Mar 25, 2009

Using the Economy to End Free Speech

By Bill Wilson

The First Amendment has stood as an example around the world on how to protect from tyranny any Constitutional republic-the preservation of the lifeblood of free societies-free speech and freedom of religion. Yet this United States Congress under the leadership of the White House is beginning to dismantle these two pillars of freedom. The First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This hallowed legal benchmark to preserve freedom has withstood the test of time since the beginning of this nation, through war, through poverty, through political calamity. Yet the current gaggle of politicians in our nation's capitol are using the harsh economic times as an excuse to transform America's Constitutional Republic into a socialist democracy-meaning a dictatorship. And if Christian Americans now believe they are being challenged on social issues such as abortion and homosexuality, they have not begun to see the harassment and dictums to come if an overbearing government is successful in using fear surrounding the economy to make the First Amendment meaningless.

In his most recent news conference, the man who now occupies the Oval Office defended his plan to tax the so-called "rich" on their contributions to charities. This action would set the precedent to make religious organizations and ministries unattractive investments and could eventually eliminate tax deductions for good works of charity and ministry. Because of the way the economy now works, closing tax deductions for ministry work could effectively shut down religious broadcasting as we know it-a practical way to make the First Amendment ineffective. The government also wants to curb free speech by making newspapers non-profit organizations forbidden to express political opinions and endorsements.

Legislation introduced by Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin would encourage failing newspapers to restructure as non-profit organizations, subject to special tax deductions and forbidden to make political endorsements. He calls it the Newspaper Revitalization Act. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin likely would have called it treasonous and unconstitutional. The nature of God is freedom. He sent His only begotten Son to free us from the bondage of sin. America was established in such freedom, that we might be a beacon of God's light to the world. Galatians 5:1 says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

Related Links

Senate Democrat Offers Nonprofit Status For Newspapers - Wall Street Journal
A Tax That Will Hit Charities - Washington Post
Local Charities Worry They May Lose Donations - WorldNow