I’m a huge advocate of our American right to free speech. Even as vile and disgusting as the speech is from the likes of bottom-feeding parasites like the KKK or the Westboro Baptist Church, I absolutely feel that their right to say their disgusting comments should be protected – as long as they’re not purposely advocating violence. We either have to embrace everyone’s right to free speech in this country, or we no longer have that right. Once we start trying to pick and choose who has the right to say certain things, then we’ve lost a big part of our First Amendment rights.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about people having the ability to say or do whatever they want without facing repercussions for those words. As a private citizen, you can be as hateful or as bigoted as your heart desires. However, if you represent a company or a brand, your words can and should have consequences.
Another area where I believe speech should have consequences is in church. By that I don’t mean we should monitor churches to find out what’s going on inside those walls. What I mean is, if there’s ample evidence that a pastor is using his church as a political tool – then it’s about damn time that church starts paying taxes.
Such as batsh*t crazy Pastor John Hagee (you know, this guy) who recently used his position as head of a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas to essentially claim that God will hold people accountable if they don’t vote for Donald Trump.
“I’m going to vote for the candidate that’s going to make the U.S. military great again,” Hagee said. “I’m going to vote for the party that is going to solve the immigration problem, not the one that has created the immigration problem. I’m going to support the party that brings jobs back from China. I’m not going to vote for the party that has betrayed Israel for the past seven years.”
“If you can read a newspaper, you know who I’m talking about,” he added. “No candidate is perfect, but I want you to go vote and may God give us a leader who has the courage to put America first and stand up for we the people.”
So, does he think by not using specific names of the candidates or parties that he’s somehow not using his religious position to push a blatantly bias and partisan political message?
Ignoring the hypocrisy of any supposed “Christian” who thinks someone who’s committed adultery, is on his third marriage, belittles women and mocks war veterans should be president, if these pastors are going to use their positions and influence as political tools, then they need to start paying taxes – period.
This is happening all over the country where many of these far-right “churches” have become extensions of the Republican party. They’ve turned what was once a place where people discussed their faith into pulpits where their message is as much about politics as it is religion.
Now I’m not saying all churches should be taxed. I have no problem with churches that stick to religious messages being tax exempt. But these pastors all over the country who are clearly using their church as a political tool should no longer be exempt from paying taxes.
These “churches” aren’t really places of worship any longer, they’re basically nothing more than extensions of the GOP, using religion as a means to manipulate millions all over the country into believing that you can’t be a Christian unless you’re a Republican. They’re not preaching Christianity, they’re now preaching Republicanity.
Watch Hagee’s comments below via Right Wing Watch: