The Church of HRC

Or, how the Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty is the new Citizens United

If you haven’t already, please stop over at the White House website and read the latest executive order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/05/04/presidential-executive-order-promoting-free-speech-and-religious-liberty

This is the passage I’m referring to, the emphasis is mine:

Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom. The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans’ first freedom. Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. The executive branch will honor and enforce those protections.

To understand the ramifications of allowing religious organizations to participate fully in civic life one must understand what “civic life” means:

Civic life is the public life of the citizen concerned with the affairs of the community and the nation as trusted with private or personal life, which is devoted to the pursuit of private and personal interests. — Civiced.org
Civics is the study of the theoretical and political and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government. — Wikipedia

Now I know it’s not a great idea to cite Wikipedia but hear me out:
Religious organizations are tax exempt, Congress can make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
This executive order ‘protects the freedom of those organizations’ to “participate fully in civic life.” Which can be read to mean: participate in politics.

This happened in 1992: A church called the Church at Pierce Creek ran an ad in two newspapers rebuking Bill Clinton before the presidential election. They lost their tax exempt status. You can read about it here: Court Upholds I.R.S. Penalty For Church Ad In ’92 Election.

Where Hillary Clinton Comes In

wikiHow has this great article on how to start a church. I’ll summarize:

  1. Begin fellowship by establishing a somewhat sizable and united fellowship (3 founding members, not related by blood or marriage) to undergo the process together
  2. Define the scope: membership, where we will worship, time commitments, and financial aims.
  3. Draft bylaws for governance, and a statement of belief to establish doctrine and creed
  4. Assign corporate officers
  5. Name it; this is done, the Church of HRC

Next, form a Non-Profit by incorporating and filing for tax exemption. And here’s the best part: thanks to this executive order the funds can be used tax free to influence legislation and intervene in political campaigns!

TAX FREE SUPER PAC

Once we have 501(c)(3) status, complete an SS4 form to get an Employer Identification Number, we can open a church bank account. That account can then be circulated to collect money, build and staff our church, develop (and market) our compelling message, and invite other churches to join our denomination.

Once the money starts pouring in our church/pac can then campaign in coordination with candidates who are members or in fellowship with our church. We can invite folks to donate their time in return for tax breaks and credits, like all the other churches. It’s going to be fantastic!

#ThanksDonald

Some of my other articles on Religion in America

The Supreme Court and Trinity Lutheran Church

https://medium.com/@CudBlay/the-supreme-court-and-trinity-lutheran-church-254ccc05540

Public Education System and America

https://medium.com/@CudBlay/public-education-system-and-america-104b94b1b5ef

Some other reading

Churches and Taxes — ProCon.org

http://churchesandtaxes.procon.org/

Americans United — Churches and Politics

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