I had an interesting conversation on the phone. I seem to be the target of numerous phone calls, that if they're not asking for money for some group, most of them worthy to donate to, like the American Veterans, others, are more of an annoyance, because of it's content. Most of them don't leave a message, so I don't know what they're calling about. But, if I get several from a certain phone number, I'll call them back, because occasionally, they're looking to contact my ex - for an unpaid bill.
Anyway, this one was for some group about American Law Justice, or something along that line... So, he wanted to know if I still supported them. Sometimes. So he goes on this big schpeel about how Obama and the IRS targeted the Tea Party, a family rights group, and a marriage protection group, all affiliated with conservative groups, to be audited. Because those who are opposed to these groups are big buck players, a conservative millionaire would match each donation. Well, sorry, I have no money to give. I'm barely keeping up with my bills now. I could hear his disappointment over the phone.
So, I let him know, that I support The Constitution on our Freedom of Speech. That should never be muzzled, because it's at the corner of our very own foundation. I also said that because this same Constitution also says all men are created equal, it is just as wrong to have laws that say some people can't get married. He argues that the Tea Party is more about economics. Well, these other groups were mentioned as well. And, having family benefits are less expensive than individual benefits. He says that Obama care is going to add tons of dollars at the expense of taxpayers...
I continue to say that human life is more important than money. He agrees. Well, I had a friend, and know of other people who have died on the current health care system, because of lack of access to getting health care. Obama Care is trying to fix that... I got hung up on. I guess he didn't want to continue the conversation. Fine.
But here is what I can gather... His big gripe was the fact that his fellow conservative groups were muzzled to the point that they were supposedly not allowed to take part in the political system. Everybody is supposed to be able to take part. Here is the problem. The Tea Party got it's tax status as a charity non-profit, a 501c3. So did these other conservative groups to protect the Marriage Act, and take a pro-life stance. Fine. You have the right to take what ever stance you believe is right, and be vocal about it. It's the way the system here is celebrated. Our Founding Fathers wanted it this way, so that free people could participate in their own government without fear of imprisonment, outcasts, etc. I love the very cornerstone that we are built on.
As a founder of a non-profit, a 501c4, to push social issues to change political climate, laws, and what not, I also know that there is a HUGE difference between a social charity and a social political welfare nonprofit. A charity (501c3) gives to the community or group to help the needy that is defined in their mission. A social welfare (501c4) changes the political environment to promote change either in thinking or in defined law.
A 501c3, is supposed to be a charity. Think ASPCA, your Church or Synagogue, domestic violence shelters, and other do-good places. Their main purpose is to raise funds to protect abandoned or abused animals, practice your faith, protect abused women/children in a safe shelter, or other good things like help poor people get into a home. These types of groups are NOT allowed to spend more than 10% of their efforts and funds toward lobbying and changing social/political welfare. Thus, being more charitable, maybe say, by promoting or creating awareness.
A 501c4 can spend as much time and money as they want, to dedicate toward lobbying, pressing for different laws, etc... The awareness would go along with that, but, none of their funds or actions have to go toward charity, at all.
So, what is the Tea Party? Well, obviously, they're not a charity group to help needy tax payers, they want to change the tax laws to lower taxes, and let the charities help the poor in need. Same goes for the pro-life group. The defense of traditional marriage is more about keeping the law the same, to define it as a sanctity between a man and a woman. It's their right to do so, because the constitution allows it, but, they need to remember that they aren't working for a charity, they are working to press their personal stances on a political level. This means, if they sign up to be a 501c3 to be a charity, they better prepare to be investigated, even if it means to audit them to see where the group money is being spent. Don't like it? Then organize as a group of individuals to make your claim and stop hiding behind a charitable organization to push a political agenda.
The biggest thing of how I came to this opinion, and stand by it, is, here I have my own cause, called Youth Voice Initiative, to push laws to stiffen punishments on those who abuse our children, whether physically, sexually, mentally, grossly neglect, etc. yet the church I belong to won't put petitions up, because they won't cross the line of religion and policy making rules upon the other. Fair? Maybe not, but, it's an issue that stands with the program.
I almost forgot to mention... Charities get to receive donations that you can get a tax write off for. A political organization can only give tax write offs for the awareness part, not for the actual lobbying part... So, a group like the Tea Party filing as a charity 501c3 is a conflict of interest. And they wonder why they got targeted?