Saturday, 22 September 2018

Christians Tax-Free Lying for Jesus, Trump and the GOP

Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons
Atheist Group Tells IRS to Investigate Church That Told Members to Vote for GOP | Hemant Mehta.

Eagle Mountain International Church's Terri Copeland Pearsons may have cost her father's money-making enterprise a hefty tax bill, if the Freedom From Religion Foundation's complaint to the IRS is upheld.

After turning the church into a political mouthpiece for Donald Trump and the GOP, in violation of the Johnson Amendment which removes the tax exempt, charitable status from churches that are openly partisan in their politics, Terri and her co-preacher Paula White, a 'spiritual advisor' to Donald Trump, boasted that since Trump became president they didn't need to bother about that because the Johnson Amendment has been abolished.

The only problem is, the Johnson Amendment has not been abolished and is still the law of the land. Trump promised to abolish it so the conservative Christian churches could have their greatest wish fulfilled so they could have the political power denied them by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. They would, of course, without exception, support extreme right GOP candidates who would naturally be in hock to them and effectively in the pockets of church leaders like Kenneth Copeland and his daughter Terri. To date, however, Trump has failed to keep that promise.

Their claims betray an attitude toward the rule of law and the Constitution which should be a warning to those Americans who wish still to live in the 'shining beacon on the hill' advertising democracy to the world that America use to think of itself as. Promises and declarations by would-be presidents do not become law on the nod or by the dictat of the president.

There are constitutional processes to go through which act as checks and balances on executive power to prevent the USA becoming the autocratic dictatorship the Christian right would like to turn it into with their puppet president doing their bidding.

Their cock-sure arrogance betrays how they would like to behave if only they could get away with it.

According to this Right Wing Watch report, during her sermon, White was joined on stage with Terri Pearsons and her husband, George. After blatantly lying to the congregation by claiming that California had passed a law banning the Bible as a book of hate-speech, they told the audience that such laws will soon spread to other states unless Trump can place “righteous judges” on courts throughout the nation, White said that it is crucial to get Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because “we probably will have … up to a total of five other” Supreme Court appointments if Republicans can retain control of the Senate and Trump can win a second term. They went on:

“That’s how important a time we are in,” she said.

“Thanks to the Lord and Donald Trump, we can talk about these things in church on Sunday morning,” Copeland added from off-stage to raucous applause.

“I can say to you, ‘Vote red,'” Pearsons declared. “I can say that to you without any fear that the IRS is going to take away your right to donate to this church and deduct it from your taxes and without you being audited because of it. That’s over and that’s because our president did that for us.”

White and Pearsons were then met on stage by Pearsons’ fellow senior pastor and husband, George Pearsons, who joined them in celebrating.

“We’re using the voice that God has given us and the muzzle is off,” he said. “The muzzle is off and it’s not going back on, either!”


The Eagle Mountain church is also famous for the opulent lifestyle of Kenneth Copeland and his daughter, Terri who runs the church, and her husband George, as can be seen from their luxury private jet, a Cessna 750 Citation X.

Clearly and unequivocally, Terri Copeland Pearsons, her husband and Paula White, like other right-wing Christian churches will tell any lie to get the power they crave, and still feel entitled to not pay any tax on their church's incomes. Unaccountable power without responsibility by self-appointed megalomaniacs and sociopaths draped in flags and sham righteous piety to disguise their real agenda.

The Eagle Mountain International megachurch of Texas is notorious for a number of things apart from being the vast money-making enterprise of televangelist Kenneth Copeland. In 2013, for example, it did a swift volte-face and urged its followers to get vaccinated against measles, having previously told them to put their faith in God to protect them and eschew medical science.

The problem was that many of those members who took their advice were succumbing to an outbreak of measles after one of the congregation contracted the disease on a foreign visit. Of the 27 cases of measles in Texas that year, 21 were linked to the church and in one more the link was uncertain. There had been no previous cases of measles in Texas for the previous seven years. So well done Terri, George and Kenneth for reintroducing one of their God's diseases back into Texas.

It will be interesting to see if the IRS agrees with the cock-sure arrogance of Pastor Terri Pearsons' assertion that they can't touch them with Donald Trump in power, no matter how much they flout the law and avoid tax under guise of being a church while acting as an arm of the GOP and a mouthpiece for Donald Trump.


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