President Trump on Thursday followed through on a promise to grant religious organizations greater freedom in political speech. In doing so, he stated that he would mandate that the Internal Revenue Service relax enforcement of rules barring tax-exempt churches from participating in politics. Trump unveiled the Order in a somewhat formal setting in a Rose Garden ceremony—surrounded by religious leaders of various faiths, he spoke of the much-anticipated signing and its possible implications. The Order of Religious Freedom offers unspecified “regulatory relief” for religious objectors to the Obama administration mandate, already scaled back by the courts, which required contraception services as part of health plans, according to White House officials.
Choosing to unveil the order on a National Day of Prayer, Trump told those attending the event that “For too long the federal government has used the state as a weapon against people of faith.” He would later state, “You’re now in a position to say what you want to say. No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors.” Vice President Mike Pence and a number of Cabinet secretaries also attended the event.
The order, unveiled on a National Day of Prayer, was noticeably more condensed than a February draft, which set off concern for alarmed civil gay right activists, libertarians, and other liberal advocacy groups who threatened lawsuits.
The earlier version of the February draft, included a controversial provision that allowed federal contractors to discriminate against single mothers or LGBT employees on the basis of faith.
On the campaign trail, and briefly after taking office, Trump vowed that he would “totally destroy” what’s known as the Johnson Amendment, a six-decade-old ban on churches and other tax-exempt organizations supporting political candidates.
Lyndon B. Johnson, introduced the amendment in the Senate in 1954, nine years before his presidency. Under current law, churches are free to promote political candidates but must forego such activity to obtain tax-exempt status. According to congressional aides, the repeal of the Johnson Amendment is being written and further developed into the tax legislation and in the House of Representatives.
The provision written in the tax code would require an act of Congress to fully repeal it. The provision also applies to all tax-exempt organizations, including some colleges and foundations. Taking a closer look at Trump’s order, it instructs the Internal Revenue Service to “exercise maximum enforcement discretion of the prohibition.” However, Trump’s directive may not extend beyond his presidency. It is without question, that broader legislation and the provision will face substantial pushback.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and other Democrats expressed concern that repealing the amendment would allow tax-exempt churches and other nonprofits to be used to circumvent campaign finance laws. In a letter Wednesday to Republican leaders of Congress, Sen. Wyden, stated that
“Using charitable causes as shell companies to evade campaign finance transparency and contribution limits would increase the flow of dark money in politics.”
In an effort to keep his campaign promises, Trump’s religious liberties order sought to appease a key part of his evangelical base. Taking a look at his exit polls in November showed then-candidate Trump defeating Democratic nominee Clinton 80 percent to 16 percent among white evangelical Christians.
Conservative Christian leaders have shown concern over the federal government retracting their tax-exempt status if showing any form of opposition toward gay rights and same-sex marriage. Some leaders of the ministry have endorsed the Johnson amendment, arguing that the amendment protects the church from intrusion of politics.
In a National Association of Evangelicals poll, taken in February, 89 percent of evangelical leaders polled stated that pastors should ‘not’ endorse politicians from the pulpit. The Johnson Amendment had not been a top priority for advocates of religious liberty, and did not seem to raise any concern, until Trump raised concern on the campaign trail. A number of faith-based groups have stated that they support the amendment. A requirement that churches stay out of politics, according to some faith-based groups, is key to separation of church and state.
True Story about The Comeback Kid – Kenny Jones
Have you been through a Storm and came out Stronger and Courageous?
The True Story from Kenny Jones – THE Comeback Kid has impacted many lives in less than 1 year!
Last Year I had an Exclusive Interview with THE Comeback Kid, Kenny Jones. This week I received more news about the Remarkable Life from Kenny Jones, Amazon International Best Selling Author in 2017.
Kenny’s story is from a man who went through the deepest valley with despair by losing everything up to being a Well Known Amazon International Bestselling Author last year.
Like everyone else life was a Roller Coaster! The book was birthed after realizing the numerous times where Kenny has conquered an Adversity.
In 2002, at 22 years old he met his father for the first time ever in his life.
That experience framed how he treated not only the men in his life, but how he viewed himself!
After 10 years he met his father, his father and grandmother, passed away the same week. The Grief of losing his father and grandmother took him into a very private battle with depression and self-doubt.
In 2008, he became homeless, jobless, and only owned the clothes on his person. The most difficult situations he went through in 2008 – his car was stolen, a “friend” pawned all the belongings from Kenny for money to support her pregnancy, which happened also in 2008.
He bounced back in 2010 – his life was smooth sailing at that time.
In 2016 – he went back through one of the worst Storms in his life, where it became especially clear to him who were his friends and how much power he gave to others in his life.
“Embracing these times was particularly important in understanding that amid all of those setbacks, came back harder and stronger that I went into those situations” said Kenny Jones, Author from The Comeback Season, The Untapped Art of Mastering Your Resilience.
“My situations are pale in comparison to the storms and adversity from others, but I wrote the book so that the world can have a perspective of how to master Resilience in the inevitable times where things don’t go as positively planned” said Kenny Jones.
Nowadays Kenny is empowering others to embrace their stories standing in their truths, because he embraced his own. Dozens of people come to him for help in embracing their own stories and he is proud for not only see his book be used as a Blueprint across the world! People are using Kenny’s Life experiences and the practical tools he wrote about in his book for their own Comeback Seasons.
