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Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which defends the first amendment rights of military personnel against coercion by fundamentalists of all stripes.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein founded the MRFF in 2005 with the aim of combatting extremists, usually Christians, who attempt religious intimidation against military colleagues who do not share their views. It has assisted more than 50,000 active duty military, about 96 percent of whom identify as Christian. The remaining four percent comprise adherents of other faiths, or profess no faith. The MRFF has pursued legal action against the Pentagon and the Secretary of Defense on behalf of military plaintiffs who have been wronged by the actions of overly aggressive fundamentalist Christians.

The MRFF’s mission statement includes these tenets, among others:

  • No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
  • The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.

 

Visit the MRFF website:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org

 

Like MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MikeyMRFF

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@MikeyWeinstein

 

Donate to the MRFF:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/make-a-donation/

Community Activism · Ethics · Health Care · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Help Expose Fake Abortion Clinics

Help expose fake abortion clinics–facilities set up by pro-life groups that mimic abortion clinics, but attempt to pressure women out of seeking the help they need.

 

You’re going to want to sit down for this one. Fake abortion clinics have been a thing since the 1960s. Today, there are more than 4,000 of them across America while there are fewer than 800 legitimate clinics.

 

They are designed to look like medical facilities in every respect, but because they are not actual clinics, they don’t have to abide by HIPAA privacy laws. That’s right–they don’t have to safeguard any medical information that they might receive.

 

These facilities can exist and carry on with their borked mission because what they do is regarded as religious outreach, which is in turn protected by the First Amendment.

 

Activists are trying to hold fake clinics accountable by pursuing them on truth in advertising laws–making them more clearly admit that they are not abortion clinics and do not provide abortions or referrals to abortion clinics.

 

One of the ways they’re doing this is through the #ExposeFakeClinics website, which is a resource hub for those trying to spread the word about fake clinics.

 

Exposing fake clinics takes several forms. They include:

 

Liking online reviews of legitimate clinics

 

Reviewing fake clinics

 

Reporting fake clinics that engage in false advertising

 

Protesting outside of fake clinics (but scroll down for important information about this)

 

 

See the main Expose Fake Clinics webpage:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com

 

 

Learn how to spot a fake abortion clinic:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/what-is-a-cpc-2/

 

 

Learn if there are fake abortion clinics near you:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/cpc/

 

 

Take action against fake abortion clinics (note: if the fake clinic you want to protest in front of is physically near a genuine abortion clinic, check with the real one before you start work. If the real one asks you not to protest in person, please don’t):

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/take-action-1/

 

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read the Expose Fake Clinics blog:

https://exposefakeclinics.squarespace.com/blog/

 

 

Like Expose Fake Clinics on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/exposefakeclinics

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Separation of Church and State · Uncategorized

Tell Your MoCs to Keep Church and State Separate By Leaving the Johnson Amendment Alone (GOP Tax Bill Update–Good News)

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

Tell your members of Congress to reject any efforts to destroy or rewrite the Johnson Amendment, a restriction that affirms the separation of church and state.

GOP tax bill update: Congressional Republicans included language that would lift the Johnson Amendment in the GOP tax bill. When you call to ask your MoCs to vote against the tax bill, please ask them to fight to remove the language and preserve the Johnson Amendment. See our updates on fighting the GOP tax bill for a script for calling your MoCs.

Update to the update: Democrats succeeded in removing the language from the GOP tax bill that repeals the Johnson Amendment. Read more here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/14/in-small-win-for-democrats-the-final-tax-bill-wont-include-a-provision-to-allow-churches-to-endorse-political-candidates/?utm_term=.a274d9645ca0

Original text follows.

Many people have wondered why so many evangelical Christians embraced candidate Donald Trump so heartily. Here’s your answer: He promised to gut the Johnson Amendment. Sponsored by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson and passed in 1954, it curtails the ability of tax-exempt organizations–churches included–to speak out on political issues.

According to the IRS web site, the Johnson Amendment says that tax-exempt organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

To be clear: A pastor is in fact free to stand up at his megachurch pulpit today and endorse a specific candidate for public office during an election cycle. But he would put his megachurch’s tax-exempt status at risk if he did so.

Killing the Johnson amendment would embolden that pastor to endorse candidates by name to his congregants without fear of the IRS coming down on him. Mega-churches could in essence choose to become political super PACs, and all that that implies. It’d be the second coming of Citizens United, and we’re only sort-of joking when we say that.

If you value the separation of church and state, you want the Johnson Amendment to stay in place and untouched.

Important: Do you live in a part of the country that is dominated by evangelical right-wing Christianity? Then it’s extra-important for you to call your members of Congress and speak in favor of retaining the Johnson Amendment.

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code), and I am calling to ask Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to fight any attempts to destroy or rewrite the Johnson Amendment. The law prevents tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates. If it is removed, it would inject politics into the religious sphere in a way never before seen. Church and state should stay separate, for the good of both. Please retain the Johnson Amendment in its current form. Thank you.”

 

Read the tax code language that governs political expressions by tax-exempt organizations:

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/the-restriction-of-political-campaign-intervention-by-section-501-c-3-tax-exempt-organizations

 

Read an NPR brief on what the Johnson Amendment is, and isn’t:

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/03/513187940/the-johnson-amendment-in-five-questions-and-answers

 

Read about how Trump pleased the evangelical right by pledging to scrub the Johnson Amendment:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/how-trump-is-trying-to-put-more-money-in-politics/493823/

 

Read a Nonprofit Quarterly editorial speaking against the repeal of the Johnson Amendment:

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/02/06/losing-johnson-amendment-destroy-unique-political-role-nonprofits/

 

Read about how the National Coalition of Nonprofits has launched a campaign to resist any changes to the Johnson Amendment:

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/03/02/national-coalition-nonprofits-launches-campaign-oppose-repeal-johnson-amendment/

 

Read about a poll by Independent Sector, a champion of nonprofits, that shows a majority of voters support preserving the Johnson Amendment:

http://www.independentsector.org/news-post/national-poll-johnson-amendment/

 

Read an Atlantic piece from a rabbi who urges keeping the Johnson Amendment as is:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/a-rabbi-defends-the-johnson-amendment/516981/