Preacher Jimmy Swaggart and JW Lawyers

by waiting 100 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • waystation

    I'm not trying to pick your words apart. However, there is a huge difference between backing Swaggart, and filing an amicus curiae. No doubt your daughter's boss is a very intelligent man and understands this very well; I simply think you are misinterpreting what he has said.

    We should pay Caesers things to Caeser. In this case, however, there was a question of what belonged to him. If it could go either way, the Society would obviously prefer it went their way. Court cases are Caeser's idea. You're not doing anything underhanded by using the court to present your viewpoint.

    Once the point was decided, the Society would obviously cooperate fully by paying Caeser what was owed on its taxable income. If the Society then chose to go to a complete donation arrangement to avoid what would have been a huge mountain of tax debt is not against the law, and neither is it morally wrong. It was a choice that was made and is working well.

    I happened upon this forum when it first came one-line and realized it probably was not a place I would be comfortable. I was cleaning out my bookmarks a couple days ago and found it again. I was simply clarifying a couple of misconceptions. Everyone here seems to have found people they are comfortable with, and I am the odd man out. So I'll leave you be to enjoy yourselves with likeminded people.

  • waiting

    Dear Waystation,

    Please don't feel that you are the odd man out - nor that I was trying to make you uncomfortable.

    Your fuller explanation of your viewpoint made good points. As usual I don't agree with all of them - but no one agrees with me fully either.

    I never stated, or intended to say the Society did anything underhanded or illegal. I was making the point that if they can come to the aid in helping another religious organization while helping themselves - what's the difference in me helping the Girl Scouts by buying cookies and me getting cookies in return?

    Or donating to the Salvation Army, Red Cross, any church, most if not all charities?

    Or doing paid work for any church, charity, or religious sponsored business?

    I'm sure your points are good - but then so should be mine.

    Come back and visit - we might not agree on this point, but what's wrong with that?

  • spectromize

    Dear waystation,

    Ask yourself these questions when thinking about Jimmy Swaggart and the society.

    If you think the society is right in doing what they did by filing that brief then talk about it in your local congregation and let everyone know,and give me their reaction won't you please?

    Ask everyone's opinion in your congregation, and also ask them what scriptual principle they are using and see how many agree with it then please report to us won't you please?

    You know the answer why delude yourself into denial, the elders will have a hay day with you and doubt very much you are brave enough to even talk about it in your congregation or write about it to the society using your real name.

    Edited by - spectromize on 23 May 2000 13:29:48

  • RedhorseWoman

    I take issue with the WTBTS in that for years the criticism of other religions was hot and heavy in the area of wealth and ostentatiousness.

    The Catholic Church was criticized for being wealthy and for owning property and businesses outside the Church itself.

    Pretty much any religious organization that was rich (and that includes most) were in the sights of the WTBTS big guns.

    "Pay unto Caesar what is Caesar's" was almost a rallying cry. Look at these other churches, hiding behind the tax shelter of religion to run their enterprises.

    Well, well, well....the worm has turned, and so many total devotees of the WTBTS defend Mother by saying that it is only good business to avoid paying taxes. It is only good business to run rental car sales companies, and fire extinguisher companies, and whatever else company it can use to increase it's wealth.

    Why, look at the Patterson complex! Ostentatious, you say? Why, this only shows how Jehovah has blessed us! But just LOOK at that fancy Catholic church down the street with it's stained glass windows and fancy architecture. Just like a painted harlot. Look how Satan flaunts himself by means of his mistress, the Catholic Church.

    Give me a break!!!! The WTBTS is doing what every other religion has been doing for years. The only reason they didn't flaunt riches before was because the little slaves hadn't done enough magazine pushing!!!

    Sorry for the tirade....I think you can tell this ticks me off.

  • Frenchy

    Dear Way,
    I've found this board to be very civil. I for one welcome your comments and encourage you to continue here. You will find disagreements from time to time because that's usually the nature of these things but I think that you will find that those posting here are very civil and polite people whom I am very proud of. Please continue to chat with us.

  • waiting

    When I first started on web, I saw this issue mentioned and said to myself, "I don't believe this until I see the actual documents - those apostates will lie about anything (I'm such a JW).

    A scanned copy of the actual court documents I was quoting from can be found at:

    I do think the Society should let us have "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" in the thinking behind this issue. I agree fully, the Society did nothing illegal or underhanded in the area of legalities.

    But I feel it's immoral to lend your support to another Church in the matter of money and underhanded to tell your followers for decades not to do the incredibly number of things that "we can't.....

    I did not mean to offend Waystation - however, the beauty of this site is that, not that we can offend at a moment's wish - but we can speak at equals - in a civil way. And, Lord, being a JW woman from the South USA - that is a new experience!

  • Friend

    There is a lot of misunderstanding on this thread about what an amicus curiae petition is and what it represents. (Some do seem to understand the matter more than others)

    An amicus curiae petition does not make the petitioner party to the suit. It simply allows a third party to express an opinion on a point of law about to be decided.

