Churches to lose tax free status?

On radio this morning, Glenn interviewed Pastor Jim Garlow about a new initiative to get pastors to speak up about some of the political issues of the day. And while Glenn certainly doesn't want to have his church telling him where to stand on political issues, he also doesn't want to have the government stifling free speech in church.

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The Blaze has also been covering this story, and you can read their coverage here. Pastor Garlow and Glenn spoke about the event last week on GBTV, and you can get more on this story here.

The full transcript of their interview is below:

I want to bring in Jim gar low. He is the pastor of skyline church in La Mesa, California. He also is part of pulpitfreedom.org. I want you to go there now. This is really going to rely on you helping this movement out. Jim, how are you, sir?

GARLOW: I'm doing well, Glenn. Thank you.

GLENN: You bet. Can you explain exactly what you have planned on October 2nd?

GARLOW: October 2nd across America will be Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Pastors will be free to speak in such a way to defy what's called the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment was enacted by Senate, our U.S. Senate without a single bit of commentary or discussion on a voice vote only when then Lyndon Baines Johnson, then senator of Texas, came back from Texas after a bruising battle for reelection. He was angry at two businessmen who had two nonprofit corporations that opposed him because they thought he was soft on communism. So he added a couple of sentences to the IRS code which said in effect that anyone associated with a 501(c)(3), not‑for‑profit corporation could not oppose or speak out in any way pertaining to political issues or candidates' positions, and the result is for 57 years this law has been not one single time tested in the court because the IRS doesn't want it to be. And so the Alliance Defense Fund, a group of some 2,500 Christian attorneys allied together across America hand‑selected a group of 33 pastors in 2008 who would stand up and intentionally defy it and then record their sermons and send them to the IRS based upon the First Amendment's freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Nothing happened. So the next year 84 pastors in 2009 did the same thing, recorded their sermons and sent them to the IRS; nothing happened. Last year 100 pastors did it. This year somewhere between 400 to 500 pastors have so far signed up and who will be sending in their sermons after they preach October the 2nd, and the whole issue of the Sunday is not whether or not a pastor outlines exactly where our candidate stands or how you should vote. The issue is there should be no government intrusion in the pulpit at all. The government should never tell a pastor how to preach in any way. If people actually believe in separation of church and state, they would affirm the fact that the government should have no capacity to dictate to any individual church or any pastor anywhere what they speak and so that's the purpose of Pulpit Freedom Sunday. People can go to pulpitfreedom.com and there they will see a lot of information about this Sunday, and a tremendous movement is occurring across America.

GLENN: It goes both ways. You can't chase God out of the public square and put the government into the pulpit. You can't. Separation of church and state. You say you don't want God in the public square? You can't ‑‑ you can't have, you know, God in the government, which is not what our founders intended. But you want to make that claim? If you really do believe in separation of church and state, you cannot also then put Uncle Sam in the pulpit. You must have freedom of expression in the pulpit. Get the government out of the churches. I've never said revoke Jeremiah Wright's tax status, never. Never have I said that. You want to attend that church? I think it is a dangerous, dangerous church, and I will speak out about it. But I'm not saying round Jeremiah Wright up. I'm not saying that he is ‑‑ he's breaking the law. I'm not saying that his tax status should be taken away. He's a preacher. If that's the kind of church you want, God bless ya. I think you're sadly, sadly mistaken and on the wrong side. But it is his right to say it in the pulpit. Period.

So now what happens, Jim? You have these ‑‑ you have these pastors who are going to give these sermons and you're going to tape it. What kind of sermons should they be giving?

GARLOW: Well, the example what I'll be preaching that day is I'll walk through the various people who, for example, are running for president right now. I will outline where they stand on the topic of abortion, where they stand on the definition of marriage, where they stand on issues of national debt, where they stand on issues of understanding the nature of taxation. Then I will walk through what I believe the Bible teaches about each of these with a concluding statement of any follower of Jesus Christ would want to vote for people who stay within the framework of biblical mandates from God. Why would a follower of Jesus want to violate what the Bible teaches about these principles?

Now, this interestingly enough doesn't apply just to me as a ‑‑ I happen to be a conservative evangelical pastor. This would apply to leftwing pastors as well who take the opposite position.

GLENN: Jerusalem.

GARLOW: I mean, this gives them complete freedom in the pulpit as well. So it's not just those of us that might be considered conservative. This is complete pulpit freedom regardless of what type of pastor we're speaking of.

GLENN: I have somebody on tonight on GBTV who shall remain nameless at this point but he is a ‑‑ he doesn't agree with me. He doesn't agree with me on policies. But he's a lefty and he's involved.

