, Muskogee, OK

November 30, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Churches’ tax exemptions a farce

— The morning after, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. revealed the secret to his re-election victory over ex-Mayor Kathy Taylor.

“I spoke at 125 churches and we’re going to do more,” the son of former Governor and U.S. Senator Dewey Bartlett said. By appearing to be “God’s messenger,” Bartlett matched the $3.3 million that Taylor, a millionaire Democrat, spent to return to the Mayor’s office. Bartlett spent $958,291. Bartlett followed the script of two other Tulsa Republican mayors. Jim Inhofe, now a U.S. Senator, who runs on “God, guns, and gays” and calls the separation of church and state “a hoax.” Bill LaFortune, who told a Victory Christian audience “I spoke to God and he told me to bring God back to city government.”

By using churches as their political playground, Republicans have a made a farce out of churches’ tax exemption. We should tax churches’ income and real estate.

The Bartlett gang ignores our Constitution’s First Amendment right for us to worship as we please or if we prefer to have no religion. To guard against the state becoming a theocracy, the rule of the state by God, these principles are known as freedom of religion and separation of church and state.

President Thomas Jefferson said, “Religion is a matter between every man and his maker, in which, no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.”