Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke came under fire Friday for his proposal to revoke the tax-exempt status of churches and other institutions that oppose same-sex marriage, a plan denounced by one Republican as “bigoted nonsense.” Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said both Democratic and Republican leaders should “flatly condemn this attack on very basic American freedoms” following Mr. O’Rourke’s comments on CNN’s seven-hour LGBTQ town hall. “Last night, Beto O’Rourke said that churches, hospitals, and charities — folks who are serving their communities and loving their neighbors — should lose their tax-exempt status if their religious convictions don’t fall in line with his progressive politics,” Mr. Sasse said in a statement. The senator said that such “extreme intolerance is un-American” and that such “bigoted nonsense would target a lot of sincere Christians, Jews and Muslims.” During the town hall in Los Angeles, Mr. O’Rourke was asked by CNN host Don Lemon whether “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?” Mr. O’Rourke responded, “Yes,” drawing applause from the crowd, and added that “as president, we are going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.” “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” Mr. O’Rourke said. Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO and chief counsel of the First Liberty Institute, called the plan a “direct affront to the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty” and promised to take legal action if the Texas Democrat made good on his threat. “O’Rourke threatened that he would strip churches of their tax-exempt status for simply following thousands of years of religious teaching doctrine,” said Mr. Shackelford in a statement. “O’Rourke certainly isn’t the first to try such a stunt — First Liberty successfully defended a group of Texas churches and pastors in 2009 when their position on marriage and support of then-Governor Rick Perry drew the ire of the IRS.” Christian author and journalist Rod Dreher said that Mr. O’Rourke’s view is likely shared privately by other candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nod. “Beto just said what I’m certain every Democratic candidate believes,” tweeted Mr. Dreher, author of “The Benedict Option.” “This situation is why many orthodox Christians who can’t stand Trump plan to vote for him anyway: because they know what the Dems have planned for them.”
Probably true.. But, its greater than that. The overwhelming majority of Christian conservatives will vote for Trump in 2020 because of the judges he’s put on the federal bench from the Supreme Court to the appellate courts on down.. Beto is a nauseating pandering fool of the worst kind. If you’ve actually watched him speak, and can look past his wild arm movements, he’s really pretty stupid. …Not that he has a prayer of winning the Dem nomination..
Message to the Swamp: American voters still are supposed to be in charge. That means they get to decide who gets elected. For example, in 2016, they elected a man named Donald Trump. He is still the president. Go suck an egg if you don’t like it. It also means that American voters get to choose where our soldiers, sailors and airmen get deployed around the world. They choose that by electing “representatives” to Congress, who vote to declare wars. They also get to choose the commander in chief of America’s mighty military. (Again, see previous paragraph about a man named Donald Trump, who is still president. And feel free to go suck another egg.) In addition, American voters get to choose — again, through the “representatives” they have elected — how much money we spend on bombs and ammunition and where we deploy them. Most important, American voters choose where all that firepower gets launched and who, exactly, gets killed by American bombs and bullets. That is the way this is supposed to work. For more than two years, Britain under Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill begged American President Franklin D. Roosevelt to join the fight against Nazi Germany. Roosevelt was more than sympathetic. But he understood that he could not do so unless and until the American people understood the fight, knew who the enemy was, comprehended the risk of getting involved and supported the mission. Then — and only then (with a little push from the Japanese navy) — could Roosevelt join Churchill to defeat the greatest threat to the civilized world in the 20th century. And with the approval and enthusiasm of the American voter, the enemy was annihilated. There are a lot of differences between the global threat Roosevelt defeated in Germany and the global threat Mr. Trump faces now in the Syrian civil war. But one thing remains the same: American voters are still in charge. Therein lies the great political sickness of our time. American voters of every stripe are nearly unified against U.S. involvement in these endless wars in places like Syria at the very same moment when American politicians in Washington of every stripe are nearly unified in favor of same said wars. The disconnect between voters back home and politicians in Washington is cavernous. Mr. Trump is one of the only politicians to hear the voice of the people and obey it. Of course, these very same politicians could be brave adults about it and Congress could vote to declare war in Syria. But that might cost them an election back home. A common response around here when you suggest that Congress should vote to declare war is: “Declare war on whom?” Exactly! Even these people don’t know whom to fight over there. Yet it is the American people (and Mr. Trump) who are so deeply immoral for wanting to get out of this insane, faraway fight. The other explanation you hear from people around here is that we are not really at war over there. Sure, we are helping kill people and all, but we are actually on a “peacekeeping” mission. OK. That’s probably the biggest reason to get out of Syria. All our “peacekeeping” is not working.
Thanks to Charles Hurt for that op/ed. Charles makes a good point.. Ever since the end of WWII Congress has abdicated its role in the process. Even the Korean and Vietnam Wars were never technically declared by Congress. And, now.. We’ve been involved in several long-term military wars in the middle east over the last two decades which has cost the American taxpayers BILLIONS, and thousands of lost American lives. As someone who went to Afghanistan as a “field grade” Army officer, I’m proud of that service, and strongly believe that our involvement was appropriate AND in our national security interests. That said, I also recognize Charles’ points here and agree that either Congress needs to step up, or shut up.