GARLOW: And another thing, too. People say, oh, well, the church is tax‑exempt, so it should not be. Well, the church was tax‑exempt for 162 years before this ever happened, before the Johnson Amendment in 1954 because we do believe in separation of church and state. The power to tax is the power to destroy and separation between church and state is what separated that. And the irony is there are many tax‑exempt organizations that are called 501(c)s and they have no speech restriction upon themself but only this one category because of this quirk in the law, 501(c)(3) is the code name for churches. Only churches and religious organizations have speech restrictions on them. All the other tax‑exempt organizations, and there are 20 ‑‑ I think 27 different categories, none of them have speech restrictions on them like churches do.

GLENN: Now here's what I want you to do. America, I want you to go talk to your pastor, your church, your priest, your rabbi, I don't care if you're for traditional marriage, against traditional marriage. Doesn't matter to me. You go to them and tell them on October 2nd you give a speech that does talk about politics, that is a poke in the eye at the man. And then you take and you videotape it and they will all be sent to Washington D.C. where Washington D.C. has a rebellion on their hands and they have to either fight this case in the courts and lose or admit that what they have is a sham. But it is time to challenge this and it's time for the pastors and the priests and the rabbis to stop cowering in fear. We'll give you details on that here in just a second. Jim, can you hang on just a second more?

GARLOW: Yeah, sure can.

GLENN: All the information is at pulpitfreedom.org, pulpitfreedom.org.

STU: There's a big story too on The Blaze, Glenn, from this weekend that explains all of this as well.

GLENN: Okay.

STU: So you can get all of it there.

GLENN: Please pass this on to everyone you know. Take that story, go to pulpitfreedom.org, you can see some stuff on it. Also you can go to TheBlaze.com, get a story on it. And more tonight on GBTV. And just one more thought on courage with Jim gar low in just a second.

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(OUT 11:21)

GLENN: Let me go back to Jim gar low, pulpitfreedom.org. This is not a left or right issue. This is a right and wrong issue. Does the state have a right to edit the words from the pulpit? Pastors, priests and rabbis, you need to be involved and speak up and speak up now. I'm asking you to get involved if you are just a congregant some place. You just go. You don't have anything to do. I want you to Facebook this, I want you to tweet this message, I want you to get this message out and get it to your pastor, priest or rabbi right away. Pulpit Freedom is Sunday, October 2nd.

Jim gar low, the problem as I see it is too many people in the pulpit are afraid of alienating their flock because they could lose. I mean, they could lose their tithing money and their jobs. So people, shhh, be quiet.

GARLOW: The number one problem in the pulpit is fear, not fear of the IRS. It's fear of people who ‑‑ you've exactly said it right ‑‑ who somehow operate with the cultural myth that the pulpit should be controlled anyway by any kind of government intrusion. Tragically that's wrong and we must educate our parishioners that it's wrong. If the First Amendment means anything, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, it ought to mean that we have freedom in the pulpit. But what happens there? We're not telling a pastor he has to endorse or oppose a candidate. We're simply saying that is a church's decision or a pastor's decision. By the way, the Alliance Defense Fund with its 2500 attorneys is prepared to defend any of these pastors pro bono if the IRS were to come after them. But ironically the IRS has worked hard to keep this out of court and so it's never seen the light of a courtroom in 57 years. It's never been contested. Each time a church comes up to that point, then they ‑‑ the IRS backs away, "We're closing your file, just don't do this again." They don't want to go to court. In 57 years no church has ever lost its tax exemption, but a lot of saber‑rattling goes on. I suppose most people aren't aware that right before an election, we as pastors start getting letters from primarily leftwing organizations saying, you better not speak out; this will be illegal, you'll lose your tax exemption. None of that is true, but that gets mailed to pastors, particularly conservative pastors, to try to silence them. And we say enough of that, that any pastor, conservative or liberal, has the right to speak from the pulpit what they choose based upon the First Amendment. Not based upon what the IRS would dictate.

GLENN: You have between 400 and 500 pastors involved right now. I would like to see that number 600, 700, 800, 1,000 because if there's a real groundswell, the message will be sent to the IRS, which is a weapon in the hands of whichever side is in power, can be used as a weapon. And the weapon of the IRS needs to be taken down.

Do you sense political courage here or spiritual courage from the pastors? Really this is the Black‑Robe Regiment. This is it.

GARLOW: I really do. I'm not naive about this. I know what we face. At the same time one year ago David Barton and I led a 12‑day tour of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. It was called the Next Great Awakening Tour. We went to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and many of the sites ‑‑

GLENN: About 15 seconds.

GARLOW: ‑‑ of the Revolutionary War and we went past the home of Jonas Clark.

