The campaign season is in full swing. I would urge all candidates to research all laws and regulations that apply to the campaign process and review such with their staffs. Any candidate from any party that wants to write or enforce our laws must demonstrate their own respect for the laws that are already in place.
• ARM 18.6.246: Do not park a vehicle disguised as a campaign billboard at the post office, or other illegal location and leave it there.
• Check out ARM 18.6.239 as well. You all received copies of these from the DOT. Read and follow them.
• IRC 501(c)(3): The IRS has rules prohibiting nonprofit charitable organizations such as churches from participating in political campaigns and stipulates that they should lose their nonprofit (tax exempt) status if they do. It doesn’t matter if you “Can get away with it.” Separation of church and state is important. Individuals are certainly free to express their view but use extra care here.
We don’t want the state dictating to the churches. Churches must respect the state. Many of our ancestors fled Europe so that they could have the right to worship according to the dictates of their conscience. The framers of our Constitution understood very well that the state should not be in the business of promoting or controlling religion (see the First Amendment) and that it was the responsibility of government to ensure that every citizen had the freedom to follow his or her conscience. Our founders understood that minorities must be protected from the “tyranny of the majority.” One of the primary things that distinguishes us from countries such as Iran and Afghanistan is religious freedom. Beware anyone who plays fast and loose with this issue. It is one of the most sacred foundations of our nation.
Our wonderful way of life has been purchased and preserved by the blood of hundreds of thousands of brave individuals. Let’s not throw it away at the ballot box because we do not give the issues sufficient thought.