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The Tentacle


May 7, 2012

Church Leaders Dividing The Community

Jill King

Budget meetings always seem to bring out the worst in people. No one is ever going to be happy with government decisions, thanks to the different philosophies people hold.

 

The small crowd in attendance could never compare to past meetings where the public was told the tax rate was going up. At those times, Frederick County officials typically spent two days hearing public comment. This one only had 70 speakers, after which it was called a night.

 

We can dismiss the fact that the Frederick County Teachers Association members spoke, because it was the incorrect venue and we hear it whether they get the asking price or not. Its appeal to the Board of Education was sufficient and predictable; they didn’t have to ask the county for anything, yet they came to bore us once again.

 

A note should be made though; they are not teachers first; their new claim is we are Frederick County Teachers Association!

 

As interesting as that was, I hope no one is snoozing yet. We can now get to the meat of the story, the not-for-profit agencies and the 20 churches backing their funding by the county.

 

The mere principle could be a reason why we are losing people of Christian faith. If all church officials defended themselves from acting upon God’s mission, what other teachings are they presenting?

 

Being brought up in a small community, our church was central to everything. We gathered for prayer, aid, and to celebrate life. We prayed for the sick, the infirmed, and those who welcomed a new baby.

 

The church took donations of clothes, food, and provided snacks that volunteers baked at home – on their own time. They were much more than that; they provided youth groups led by young adults and they offered family meals. They provided a registry and had annual family photos taken for the parishioners.

 

We prayed together, ate together, played together, and looked out for one another.

 

None of the church officials who spoke brought to light what they do. They only said what they can’t do and what the Board of County Commissioners should do.

 

Don’t worry; I am not going to quote any scriptures. The ones read that night were nowhere near the King James Version that I grew up with.

 

I criticize them for their lobbying of the government and their neglect of duty as God’s children.

 

Thankfully, not every church has this ideology and chooses when to use its voice in good taste.

 

After our preacher passed away, his successor changed the program. Countless years were spent trying to find the right pastor again. Luckily, this has finally happened and whew… he was not one of the ones dismissing the churches duty to charity.

 

When it comes to the government funded not-for-profits, a few items don’t sit well. Many of them find that they need government intervention for survival.

 

Is it the role of government, to provide services through agencies that are popping up everywhere? Is The General Welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution too loosely interpreted?

 

These two questions are interconnected. Deep consideration must be taken to the fact that the Constitution was created by men of faith.

 

The main aspect is to the interpretation as factual evidence. This role is applied to the states and for the general welfare of all, not a select group.

 

Thomas Jefferson, in his Declaration of Protest of 1825, along with James Madison, in his April 20, 1831, letter to James Robertson, corrected any notion of a possible incorrect perceived meaning. They knew it had potential liabilities, clarifying the nature of the intent.

 

In their time people helped people; there was no taxation on moral duty. Churches provided for their communities; not-for profit agencies were non-existent. Property was a sign of wealth, not an entitlement.

 

The community provided through God, what they could afford. Unfortunately, as society progressed, the politicians sought this as a vote-getter and wanted glory for them self.

 

In Frederick County, there are 879 properties that are designated tax exempt; this includes churches and various groups aiding in a cause. The reduction of a tax burden on one subgroup could be considered “welfare.”

 

Churches initially set money aside for their community, not the building fund. A few of the churches listed have property assessed at over a $1,000,000. Of those, there has been a long legacy with the community.

 

After pitching the concept with friends all over the country, the findings are that this process is not unique to our area, nor are there other places that are not dismantling the government intervention of charitable funding.

 

In one instance, the public sector had not received raises in double our three years, but the charities they funded were banking more in their personal pockets annually. Could this information turn off another group supportive of their efforts?

 

Commissioner David Gray stands firmly and panders constantly to the “anti” crowd and could likely tell you which politician these charities were near and dear to. His 20 years of service must have showed signs of the train wreck of potential economic disparity on a larger number of the population coming full speed ahead, yet he did nothing and still panders for the vote.

 

Government funded charities, including some politically vocal churches, can be viewed as a small scale of the union when it comes to local voting.

 

Sometimes it is unpopular to make the decision that serves the best interests of the general population; four out of five of our current commissioners are making a difference.

 

I, for one, am thankful that we finally have a group looking to put the size and scope of the intended purpose of government back in order.

 

We, as a community, could all fare well if all church officials believed in us, promoting community goals instead of dividing.

 

Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with my past…

 

retrainbrain@hotmail.com

 



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