GLENN: Hold on just a second, Jim. We've only got about 5 seconds left now. Back in just a second. He can finish up the story. I want you to go to pulpitfreedom.org. Back in a second.

(OUT 11:29)

GLENN: Tonight GBTV.com, having a town hall meeting. I'm bringing you in as a shareholder of GBTV and you will see one of our strategy sessions. We're going to do it on the set. I was in the middle of a meeting today and I said, you know what? Let's bring the audience in on this and everybody kind of got quiet and I said, I know, never been done before on television. Oh, well, this isn't television. This is something completely different. But I need you to be a part of what we're building. I need you to be a part and tell us what you're thinking. You're going to see the beginning of a course and some of the things that I'm thinking on now trying to take GBTV to the next level. We stabilized it by the end of the week on, okay, now we're doing a good television show for you that you are used to. Now comes the ‑‑ now comes the hard part. Now comes the part of doing things that nobody's ever done and making it one on one, interactive and what you need. Join us tonight, GBTV.com. Where you own the dump. So you might as well be involved in planning it, huh? That's tonight, GBTV.com.

Jim gar low is with us. There is pulpit Freedom Sunday happening. Important for you to go, important for you to find out what this is. Go to pulpitfreedom.org, find out what this is and then go viral, please. I think, Pat and I were just talking about it during the break. I think this is a big test quite honestly whether or not the right is ‑‑ if they want to be or can be activists because you have to be at this point. You have to be, or the way of life and your freedom of speech is going to be gone. And I know that's a pretty bold statement, but it is absolutely true. Go to pulpitfreedom.org.

Jim, I just want to wrap up this one story. You and David Barton were going around. I asked you if there was political courage. You said you toured some of the places where the revolution began in the 1700s.

GARLOW: That's correct. It was about a year ago and the high point of the entire trip, it was a twelve‑day tour. We took a group of ‑‑ full busload of people on a tour called the Next Great Awakening Tour but the heighth of it for me was going past the home of Jonas Clark in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was the one where Paul Revere was trying to get to on the night of the famous midnight ride and what intrigued me was the British were going after the pastors and Paul Revere was trying to warn the pastors. It was as you've already spoken about so many times the Black‑Robe Regiment that sparked the revolution, that gave us the freedom we have. And my question today, are the contemporaries of Paul Revere, are they coming back to warn the pastors because those who are attacking truth and freedom and justice are coming after us? Or are we so silent in the pulpit that the seculars who would destroy America as we know it don't even really care about what's going on in the pulpit? And we have a chance on October the 2nd, this coming Sunday, to rise up in America's churches, in America's pulpits and speak with truth. We need to thunder forth the way they did back in the colonies when the pastors would preach an election sermon, annual election sermon, they were three hours long.

GLENN: Hang on a minute.

GARLOW: And I'm to the recommending your pastor try three hours long this weekend. But the point is that the people looked towards those who were to be spokespersons for God to disseminate truth about not only what the Bible says about personal issues, not only what the Bible says about family issues or church life but the Bible speaks to community and national life. National issues that are on the news right now tonight. And we ought to be as pastors articulating what God's will is towards these situations. Silence in the pulpit has harmed us for these last 57 years.

GLENN: Pastor, talk to you again, my friend. Thank you very much. Can you keep me updated on what's happening and what you see on the website, et cetera, et cetera? And pastors can just get involved by going to?

GARLOW: Pulpitfreedom.org. And Glenn, thank you for being a cheerleader for truth and as you've already indicated, people ought to call their pastors and say, do we have a free pulpit? Is our pulpit walking in freedom? We want you to join this movement: Pulpitfreedom.org.

Faced with an oppressive government that literally burned people at the stake for printing Bibles, America's original freedom fighters risked it all for the same rights our government is starting to trample now. That's not the Pilgrim story our woke schools and corporate media will tell you. It's the truth, and it sounds a lot more like today's heroes in Afghanistan than the 1619 Project's twisted portrait of America.

This Thanksgiving season, Glenn Beck and WallBuilders president Tim Barton tell the full story of who the Pilgrims really were and what we must learn from them, complete with a sneak peek at the largest privately owned collection of Pilgrim artifacts.

Watch the video below

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Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's nominee for comptroller of the currency, admitted she wants to fight climate change by bankrupting coal, oil, and gas companies. Alarmingly, Biden's U.S. special climate envoy, John Kerry, seemed to agree with Omarova when he said "by 2030 in the United States, we won't have coal" at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month. But that could end in massive electrical blackouts and brownouts across the nation, BlazeTV host Glenn Beck warned.

Carol Roth, author of "The War On Small Business," joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain what experts say you can do now to prepare your family for potential coming power outages.

