Don’t be Intimidated by the Playground Bully

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Many of us have been there – playing on the school playground when suddenly you find yourself in the cross-hairs of the school bully.  There you are minding your own business when the bully comes up to you and perhaps demands your lunch money or just wants to pick on you to satisfy their own cruelty.  Maybe you stood there with sweaty palms and a racing heart and gave in.  Or maybe you chose to fight back.  But the passage of time gives us a perspective that perhaps many of us lacked in those playground situations.  As we get older and more experienced in life we realized that the bully was really nothing more than a weakling who made up for his own weakness by being loud and obnoxious.  Perhaps that reality dawned on you if you refused to be pushed around by the bully and stood up to him.

Whatever the case, playground bullies still exist today, and one of the organizations that gets a kick out of trying to bully churches is Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  ADF was recently the subject of an AU blog post full of bellicose bullying.  AU basically yells at anyone who listens to them, that ADF’s Pulpit Initiative is a failure and that we should just give up. 

Basically, AU’s blog post boils down to threats and intimidation by the “playground bully” of churches.  And bullying churches is something that AU is very good at.  Every election cycle, AU sends letters to churches trying to scare them into not addressing the issues of the day, and breathing threats that any church who crosses AU’s imaginary line in the sand will get reported to the IRS (put another way, “if you don’t do what I say, I’m going to tell…”).  AU also reports churches to the IRS that it believes have violated the IRS rules and regulations.  What AU doesn’t tell you, though, is that the IRS almost never acts on any complaints AU files.  And what they don’t tell you is that the only substance behind AU’s threats against churches is their own say-so, which doesn’t amount to anything and certainly is not in line with constitutional law.

AU says that the Pulpit Initiative is a failure yet they continue to yell and scream about it to anyone who will listen.  This is the classic behavior of a playground bully who knows deep down inside that his only method of control is to scare people and who actually understands a threat to their regime of fear and intimidation.

And AU is wrong.  The Pulpit Initiative has been a success.  The Pulpit Initiative is a growing nationwide movement of pastors who refuse to be silenced and who refuse to let government agents look over their shoulder and censor what they preach from the pulpit.  And whether AU likes it or not, the Pulpit Initiative has opened to door to a new day where only pastors and the church leadership determine what is preached from the pulpit – and the government has no say-so in what a pastor preaches.  AU says it is an organization dedicated to preserving the separation of church and state yet it argues to continue a system of massive government entanglement and control of churches.  The inconsistency of their arguments is laughable.

Pastors, never let yourself be intimidated by the “playground bullies” of this age.  Preach the Gospel as God lays it on your heart to preach.  As Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.”  Never let anyone scare you into silence on the vital moral issues of the day.  ADF will stand with you as we have stood with other pastors, and together we will see that the threats and intimidation by today’s bullies are nothing more than empty words.  And when we stand together, we’ll send these bullies packing.

Show the bullies you cannot be intimidated – sign up today for the Pulpit Initiative.

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2 Responses to “Don’t be Intimidated by the Playground Bully”

  1. Rev. Mark Cortner Says:

    While I am an ordained minister, I am NOT a pastor of any congregation.
    I both personally as a man of faith, and as a long time proud member of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, take extreme umbrage with your recent post, “Playground Bully”. As your organization is simply a batch of lawyers, jerking the emotional chains of the uneducated portion of right wing religious elements, I am sure that your “PROPAGANDA” is very effective for raising the funds that pay your fees for your collective personal ‘cash cow”, “Charade Crusade”.
    The only issue AU has with “Churches/Pastors” per se is “CANDIDATE ELECTIONEERING”.
    1.) Endorsing a particular candidate by NAME, from the pulpit.
    2.) Use of Church facilities for “CANDIDATE” campaign, activities, meetings, mailings, etc.
    This is a “LONG STANDING” IRS regulation, pertaining to continued tax exempt status, for churches and or “OTHER” non-profit institutions and/or organizations.
    The last time I checked, there is nothing in the scriptures that speaks to any modern political candidates by name.
    A Pastor simply preaching on “their biblical interpretations”, regarding their relevance to social and/or moral issues has NEVER been an issue with A.U.

    Mark Cortner,
    Tulsa, OK.

  2. FSM_Ed Says:

    Wouldn’t you also agree that all religion should no longer be tax exempt? No more tax exemption for their income and for tithing. Just think of the money that could be raised to help those in need!

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