Please review and comment on my draft letter to the ACLU to challenge the constitutionality of Title 26, § 501, § 504, and § 7611. For those individuals that feel that I am wasting my time, then do not waste your time in writing comments to this thread that I am wasting my time.
I would really appreciate feedback on whether my letter is understandable to a layman, and whether I correctly interpreted the information that I read while researching my letter, and of course any grammatical errors. I apologize in advance that my letter is so long, because I felt that it would have more impact when quoting respected Statesman and Judges. My letter should be self-explanatory, so please read it and use the following links to more fully understand the issues involved:
· TITLE 26 > Subtitle A > CHAPTER 1 > Subchapter F > PART I > § 501 - Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc
· TITLE 26 > Subtitle A > CHAPTER 1 > Subchapter F > PART I > § 504 - Status after organization ceases to qualify for exemption under section 501 (c)(3) because of substantial lobbying or because of political activities
· TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 78 > Subchapter A > § 7611 - Restrictions on church tax inquiries and examinations
· TITLE 26 > Subtitle A > CHAPTER 1 > Subchapter F > PART III > § 512 - Unrelated business taxable income
- U.S. Supreme Court Opinions of the First Amendment of the Constitution
- REYNOLDS v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878)
- JONES v. CITY OF OPELIKA, 319 U.S. 105 (1943)
- EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EWING TP., 330 U.S. 1 (1947)
- WALZ v. TAX COMMISSION OF CITY OF NEW YORK , 397 U.S. 664 (1970)
- LEMON v. KURTZMAN, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)
- Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments by James Madison
- Are Tax “Benefits” for Religious Institutions Constitutionally Dependent on Benefits for Secular Entities?
- Churches are Tax Exempt as a Matter of Constitutional Right
My letter is intended to inspire the ACLU to argue the following points before the Supreme Court:
1) The Constitution and its Amendments are more important than and override Common Law, laws passed before enactment of the Constitution and its Amendments, and legal progression arguments.
2) If the Constitution and its Amendments are ambiguous, then the primary resource to resolve any issues are the legislative records that involved ratification of the Constitution and its Amendments.
3) The Establishment clause means that Congress will not pass laws that establish a religion and that includes laws that result in financial support without ensuring freedom of belief of members of that religion because of the guarantees in the Free Exercise clause.
4) Dangerous cults should be excluded from receiving financial support from laws that are enacted by Congress as longs as their actions do not guarantee freedom of religious beliefs and freedom of speech.
If you do not know what the ACLU is, please visit their website at www.aclu.org .
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
ACLU of the Nation's Capital
Executive Director: Johnny Barnes
4301 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008-2368
Dear Executive Director Johnny Barnes:
I respectfully request that the ACLU challenge the Constitutionality of tax exemptions for religious activities, religious organizations, religions, and/or churches in Title 26 of the USC (i.e., § 501, § 504, § 6033, § 7611, and § 512). Although the Supreme Court has ruled on the Constitutionality of taxing religious organizations in the past, it has done so in a manner that elevated guaranteeing rights of religious organizations instead of an individual’s religious beliefs, which is contrary to what was intended when the Bill of Rights was ratified. Ironically the same organization which fought for tax exemption of religious organizations by States requesting 1 st Amendment protection in JONES v. CITY OF OPELIKA, 319 U.S. 105 (1943), is also the same organization that uses behavioral, information, thought, and emotional (BITE) control techniques (i.e., thought reform or mind control) to coerce individual Jehovah’s Witnesses to blindly adhere to its doctrines. To understand the magnitude of harm inflicted by dangerous cults, please read books by cult experts, such as Steve Hassan’s book “Combatting Cult Mind Control”, attend seminars about identifying dangerous cults, and remember the killings at Jonestown, Guyana.
Before I delve into my reasons for challenging the constitutionality of tax exemptions granted by the United States government, what type of information and how much information would the ACLU need to challenge the Constitutionality of tax exemptions for dangerous cults that infringe on the rights of their members’ personal religious beliefs, such as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc. (EIN 11-1753577), Brooklyn, NY? Is publically available literature written by the Society encouraging family and friends, who are members, to shun former members evidence of attempting to control religious thought and freedom of speech? Or, are documents/literature acceptable that disclose how the organization teaches its members to deceive and lie to its members, the general public, government officials, and the courts? Are letters from former/current members acceptable that describe how the Society’s activities prevented them from freely practicing their religious beliefs, practicing freedom of speech, and injured them personally?
When Congress enacted and changed Title 26, Congress inadvertently enacted law(s) that support (if not help establish) religious organizations, at the expense of an individual’s constitutionally guaranteed rights. Title 26 § 501, § 504, and § 7611 of the USC gave special status and support to religious organizations without ensuring that religious (or secular) organizations must ensure constitutionally guaranteed rights of individuals. Dangerous cults, which can be religious or secular organizations, have a basic characteristic of using BITE control techniques to control the thoughts and actions of their members and thus trample on an individual’s 1 st Amendment Constitutional Rights of freedom of thought and action.
