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Any time you challenge the status quo, the status quo fights back. I knew this race would be tough — but I didn’t know it would turn this dirty, this fast.
As you may know, earlier this week my campaign held a kickoff luncheon with Lt. Governor Dan Forest. I have it on good authority from multiple sources that, leading up to the event, a well-known operative who is at the center of the Democrat machine in Columbus County threatened people with political retribution if they came to my kickoff.
They came anyway.
The event was a tremendous success, attracting a crowd of approximately 100 people that included both prominent Republicans and Democrats.
Now, this same operative has contacted the media and falsely accused my church of violating its tax status, falsely claiming the church endorsed my candidacy.
While my church did include an announcement about my kickoff in the church newsletter, they did not endorse my candidacy.
My church acted fully within its rights, and the person who made these false accusations knows it.
If merely informing people about a political function is a violation of a non-profit organization’s tax status, then we could put together a long list of left-wing “non-profits” and left-leaning churches that violate their tax status on a daily basis.
Now, the militant atheist groups that want to remove any mention of God from American life are fixating on this issue.
Left-wing groups have already blogged or written about our case. One of them, a Charlotte resident whose biography on his Facebook page says he is a writer for The Atheist Survival Guide, wrote in a Facebook post about my church that churches and other non-profits should not engage in any political activity.
Does this include educating members about important social issues, such as the Marriage Protection Amendment that Columbus County voters overwhelmingly supported in 2012?
Does this apply to both liberal and conservative groups?
When asked about this issue, my pastor – who is one of the finest men I know – sincerely stated that the church wants its members to be involved in the political process, and added that the church would have published a similar announcement for a Democrat candidate.
The atheist leader from Charlotte responded on Facebook by calling my pastor a “dumb*ss.” This atheist activist from Charlotte has even contacted my church about this issue.
Do we really want left-wing activists from Charlotte telling us how to live our lives in southeastern North Carolina?
I think not.
I wonder if this person would have taken issue with a left-wing non-profit aligned with his views that informed its members about a liberal candidate’s event? Or is his ire reserved only for those who happen to be conservative Christians?
The Pilgrims made the treacherous trek across the Atlantic largely to escape an oppressive government that violated their religious freedom. Our Founding Fathers drafted a Constitution and Bill of Rights that was designed to protect citizens’ religious freedom from the long arm of big government.
Now, the founders’ intent has been turned upside down by militant atheist groups like the ones that are taking an interest in this case and by misguided federal judges whose rulings run counter to the intent of our Constitution’s framers.
Make no mistake: these people don’t want freedom of religion, they want freedom from religion.
That’s not the America where I grew up.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The first portion of this clause means that Congress shall not impose a state religion on our citizens.
These militant atheists are trying to subvert our Constitution by using the Courts to make atheism the de facto state religion in America.
Enough is enough.
It is time for those of us who value faith, family and freedom – including religious freedom – to take a stand and fight for our values.
Enough is enough.
It is time for us to stand up to the anti-Christian bigotry demonstrated by groups that believe all forms of speech and expression should be tolerated – unless they happen to be conservative or Christian in nature.
We cannot control what happens elsewhere in North Carolina or across the nation, but we can take a stand right here in southeastern North Carolina.
I intend to do just that, but I cannot do it alone. I need your help. If you agree with me, please join my team by doing one or more of the following:
Thank you for your love for our great nation. I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Click here to view photos from my kickoff on Facebook.