Thursday, November 6, 2008

Proposition 8

This week four US states passed ballot measures restricting the rights of gay Americans. Arkansas has banned gay couples from adopting children, even if he or she is the biological child of one of the gay partners. Arizonans, Floridians, and Californians all voted overwhelmingly to ban gay marriages in their respective states.

Various religious groups spent a combined $35.8 million on a publicity campaign in California, urging voters to amend the state Constitution to deprive gays of the right to marry. Christians, Jews, and Muslims of all races and backgrounds united to suppress equal rights for gays and lesbians, asserting that it is their religious freedom to do so.

Many opponents of Proposition 8 have suggested that these groups should now be stripped of their tax-exempt status. IRS regulation 501(c)(3) clearly states that tax-exempt charities may not intervene in political campaigns or conduct substantial lobbying activities. The use of church funds to influence political elections would therefore appear to violate this law. To file a complaint with the IRS, insisting that churches pay taxes on this $35.8 million, click here.
After all, churches are given tax-exempt status to do charitable work, not support partisan political campaigns. If its money will be used for this purpose, then the church should be taxed fairly like everyone else.

Supporters of Proposition 8 allege that banning marriage equality does not discriminate against gays, in spite of the fact that this law obviously targets them and restricts only their rights. Straight marriage laws will not be affected by Proposition 8. asserts that children will be confused by same-sex couples, and that individuals who believe that gays are sinners should be allowed to pass those beliefs on to their children without interference.

Christians showed overwhelming support for Proposition 8. It is worth mentioning that none of the following issues warranted ballot initiatives during the election, or millions in financial support:

-The Environment
-Childhood Disease
-World Poverty

Instead of these causes, Christians have chosen to rally around an issue that involves nothing more than what gets what word. 
In the long night of superstition the Christians have wandered away from the simplicity of the Gospel. The worship of prejudice has inseparably blended with the Cross; and the power of the mind, curiosity, and inclusion are numbed by the habits of obedience and belief. The church has ceased to spread Christ's own love, and has fully dedicated itself to sowing the seeds of hatred and exclusion.

Jesus said, "The path to destruction is wide, and there are many who go in by it." Modern Christians reply, "This is obviously the narrow path. There are 800 million of us on it, and we all agree on this. Only our beliefs are correct, and anyone who disagrees with us must be subverted."

You are mortal; you await death, resurrection, and judgement. Today you live and tomorrow you are dust; one fever will quench all your pride. What will you say, when you come before God, of your unrighteous bigotry? How will you defend perverting His teachings into a secular political movement of bias, denying basic equality and common decency to those who never did you a bit of harm?

Stop persecuting our people and demolishing our families. Welcome peace, love concord, that you yourselves may live peaceful and untroubled lives, and that Americans may see an end to their divisions and may cease destroying their fellow Americans.

Sorry for the rant. I don't normally talk politics at Hansisgreat, and don't intend to do so again in the forseeable future. This stuff has just been on my mind. It's not very Christian, and it's not very nice. They really hurt my feelings.


Over to Electro said...

Really well said.

Not a lot more I can say on the issue other than as an English Christian, some people really need to get priorities sorted.

Anonymous said...

Possibly the most eloquent thing anyones said about prop 8 so far. Thanks for making a great case against this awful law!

Rich Ficco said...

Did they really do something illegal by using that money for politics?We should start taxing churches. That would show them.

Hansisgreat said...

It wasn't illegal, but it does disqualify them for tax-exempt status according to the IRS regulations. If opponents of Proposition 8 have to pay taxes, then why don't its supporters have to? If you're in favor of it, you're a "charity", but if you're against it, you're a lobbyist. You see? Double standard.
The Roman Catholic and Mormon churches were the biggest political contributors. I urge readers to contact the IRS ( and insist that these organizations pay taxes on the money they've given to political campaigns.
You have to pay your fair share of the tax burden, why shouldn't they?

Anonymous said...

I am a Mormon and am embarrassed for my Church. Your "rant" was spot-on and I wish you would do more of it. Your voice needs to be heard (especially for those of us too timid to face the persecution of the masses within our "christian" community).

Anonymous said...

Sad but true, the church has lost its way. Who in the world would consider prejudice a "family value"?

Anonymous said...

mormons... arent they polygamists?

amanaplan said...

great post. hans really is great.

Anonymous said...

Great post! For me, religion and churches are nothig more than criminals. They are only spreding evil! Here where I live f... catholic church is paying taxes, but nothing can stop them from barking...

Fortunately I live in Europe where gays have most of their rights, but I closely observed what is going on with Prop8. I'm with you girls and guys, DO NOT STOP FIGHTING, sooner or later you will WIN this battle and then You can spit in face to all opponents; of course you don't want to be at that level but you will walk PROUD!

iain said...

This address will give you access to a petition being organized to revoke the LDS's tax-exempt status.
Many other groups are being formed, and this is NOT going to fade away. The San Francisco Chronicle published a superb Editorial on Sunday (November 9th)which you can find online; the fact that overwhelmingly "Christian" voters decided to ignore the separation of church & State (not that they ever gave a damn about the Bill of Rights anyway), insert religion into California's Constitution and overturn an established law by means of a vicious media campaign constructed of lies and fearmongering deceits, all lead to the conclusion that energetic legal actions to overturn Prop 8 can, must and will be pursued.
And Hans, if you think your comments were a "rant", you must be very sweet-tempered indeed! Personally, speaking as a 20-plus years' US Resident ex-pat Brit, coming from secular Europe I am constantly stupefied by the American obsession with religion. I long ago concluded that there is no god, human beings don't need one, are better off without one, and the only afterlife that matters is the state of the planet we bequeath to future generations. No Bronze Age sky-god will leap from the pages of the Old Testament, or indeed the New, to save us. We have to do it ourselves. And I'm awfully glad I married my partner in London last year, where people don't get upset about gays the way so many Americans do. But I love the USA so much, it does indeed hurt when madness like Prop 8 surfaces.

Anonymous said...

Please don't be sorry. Thank you.