Does the 1 st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantee that religious organizations and/or groups are not to be regulated, or that an individual’s religious beliefs are not to be infringed upon by laws? Which is more important: the Constitution and its Amendments based on what the People’s representatives intended when they were written and ratified; or Common Law, laws enacted before passage of the Constitution and its Amendments, and the progression legal argument? The first 15 words of the first sentence of the Constitution establishes that the People’s Representatives intended to change the course of American governance to governance by the People, instead of by English Common law and governance by royal, judicial, and/or religious oligarchies. Ratification of the Bill of Rights resolved debate(s) about whether the People should establish principles of governance to protect State and individual’s rights, instead of leaving it to Common Law alone. Ratification of the 14 th Amendment further extended Constitutional guarantees to encompass State statues.
The 1 st Amendment to the Constitution came into effect as part of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, and states that:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Which is more plausible that the 1 st clause (commonly referred to as the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses) guarantees that Congress will not regulate religious organizations and/or groups, or that it guarantees an individual’s right to freedom of religious belief and/or thought? The following clauses of the 1 st Amendment guarantee an individual’s right to freedom of expression in a civil manner and freedom of the press.
To understand the intent of the authors of the Bill of Rights and the politicians, who ratified it, shouldn’t the legislative records during the ratification process of the Bill of Rights be the primary resource for interpreting the 1 st Amendment? The Bill of Rights was adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789, formally proposed by joint resolution of Congress on September 25, 1789, and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791. James Madison, who is considered the “Father of the Constitution” and 1 st author of the Bill of Rights, submitted his proposal to amend the Constitution to the 1st United States Congress on June 8, 1789. In Madison’s proposed amendments, he acknowledged reason(s) for some of the discontent with the Constitution, as well as, his proposal for what would later become known as the 1 st Amendment to the Constitution:
“Fourthly, That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.
The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.
The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the Legislature by petitions, or remonstrances, for redress of their grievances.”
The following five Supreme Court Cases were reviewed to understand how the Court ruled on cases that requested 1 st Amendment protection: REYNOLDS v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878); JONES v. CITY OF OPELIKA, 319 U.S. 105 (1943); EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EWING TP., 330 U.S. 1 (1947); WALZ v. TAX COMMISSION OF CITY OF NEW YORK , 397 U.S. 664 (1970); and LEMON v. KURTZMAN, 403 U.S. 602 (1971). Two opinions substantiate interpreting the 1 st Amendment based on reviewing the legislative record(s) in REYNOLDS v. U.S. and JONES v. CITY OF OPELIKA. In EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EWING TP. Justice Black delivered the opinion of the Court that included a a brief history of religious freedom in America including referencing James Madison’s “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments”. The majority of the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of interpreting the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, as establishing that rights of religious organizations and/or groups are not to be infringed upon in narrowly construed opinions in at least the last four cases that were reviewed.
Chief Justice Waite in REYNOLDS v. U.S. for the opinion of the court stated:
“The word 'religion' is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning, and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted. The precise point of the inquiry is, what is the religious freedom which has been guaranteed.”
Chief Justice Waite further stated that religious belief must not excuse one’s actions from being judged by the law of the land:
“So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? [98 U.S. 145, 167] To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.”
Justice Jackson in JONES v. CITY OF OPELIKA for the dissenting opinion of the Court stated:
“The available evidence of Congressional action shows clearly that the draftsmen of the amendments had in mind the practice of religion and the right to be heard, rather than any abridgment or interference with either by taxation in any form. The amendments were proposed by Mr. Madison. He was careful to explain to the Congress the meaning of the amendment on religion. The draft was commented upon by Mr. Madison when it read: 'No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.' 1 Annals of Congress 729.
He said that he apprehended the meaning of the words on religion to be that Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience. No such specific interpretation of the amendment on freedom of expression has been found in the debates. The clearest is probably from Mr. Benson who said that 'The committee who framed this report proceeded on the principle that these rights belonged to the people; they conceived them to be inherent; and all that they meant to provide against was their being infringed by the Government.”
When does the Supreme Court exceed its authority that it is granted by the People in the Constitution? What starts the slide down the slippery slope from a Republic to an oligarchy? Is it when the Constitution and its Amendments (i.e., principles) are viewed as less important than Common Law, statues, and legal arguments? Or, is it when the Constitutional rights of organizations are viewed as more important than individual rights? In LEMON v. KURTZMAN, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), Chief Justice Burger delivered the opinion of the Court, which included the progression argument:
The progression argument, however, is more persuasive here. We have no long history of state aid to church-related educational institutions comparable to 200 years of tax exemption for churches. Indeed, the state programs before us today represent something of an innovation. We have already noted that modern governmental programs have self-perpetuating and self-expanding propensities. These internal pressures are only enhanced when the schemes involve institutions whose legitimate needs are growing and whose interests have substantial political support. Nor can we fail to see that in constitutional adjudication some steps, which when taken were thought to approach "the verge," have become the platform for yet further steps. A certain momentum develops in constitutional theory and it can be a "downhill thrust" easily set in motion but difficult to retard or stop. Development by momentum is not invariably bad; indeed, it is the way the common law has grown, but it is a force to be recognized and reckoned with. The dangers are increased by the difficulty of perceiving in advance exactly where the "verge" of the precipice lies. As well as constituting an independent evil against which the Religion Clauses were intended to protect, involvement or entanglement between government and religion serves as a warning signal
Before James Madison helped write and signed the Constitution, which was adopted by a convention of the States on September 17, 1787, he wrote “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” in 1785. James Madison considered “A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion” as a dangerous abuse of power. His first reason to remonstrate against the Bill is a powerful argument against governments supporting religions:
“Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.”
Thank you in advance for reviewing and responding to my letter.