"[T]he tax code has been piling up, year after year, a symbol of everything gone wrong in America, of arrogant rulers and lost freedom, just waiting for us to pick the whole thing up and heave it away. It has to happen. Free people can put up with such laws only for so long." ~ Richard Armey
Is America Just Like China?
When I last browsed the U.S. Constitution in my law school textbooks, I didn't see any mention of a tyrannical form of government, a pervasive crackdown on houses of worship or the establishment of the government as an idol. But then again when was the last time any politician or greedy voter bothered to look at the Constitution or its superior predecessor: the Articles of Confederation?
We hear there is religious persecution against Christians in China . In the U.S. , Americans thank God for George W and Dick Cheney, the hand-picked choices of evangelical celebrities like Jerry Falwell, Rick Warren and James Dobson. We hear that those who worship according to their consciences in China, whether holding to the Holy Scriptures or Falun Gong, are brutally and severely persecuted. But in America, mega-churches flourish and the millions of dollars in television ministries keep rolling in.
Who would have ever thought then that America is just like China ?
I was surprised when my younger brother returned from a trip to Communist China and told me about large Christian churches established in the open for all the Maoists to see. Even Chinese Catholics are legally allowed to attend churches to meet their spiritual needs and fill up their emotional tanks. The success of these churches in light of such a brutal and tyrannical government only begs the question of how these people play Judas to the truth they claim to believe.
The reason there is an Underground Church in China is because a government exists that wants to regulate the freedom of religion in light of Marxist-Leninist principles.
The reason there are Unregistered Churches in America is because a government exists that regulates the freedom of religion in clear violation of Constitutional limits on power.
According to the international watchgroup Compass Direct, the Chinese government insists on registration as the only means of legal existence for churches. It's interesting to note that the IRS establishes the same blasphemous idea in our own backyards.
In Publication 1828, the IRS defines churches generally as any house of worship. US Code 26 Section 501(c)(3) then gently places the chains of tyranny on such organizations, even if organized as an unincorporated association or charitable trust under the State. This section of code provides the lucrative snare of exemption from federal income taxes as the hook that keeps all of America 's churches in line. To sweeten the deal, these "corporations" are subsequently eligible to receive desired tax-deductible contributions.
How can the Federal Government provide an exemption to churches when it was never delegated such a power by We the People? It can't. To provide an exemption is to admit that the Feds properly exercise authority and dominion over religion in our nation.
But fear not, Dobsons across the land! Should any patriotic or Biblical Christians revolt against such a deception, the IRS has already made provision! All Churches, synagogues and mosques are automatically considered tax-exempt by the all-benevolent Federal Government. So whether you file for the tax exempt status or not, if anyone makes a financial contribution and claims the tax-deduction on their next filing, you're already on the hook with the political clergy in Washington.
But some smart people might read Publication 1828 and point out that if the church does not meet the qualifications under 501(c)(3), then they will not qualify for the tax exempt status. But this does not mean that they will not be regulated! Non-profit political parties or organizations do not meet the qualifications of churches, but you can rest assured the Feds heavily control and regulate them just as if they were for-profit entities.
So what are we left with in the Land of Liberty? Your "church" is either controlled under the milk and honey of the Tax-Exempt Trap or it's just controlled, period.
We have only to look at the large ministry of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple to see what Big Brother thinks of Americans' rights to worship freely. When IBT rejected their corporation status and tax-exempt benefits, they claimed God as their only authority and were viciously sacked by federal marshals. Under false promises of Evangelical Bush Jr. and Saint John Ashcroft, the original seizure orders of Clinton and Reno were followed to a tee. They looted for federal taxes that never belonged to Caesar in the first place.
When Christian pastors took arms against British tyranny, they won their freedom at the cost of their lives. When a few Christian pastors stood defiant to Clinton, Bush and the crooked Judiciary, their church and school property were razed into a parking lot.
The Founding Patriots held churches and houses of worship as separate and untouchable from the Federal Government by the First and Tenth Amendments. The same could be said of schools, hospitals, morgues, playgrounds and small businesses. But the Feds have now effectively turned them all into "corporations" under the control of the President.
Churches in America are left with two choices: either become a "corporation" with special benefits or risk being considered like other "corporations" under the law. Either way, guess who's in charge of the pulpit, the youth group and the offering plate?
Comparing America and China reveals as little philosophical difference as you can find between greedy Republicans and greedy Democrats. Both "Republics" have powerful, intrusive, central governments based on legislatures. Both harass and steal from their own citizens the little bread they earn. Both manipulate and intimidate smaller nations by pointing their weapons of mass destruction at them. Both wreak havoc on homes, families and children.
Who would have ever thought that America would follow China's example and usurp the pulpits of the land and place herself as a god and idol in their stead?
But let us consider some other examples. Remember Uzebekistan? Our ally in the War against (Government-Fabricated) Terror? It appears she too is rather fond of the Sino-American approach to religion. The Keston Institute reports that the illustrious mayor of the town of Muinak upheld the national law and warned a persecuted pastor that an unregistered Christian congregation was not permitted and such activity would not be tolerated. The pastor and his congregation are forced to meet in the desert for safety.
I am reminded of Pilgrim's Progress, which is the second best-selling book in English literature. An uneducated, non-licensed preacher wrote this book while enduring years in jail because he refused to bow down to government for the sake of riches or convenience. John Bunyan secretly met his congregation in a forest when his jailors allowed him leave because they knew the honesty, integrity and courage of this man.
Perhaps the words of an underground Chinese church will best illustrate the dilemma of tyranny we now face in America: "Several of our church workers have searched the Scriptures and believe it is not right for the church to register. Now our church is scattered and under persecution. But in a neighboring village, there is a big registered church set up ten years ago. Their leaders believe the church should obey the higher powers and register with the government."
Can we truly say that America is more free than China?