The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You are not allowed to have an opinion


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The story:

The Catholic church in Washington State is lobbying for a repeal of the state's same-gender marriage law.

My buddy Doc has said a charitable organization should not be allowed lobby. His specific comment is "Lobbying groups like the Mormons and Catholics shouldn't be allowed charitable organization status. Just sayin'..."

I have a problem with that statement because of what I see it implies.

Has nothing to do with same gender marriage either.  My view on same-gender marriage is clear.


My objections, and I very well could be reading this wrong or reading too much into it, is along the free speech route.


To explain:


The Catholic Church and the Mormons are first religious organizations.Their first job is to promote their religious perspective, view, outlook, etc. To do this, the religions communicate their respective messages.


Like it or not, that communication can include lobbying. Lobbying is nothing more than presenting information (fact or opinion) with the intention of swaying someone else.

A pastor lobbies every time he takes to the pulpit.

Do churches have a right to do this outside of church? 

If they do not, then spreading their religious message then becomes impossible.

Some of you will find much to cheer about in that statement.

But if you truly wish to be fair, then the rights of others to dispute the church's message must also be restricted. 

In other words if I can't tell someone about God, you can't say God doesn't exist. As long as I can tell people about God, then you can tell people there is no God.

At the same time, a church must have the right to present it's guiding principles to the world. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant. If any group has the right to say "this is right and this is wrong," then all groups must have that right. If one group cannot say, then no group should be able to say.

The ability to enforce what is right and wrong is a separate issue from free speech.

A church must have the right to express its views and encourage people to adhere to the standards of conduct as espoused by that church's leadership. If you remove that right, you have eliminated a fundamental aspect of free speech.


That, I cannot support.

That the Mormons and Catholic church leadership have this issue wrong is something Doc and I agree completely on.


As for a charity, like a church, contributing money to a politician, that is illegal.

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