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Trump Tells Pastors To Break The Law Or Else Get Murdered By Antifa

Culture Wars

On Monday evening, Donald Trump met with a bunch of evangelical pastors in order to tell them to get their congregations to vote for Republicans in upcoming elections -- or else be murdered at the hands of antifa.


Democrats, he said, "will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently."

"They will end everything immediately," Mr. Trump said. "When you look at antifa," he added, a term that describes militant leftist groups, "and you look at some of these groups, these are violent people."

There is a lot to unpack here, starting with the fact that I'm not sure why he thinks antifa people will get violent if Republicans are not elected. First of all, antifa is a hell of a lot less violent, and certainly a lot less murdery, than some Trump supporters I could name. Largely they exist to protect peaceful protestors from violent Trump supporters and cops, often creating a barrier between the two groups.

Second of all, the thing Trump is talking about pastors ending has absolutely nothing at all to do with antifa. The thing he's talking about them ending has to do with the Johnson Amendment, which he hasn't even actually overturned.

"I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote," Mr. Trump said. "Because if they don't — it's Nov. 6 — if they don't vote we're going to have a miserable two years and we're going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time because then it just gets to be one election — you're one election away from losing everything you've got."

He then suggested that the Johnson Amendment was why the influence of evangelical leaders had "plateaued."

"Maybe it's why you are very plateaued. I hate to say it, if you were a stock, you'd be like, you're very plateaued," Mr. Trump said, prompting laughter in the room. "I really believe you're plateaued because you can't speak. They really have silenced you. But now you're not silenced anymore."

Has Trump come unstuck in time? First he claims to have remembered Pearl Harbor, and now he doesn't seem to be aware of when Johnson was president ... which was well before the emergence of the Christian Right as a major political influence. As we all know, evangelicals got political starting with Jimmy Carter -- two whole presidents after Lyndon Johnson -- because he was a born-again, and then switched to the Republicans because the Republicans promised them that they'd make sure that private schools could be "whites-only" without losing their tax-exempt status.

What the Johnson Amendment does, should you need a refresher, is prevent all 501(3)cs -- not just churches, mind you -- from endorsing or donating to political campaigns.

Below, the text of the tax code relating to 501(3)cs, with the Johnson Amendment in bold.

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

As I have explained before, the Johnson Amendment isn't just about not letting preachers, pastors and priests tell their congregations "vote for this person/party or you are going to hell." Sure, that's a violation of basic decency and the separation of church and state, but what it's really about is the donations.

Eliminating the Johnson Amendment would basically mean that 501(c)3 organizations -- which is what a church is -- would be able to donate money to political campaigns. This, hypothetically, means that your local animal shelter or Little League (also 501(c)3s) would be able to donate money to political campaigns as well.

That's bad, right? Just generally speaking, I think most people kind of like to know where their money is going when they donate it. They like to know that the money they tithe to their church is going to their church or to charitable work being done by their church. They like knowing that the money they give to the ASPCA is going to prevent cruelty to animals.

Still, this is not the worst of it. Because, as I have previously explained...

Donations to political campaigns and advocacy organizations are not tax deductible. This is why people were all concerned when it was revealed that the Trump Foundation cut a check to an electioneering organization working to re-elect Pam Bondi after she stopped investigating Trump University.

Were the Johnson Amendment to be repealed, rich people could set up "charities" that allow them to donate money and then write it off on their taxes -- making donations to political campaigns tax deductible for them. This is a big deal, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your religion.

Follow the money, follow the money, follow the money.

Another messed up thing here is, however, is that Trump hasn't actually repealed the Johnson Amendment -- that would take an act of Congress -- he's simply instructed the IRS to not "aggressively pursue" taking away the tax-exempt status of churches that tell people who to vote for or donate money to political campaigns. Which, by the way, they weren't doing to begin with.

This doesn't mean it's not still illegal. Trump is not only asking them to break the law, he's telling them that they must break the law, under threat of violence from imaginary antifa people who are for some reason going to get violent over Republicans not being elected. Somehow. That part isn't clear!

Republicans tried to stick a repeal of the Johnson Amendment into the tax bill this year and failed. This is a very good thing for all Americans! In fact, it's actually a really, really good reason to get the vote out ourselves, because if the Johnson Amendment is repealed, it will be very bad for all of us.

[New York Times]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.


In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"

EXTREME SHUDDER.

In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!


Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!

[Politico]

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