people’s” tax dollars in the form of a tax exemption.

There are many people who have asked for years; “Why are churches getting massive tax breaks while disrespecting the Constitution, other Americans’ freedoms and the secular nation the Founding Fathers provided? Change tax law!”

Trump doesn’t come up with great ideas often. For dog’s sake, he never comes up with even good ideas until now. It is an excellent idea, and time, to “change tax law.” However,  before even considering the N.F.L.’s non-existent tax issue, it is damned high time for Congress to strip tax exemption from every church in the land and save taxpayers what is certainly well over $100 billion annually.

It is possible that for some Americans churches provide a service of sorts, but they don’t deserve tax exemption for doing what their “holy books” command. School teachers, firefighters, military personnel, police officers, librarians, dog catchers and many, many other Americans pay taxes and they all actually provide crucial services to all Americans. For Trump to demand the N.F.L. lose a tax exemption it  forfeited voluntarily two years ago while not focusing on the unwarranted, and wildly expensive, church tax exemption is not only hypocritical, it is further proof that Trump is a punk-ass hypocrite looking for a reason to rile up his base and distract America from his criminal enterprise in the White House.

 

Evangelicals Rage At Failure To Force Child Rape Victim To Give Birth

In a story that explicitly explains why America’s quickening into theocracy is sheer evil rivaling the religious tyranny under Taliban rule, a pair of Alabama evangelicals lashed out at an appeals court decision and a barely 12-year-old impregnated rape survivor because god and Catholic Church dogmata. A young girl was raped several times by an adult relative and a former director of the legal staff under maniacal Christian Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore, and the director of an evangelical “pregnancy center” held a press conference to publicly blame and shame the now-12 year old child of committing an act of violence.

The anonymous child drew the wrath of the two religious extremists for seeking a waiver to get the result of several rapes (a pregnancy) terminated without parental approval. The pair of evangelicals were even more incensed that an appeals court agreed that the “tween” should not be forced to suffer the lifelong consequences of being repeatedly raped, impregnated, and then have to give birth. If one listens to the evangelical running the COPE pregnancy center, Lorie Mullins, and a Judge Roy Moore acolyte Win Johnson, the child chose to be repeatedly raped and now has to live with the consequences of either being a sixth grade child raising a child, or with the guilt and shame of committing willful murder.

The appeals court overturned a biblical ruling by an “anonymous” county’s district attorney who decided that the fifth grader had to carry that fetus to term and then work it out for herself how to attend the sixth grade in the fall with a newborn in tow. The appeals court noted there was no dispute that girl was impregnated by an adult relative who raped her repeatedly. They also noted that the child and her siblings were removed from her mother’s custody five times and placed in the care of the Department of Human Resources (DHR) because of repeated physical abusive and neglect.

The fifth-grader had to petition the local juvenile court for a legal waiver to have the pregnancy terminated without her abusive mother’s consent, and after hearing testimony from the child and a DHR caseworker, the court determined the circumstances justified a waiver. One wonders what kind of monsters enact laws that force a child to “petition the court” for a waiver after being repeatedly raped, but it is Alabama where one of the evangelicals railing on the court’s and child’s decision claims that it is high time judges and courts start “standing up for god;” not the secular law and certainly not the 12-year-old victim of repeated sexual assaults.

The attorney who lashed out at the secular (read legal) ruling said the appeals court decision was stunning because they ruled that “a 12-year-old was mature enough to murder her own child in her womb.”

Win Johnson must be one of those typical biblically-stupid evangelicals because according to his own bible’s almighty and never erring god, there is no child in any woman’s womb; the fetus becomes “a living being” only after it leaves the womb and draws “the breath of life.” Still, Johnson was irritated with rage that he or no other evangelical got the opportunity to berate and shame the 12-year-old child to impress on her that what she really wanted to do was commit murder. He said:

“Now, nobody has said that to her, I bet you, in any of her counseling. Nobody has explained that to her in its starkest, rawest form, like that. But what if it was, what if she really thought through it, even as a 12-year-old and said, ‘Gosh, I don’t want that on my conscience.’ “

The woman who joined Johnson in railing against the court and the rape victim, Lori Mullins, boasted that she counsels hundreds of pregnant women, including those considering abortion and those after abortions. She said the aftermath of abortion often leads to depression, substance abuse and difficulty with relationships. She also said that a “child entering the sixth grade should not be allowed to take that step.” Here’s a clue for Mullins: a child entering the sixth grade should not be forcibly and repeatedly raped or forced by compassionless evangelicals to carry the result of several violent crimes against her to term.

This incident is not about some evangelical public officials’ opposition to abortion, it is about evangelicals attempting to enforce the Catholic Church’s 1968 dogma on all women no matter if they are forty-two year-old wives and mothers or an innocent child getting ready to enter the sixth grade.

One thing is abundantly clear: these so-called pro-life Christians have no compassion whatsoever, not for the newborn or the soon-to-be sixth-grader. Despite gnashing their teeth and Hellfire and brimstone scare tactics, neither of the pro-life cretins ever considered the plight and life of the 12 year-old child being forced again to submit to the will of adults over “a belief.”   One thing is certain, neither one of the evangelicals offered to pay for and raise the child while the child mother finishes attending grammar, junior and senior high school. It would have been the Christian thing to offer if they were not heartless evangelical bastards.