    An amicus curiae petition does not make the petitioner a friend of any particular party to the suit.

    An amicus curiae petition does not mean that the petitioner is filing in behalf of any party in the suit.

    Filing a amicus curiae petition means only that there is a pending matter of law that someone wants to offer an opinion on for consideration. That is all there is to it.

    Also, the Society did not lose the suit in question. You cannot lose when you are not party to the dispute.

    Regarding the Society’s expressed legal opinion in its petition of amicus curiae, it is true that the court’s decision was not entirely what the Society hoped for. On the other hand, such decisions cannot always be construed as winning or losing. Because attorneys are used to how the court system works they do not get too bent out of shape because such petitions are often sort of half won and half lost. That is, the court offers some middle of the road decision that is less peremptory on a particular issue than the petitioner wanted. In this case it is false to say that the Society lost because the Society was never a party to the suit. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries lost while the Society’s petition received less acceptance than they wanted. Whether the Society could otherwise successfully win their particularly favored opinion as party to a suit is yet decided. The Society filed its amicus curiae petition hoping to build further precedent without the expense of filing their own suit or being sued.

    Additionally, the Society’s decision to change how we handle donations was not made because they lost a legal battle but because they wanted to save themselves from such a battle, which in my opinion they could win quite easily. Nevertheless, winning easily and conserving expense are not the same thing. Legal battles can be won easily and still cost a fortune to win.

    Finally, congregations were made aware of circumstances at the time. In a letter dated 2/9/90 elders in the United States were informed that new donation arrangements was enacted based upon recent (at the time) Supreme Court decisions regarding religious activities. At the time it was common knowledge that the applicable rulings were those having to do with the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. With the Society’s permission elders passed on verbally the contents of that letter. Besides that, elders were instructed to read a letter to all congregation in the United States and its Territories stating the reasons for the change to a completely donation arrangement. In part that letter said, "Additionally, many have noted that secular authorities are increasingly viewing certain religious activities as commercial." (Letter dated 2/9/90 to All Congregations in the USA and its Territories) That comment was offered as one compelling reason for the change.


  • RedhorseWoman

    Still sounds like simply refusing to pay Caesar what is Caesar's to me. Puts a few more bucks in the coffers, though.

  • Friend


    Still sounds like simply refusing to pay Caesar what is Caesar's to me. Puts a few more bucks in the coffers, though.

    Do you file an income tax statement in the United States of America? When you abide by the law is that tax evasion? When you take advantage of a tax break is that tax evasion? Is that refusing to pay Caesar’s things to Caesar?

    Because the Society pays its taxes completely within the law do you consider that tax evasion? Are you serious? Please demonstrate where the Society has infracted any of }Caeser’s tax laws.


  • Frenchy

    I would like to put my two cents in this if I may. Personally, I'm not accusing the Society of breaking the law. I am suggesting, however, that this is a blatant effort to circumvent it. That being the case, it is then violating the spirit and intent of the law and while this may mean nothing to a 'worldly' person it's an entirely different matter for an organization which has gone through so much trouble to distance itself from the world. Below are a couple of lines from public talk #10 which is about conducting ourselves honestly at all times.

    Many persons justify shady dealings in taxes, customs, social payments, or welfare

    Please note the phrase "shady dealings". Shady is not illegal, it's just unethical, deceptive. Look at another topic line:

    Would not distort facts to qualify or fail to report

    Distortion of facts cannot be called outright lying but it's the next best thing to it. Let's examine briefly what took place and then perhaps you might be able to see how others view that action as something less than completely honest.

    BEFORE: You go out in service and offer two magazines. The householder asks you 'how much?' You say we ask a contribution of fifty cents. The householder hands you two quarters and takes the magazine. At the next meeting you put the money in the little box marked 'contributions for the world wide work'.

    AFTER: You go out in service and offer two magazines. The householder asks you 'how much?' You say 'There's no charge for our literature.' The householder reaches out and takes the two magazines. THEN you say: "We are part of a world wide work of volunteers doing this work and if you would like to donate something toward this work then I would be happy to accept.' The householder (who now feels obligated to give you something inasmuch as she's holding your magazines in her hand) hands over fifty cents. At the next meeting you put the money in the little box marked 'contributions for the world wide work'.

    QUESTION: What has actuually changed here? One word: 'contribution' has now been changed to 'donation'. Money is still solicited, still collected, and still sent to the Society . The difference now is that no taxes are due. In my humble opinion this is 'shady dealings' and it is a 'distortion of facts'.

    I'll give you an example. You tell me that you need your house painted. I say okay, but here's the deal. If you pay me to paint your house, I have to report this as income. So, let's say that I will paint your house and not charge you anything for it. After I'm finished you can just 'give' me some money and then I won't have to call it payment for services rendered.

    That's my slant on it.

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