"It's interesting. Usually when I go out and talk to experts in areas that are not 100% core to my area of expertise and I say, 'I would like to give you credit.' Usually I get, 'OK, here's how you credit me.' But everyone is like, 'No, no. Let me tell you what happened, just don't use my name.' And this is across the country," Roth said. "This isn't just a California issue, which obviously [California] is leading the nation. But even experts out of Texas, people who are monitoring the electric grid are incredibly concerned about brownouts or blackouts now, already. So forget about 2030."

"You want to have a backup source of power," she continued. "Either a propane, diesel, or combo generator is something that you're going to want to have. Because in a state, for example like Texas, I'm told that once the state loses power, it will take a minimum of two weeks to restore plants back to operations and customers able to use grid power again. So, this isn't something that we've got nine years or whatever to be thinking about. We should be planning and preparing now."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of this important conversation:

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This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag allies in 1621. Tragically, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died by famine and disease during their first year. However, they had been met by native Americans such as Samoset and Squanto who miraculously spoke English and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. That fall the Pilgrims, despite all the hardships, found much to praise God for and they were joined by Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves came who feasted and celebrated for three days with the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims.

It is often forgotten, however, that after the first Thanksgiving everything was not smooth sailing for the Pilgrims. Indeed, shortly thereafter they endured a time of crop failure and extreme difficulties including starvation and general lack. But why did this happen? Well, at that time the Pilgrims operated under what is called the "common storehouse" system. In its essence it was basically socialism. People were assigned jobs and the fruits of their labor would be redistributed throughout the people not based on how much work you did but how much you supposedly needed.

The problem with this mode of economics is that it only fails every time. Even the Pilgrims, who were a small group with relatively homogeneous beliefs were unable to successfully operate under a socialistic system without starvation and death being only moments away. Governor William Bradford explained that under the common storehouse the people began to "allege weakness and inability" because no matter how much or how little work someone did they still were given the same amount of food. Unsurprisingly this, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent."[1]

The Pilgrims, however, were not the type of people to keep doing what does not work. And so, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery."[2] And, "after much debate of things" the Pilgrims under the direction of William Bradford, decided that each family ought to "trust to themselves" and keep what they produced instead of putting it into a common storehouse.[3] In essence, the Pilgrims decided to abandon the socialism which had led them to starvation and instead adopt the tenants of the free market.

And what was the result of this change? Well, according to Bradford, this change of course, "had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."[4] Eventually, the Pilgrims became a fiscally successful colony, paid off their enormous debt, and founded some of the earliest trading posts with the surrounding Indian tribes including the Aptucxet, Metteneque, and Cushnoc locations. In short, it represented one of the most significant economic revolutions which determined the early characteristics of the American nation.

The Pilgrims, of course, did not simply invent these ideas out of thin air but they instead grew out of the intimate familiarity the Pilgrims had with the Bible. The Scriptures provide clear principles for establishing a successful economic system which the Pilgrims looked to. For example, Proverbs 12:11 says, "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread." So the Pilgrims purchased land from the Indians and designated lots for every family to individually grow food for themselves. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 declares, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

We often think that the battle against Socialism is a new fight sprouting out of the writings of Karl Marx which are so blindly and foolishly followed today by those deceived by leftist irrationality. However, America's fight against the evil of socialism goes back even to our very founding during the colonial period. Thankfully, our forefathers decided to reject the tenants of socialism and instead build their new colony upon the ideology of freedom, liberty, hard work, and individual responsibility.

So, this Thanksgiving, let's thank the Pilgrims for defeating socialism and let us look to their example today in our ongoing struggle for freedom.

[1] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

Like most people, biologist and science journalist Matt Ridley just wants the truth. When it comes to the origin of COVID-19, that is a tall order. Was it human-made? Did it leak from a laboratory? What is the role of gain-of-function research? Why China, why now?

Ridley's latest book, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," is a scientific quest to answer these questions and more. A year ago, you would have been kicked off Facebook for suggesting COVID originated in a lab. For most of the pandemic, the left practically worshipped Dr. Anthony Fauci. But lately, people have been poking around. And one of the names that appears again and again is Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a longtime collaborator and funder of the virus-hunting work at Wuhan Institute of Virology.

If you watched Glenn Beck's special last week, "Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World's Most Dangerous Lie," you learned some very disturbing things about what our government officials — like Dr. Fauci — were doing around the beginning of the pandemic. On the latest "Glenn Beck Podcast," Glenn sat down with Ridley to review what he and "Viral" co-author Alina Chan found while researching — including a "fascinating little wrinkle" from the Wuhan Institute of Virology called "7896."

Watch the video clip below or find the full interview with Matt Ridley here:

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