Churches receive free media attention as well as spending money for print and broadcast media advertising.  How could someone in our society not become "religious"? What are some reasons that you...

Churches receive free media attention as well as spending money for print and broadcast media advertising.  How could someone in our society not become "religious"? What are some reasons that you can think of for not becoming religious?

Asked on by cdeeneedham

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are two major reasons why a person would not just become "religious": integrity and the IRS.

  • Integrity

There are yet people who are truly believers in their faiths and not "Pharisees." Therefore, they would be against profiting in the name of their Lord and not wish to be hypocrites as acting in such a way would be morally wrong. [There are a number of passages in the New Testament directed toward religious hypocrisy] Believing that pastors of churches must set an example of their faith, these people could not in good conscience live in a religious community where they violated the basic precepts of their own church.

  • The IRS

According to Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and an ordained minister, 

...if a minister speaks out against gay marriage or Obamacare paying for abortion drugs, his church might lose its tax-exempt status [from the IRS], because those are political issues. Of course, they are also basic moral issues, the type of things you might expect would be addressed...

Churches, especially those on the Religious Right, are experiencing difficulty attaining tax-exempt status because such moral issues have been tied to The Affordable Care Act. Further, a 2009 court ruling requires the IRS to have a staffer to monitor churches to prevent them from what now is "politicking." So, some feel that they must surrender their religious freedoms if they enter into the ministry or the like, and they do not wish to comply with such governmental regulation of their churches. 

The Bright Lines Project, an organization led by nonprofit leaders and tax attorneys, is an advocacy group that leans to the political Left and is now finishing a four-year study on a solution to the dilemma of the "ambiguity" of nonprofit leaders' speaking on issues that are both religious and political. This group proposes that the religious leaders be allowed to offer as personal opinion their political views, rather than as an "edict" from the pulpit to their congregations.

Sources:

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