Out of His Amazon International Bestselling Book – The Comeback Season – a Movement has started.
He is watching his message take storm through his Resilience Project, a collective of people who didn’t know how to master their Resilience, but now are changing their own lives; his Master Course Workshops, where he is working with aspiring authors around the world to put their stories in a Bestselling book; and even his 1:1 Sessions where he works with people who have been through a tough life.
Achievements from Kenny Jones start in 2017:
August 2017 – he wrote The Comeback Season, The Untapped Art of Mastering Your Resilience
September 2017: Amazon International Best Selling Author
October 2017 – He launches his new business KJ SPEAKS EASY – www.kjspeakseasy.com
October 2017 to February 2018 – Successfully Coached 25 Aspiring Authors from idea to book in hand
October 2017 – Recognized by Mayor of Philadelphia, PA for landing a career to support transfer college admissions for underrepresented minority students.
January 2018 – Resilience Project is launched – Mastermind for people that embrace their negative situations to propel them forward in their businesses.
He has been featured on 8 Podcasts with subjects ranging from new entrepreneurs to the importance of mental health in the Black Community.
Visit his website and buy his book that’s on Sale now for $17 at www.kjspeakseasy.com
Follow Xiomara Margie Overman for new Articles published for Exposure Magazine
Margie Overman is Business Expert and Business Editor for Exposure Magazine
True Story of Hope and Perseverance, Field of Hearts by Marian Klooster
How many times have we seen people with chronic medical conditions persevere as an example to us all? Having a chronic medical condition will many times lead to depression, anxiety and/or uncertainty about the future.
The story of Marian Klooster is one of hope, strength, perseverance, and success despite her chronic medical condition. Marian is from Willemstad, sunny island Curacao. In 2011, she lost her son a week after his birth due to a pregnancy complication.
She was devastated and depressed, but she didn’t give up! Despite the several challenges she had to overcome in her life, Marian was able to rise above it and succeed. She is an Amazon International Best-Selling Author due to her book, Field of Hearts. She started writing her book to cope with her emotions, and it didn’t take long to finish and get ready for publishing!
Marian received guidance and support from her book coach, Kenny Jones. Kenny is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is an Amazon International Best-Selling Author due to his book, The Comeback Kid.
Marion’s book debuted this year in the Top Best-Selling Books in 4 Different Countries in its category. Most of the Sales were from Curaçao and the Netherlands. She donates 10% from each sale to Curacao Heart Foundation to support their fight against heart diseases through research, prevention, and care.
Lives were touched by her Book – here I include some Feedbacks she received from her Readers.
“101% worth the time invested to read! This is a story that touches the heart in every aspect of the Word! It takes you back and forth as how life of this young lady has been up until now. Simple said, this is a TRUE Story worth the read and learn from. This Young Lady, Marian, shows that with self-confidence, determination and eagerness to succeed regardless of all the reasons to give up, she never quit! Keep Moving Forward! Thanks for sharing Your Life with us, the readers, not just another Story!” by David C.E.J. Jansen
“Field of Hearts is an incredibly emotional experience. Mari bares her soul into each page of the book. Once I started reading the book, I could not put it down. Such a brave and bold move to share her story. Learning about becoming an Entrepreneur is one thing, but watching Mari’s Journey in this book is a new level! I’m speechless.” By Kenny Jones, Author of the Amazon Bestselling Book Comeback Kid
You may contact Marian Klooster by email:
Follow her Instagram www.instagram.com/marian.klooster
Field of Hearts Paper Back Version is Available at this link
This is the link to the Amazon Kindle Version
‘Overcoming’ Torrential Waters by Cedric Nettles
Torrential Waters was my hard hitting, emotional journey of a ‘gifted’ young man coping with new found fame and a very low opinion of himself. I shared my childhood of having a poor self image and being bullied. I also shared the power of God’s hands on you, and His ability to show favor on your life, even when you don’t think you are ready. I laugh , because
at times I feel I am living Torrential Waters in some respects now. You will relate as well after you finish reading.
I don’t pull punches in Torrential Waters, because life does not. This piece is by Chrystan Johnson and expresses what she felt after reading Torrential Waters. We all have to know we have a purpose to our pain. We have an assignment, something we have to do before we take that last breath. That one thing you think that does not matter serves a higher purpose. I want to encourage everyone to go as hard as you can in this life, to grow, to serve, to be all you are called to be.
I was honored to read this review, this sums it up
Excellent read! Bought the book, but due to some medical/eye problems, could not read it for a few months. Finally got that fixed (!) and finished Nettles’ “Torrential Waters” within a day and a half! One of those books you just don’t want to end! Wonderful insight into faith, family, relationships, forgiveness of others as well as one’s self, hope for the future and the ever-enduring spirit of the human soul. I highly recommend for readers of any age. I hope Mr. Nettles has more (perhaps a series?!), but if not a series about this character, than at least more books planned for the future. The author’s own story itself is book-worthy; I personally would love to see him write an autobiography on how much he’s overcome in his own life. Meanwhile – buy the book! You won’t be disappointed.-Jan Harvin
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