Steve Bannon Joins Insurgency Trying To Topple Pope Francis

 

Any conscious human being should comprehend that there is a movement to re-order the world that includes tearing down established governments and institutions, and America is now leading the movement. The current administration has shown a marked desire to tear down long-established alliances and treaties and is basing its foreign policy on waging a religious crusade against a particular faith. The man considered the second most powerful person in America, Steve Bannon, was reported to have confessed to being a Leninist whose goal is taking down “the state establishments” worldwide; it explains the Trump administration. What Trump is too “functionally illiterate” to comprehend about Bannon is that his dream of tearing down the state includes the “American state,” and the Republican Party will not be spared. Bannon has inserted his particular brand of alt-right nativism throughout Eastern Europe and has made inroads into French politics by “advising” neo-Nazi groups on how best to effectively sow fear and loathing toward Muslims and the people and organizations working to promote tolerance and democracy; especially people like Pope Francis.

It was reported that Bannon’s assault on “the establishment” includes the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis; likely because he talks like Jesus Christ and embraces “the Messiah’s” teachings on tolerance and charity; even for Islam and its adherents. Bannon, the alt-right theocrat who wants America to be a serious Jude’s-Christian “state,” did what he does best and slithered his slimy self into a demoted neo-conservative Catholic cardinal’s confidence to assist him in undermining the Holy Father and his agenda of promoting Jesus Christ’s teaching of charity, tolerance and goodwill toward everyone; not just white racist greedy evangelicals.

The New York Times reported that Bannon and conservative (American) Cardinal Raymond Burke became enamored with each other over their hatred of Muslims and “a changing worldview” they believe Pope Francis was working to spread. The Times reported that Bannon and Burke “…saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.”

In what seems like a damned bizarre statement from a Vatican-aligned member of the Christian faith, the man who arranged the commiseration meeting between the “onward Christian soldiers,” who have “sacrificed” and fought in the still ongoing culture war, Benjamin Harnwell said,

When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts.

As a former Christian minister, it is safe to say that every member of “the Christian clergy” is supposed to “act like Jesus” and is tasked with shepherding the flock to comport with Christ’s teachings; not fight battles against Islam, women and gays.

What has the “anti-Francis insurgency” inside the Catholic Church and Steve Bannon joining forces is their drive to put an abrupt end to “the direction” [Pope] Francis is taking the 1.2 billion Catholic flock. As the Times noted, the neo-cons in the Church agree with Bannon and believe that the Holy Father is a “dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff” who needs to be “toppled” along with democratic governments opposing neo-Nazis, evangelical fanaticism, and aggression towards Islam.

It is most certain that Cardinal Burke is carrying out a vendetta against Pope Francis for demoting him for being an intolerant ultra-conservative douchebag and expressing hate speech unbecoming of a civilized human being, much less a Catholic cardinal and representative of Christ. There is little doubt that Bannon’s vendetta is founded on the Pope “carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty,” a Papal agenda that has endeared him to Catholics and non-believers alike around the globe.

The good news for civilized human beings is that Pope Francis is undeterred in directing the Church to be more “Christ-like.” According to a Jesuit priest and editor of the Vatican-approved “La Civilta Cattolica,” the Reverend Antonio Spadaro, the Pope is not slowing down despite the machinations of people like Burke and Bannon. Rev. Spadaro, who is said to be very close to Francis, dismissed their (Vatican insurgents) criticism as the “stuff of a noisy but small ‘echo chamber.’” He also “played down the effect of Trump’s ascent on the standing of Francis’ opponents in the Vatican” and said it was only “propaganda.” He expressed a sentiment that most in the Vatican are already well aware of; the Pope is not about to be distracted by fights against those trying to topple his papacy. “He moves forward, and he moves ahead very fast.”

Rev. Spadaro said what is obvious to sane people: Trump’s ban on immigrants for “select” Muslim-majority nations is the “opposite” of the Pope’s vision for how best to “foster unity and peace” in nations and around the world.  The Pope is doing his level best to “avoid the clash of civilizations that both fundamentalist Muslims [ISIS] and Christians [religious right] want;” Bannon is chief among those wanting a Christian crusade against Islam led by America.

Look, Bannon’s dream of another holy Christian crusade against Islam cannot go forward with a Pope like Francis at the Vatican. Especially one who is having success at promoting being a follower of Christ and preaching tolerance and charity. Bannon needs the Vatican on board with his agenda, an agenda by the way that is Trump’s agenda, of creating the conditions to launch an all-out religious war against Islam, and any non-compliance to his dream of a world ruled by Judeo-Christian corporate regimes.

However, going after Pope Francis, a Pontiff that even non-believers embrace, is a sign that Bannon’s lust for power knows no bounds and demonstrates that he is deluded if he thinks working to undermine a beloved world leader like Francis is going to be anything but a giant struggle. It is also a sign that no one person or establishment in the world is safe from the “second most powerful,” and certainly the most dangerous, man in America and still a Breitbart punk named Steve Bannon.