1. Can churches legally get involved in political activities? Yes
“The Internal Revenue Code requires that churches refrain from supporting or opposing a candidate’s campaign.”
Although churches cannot support or oppose a candidate’s campaign, “Churches may speak out about social and moral issues, the actions of government officials in office, and the positions of candidates on issues. As long as a church does not endorse or oppose a specific candidate for public office, it has broad freedom to praise or criticize officials and candidates.”
Churches and pastors have the legal right to lobby for or against legislation by communicating “with its members or the general public, urging them to contact governmental officials in support of or in opposition to legislative or executive action.” That means, churches “may discuss legislative issues, support or oppose legislation, encourage its members or the general public to support or oppose legislation, and support other organizations with their lobbying efforts.”
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2. So what is the issue?
On March 27, 2020, Washington State passed a comprehensive sex education bill, ESSB 5395 that mandates comprehensive sexual education at all grades. “This bill was passed late in the session with very little opportunity for ordinary citizens to testify and no amendments accepted.” Unfortunately, this bill mandates exposure of mature materials such as but not limited to sexual intercourse, masturbation, expression of gender, sexual orientation to students (K-12). “Parents and their local school boards deserve a voice in controversial curriculum decisions.” This bill underhandedly takes away from the parents their God given ability to decide when and how their children are educated on matters of sexual morality. Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and SB 5395 are endorsed by Planned Parenthood. CSE is defined in Planned Parenthood’s CSE framework with “an emphasis on sexual expression, sexual fulfillment and pleasure.” Romans 13:1-7 clearly states that the government derives its authority from God. Furthermore, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 urges Christians to pray for “all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” As Bible believing Christians, we must do our part to ensure that our government restrains evil and promotes good on the moral issues as God defined them.
Here are few samples of the type of materials in the curriculum.
Types of inappropriate sex education in the OSPI approved FLASH and Rights, Respect and Responsibility (The 3Rs) curricula:
*encourages 4th graders to look up wet dreams and penis size online
*intimates to 7th graders that bathing together and mutual masturbation are ways to build intimacy while avoiding STDs
*tells children that a doctor assigns a sex to them at birth
*other things too disturbing to put on this posting
3. So what can I do to stop this harmful legislation?
R-90 (Referendum 90) will repeal the New K-12 Sex Ed Law (SB 5355). By law, 129,811 signatures are needed to get R-90 on the November ballot for a vote. Currently, about 127,000 signatures have been collected and making a final push to the finish line. All the signatures must be mailed in by June 1, 2020 so we don’t have much time.
TAKE ACTION: Starting Wed May 27 to Mon June 1 from 10 AM – 4:30 PM, come to church and sign the petition to get R-90 (Referendum 90) on the November ballot for a vote. The petition will be in the Narthex and one of the staff will be available to let you into the lobby. When you come to church please wear a mask if you have one (if not, one of the staff can give you one). Also, please bring your own pen if you have one.
Deadline: signatures must be mailed in by Monday June 1, 2020
Alternate Bellevue Signing Location: call (206-725-6363) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) the church office for location detail.