I was not angry or disappointed out of some naivete about the laws governing 501c. I was upset and concerned because I had no one willing to risk the 501c to improve the community that hosts the church he/she oversees. This lack of willingness to risk 501c standing hurts poor communities where the church is still the focal point.
It is amazing to me that these religious leaders take money from the poor but will not stand up to support the poor. The rally yesterday(Save the American Dream Moveon.org) was about more than supporting Wisconsin. It was about keeping our government from taking away our right to assemble or to form organizations based on shared interests. Walker's assault on unions opens the door to prevent any group that is not liked by a particular elected official to be broken up. If we do not stand for the unions then the next thing to go will be the local garden club if it dared to speak out on soil contamination. If you feel I went way out on a limb for that connection remember I am amsmadwoman.
Seriously, these religious leaders afraid to speak-out on behalf of their members is concerning and sickening. The 501c laws have basically made it impossible for poor communities to form a voice. These communities, without organization, are basically disenfranchised via the system. I am not calling for a repeal of the 501c laws. I am calling for religious leaders whose membership is made up of mostly poor to working poor people to drop the 501c status in favor of supporting their congregations.
We have a systematic attack on the poor and the working poor in the United States. The middle class ( $250K/yr & up) is being given all manner of support. The issue is the middle class is disappearing into the upper class or working poor or poor. The working poor and poor is growing exponentially faster than the upper class. We need to establish, now, the means to provide for the growing needs of the poor and the working poor. Currently our government at the state and national level are only concerned with finding the means to support the needs of the upper class ( i.e. trickle down economics and extension of the 2001 tax cuts).
We must take a stand. We need the religious leaders to stop pimping the communities they say they serve and to start taking a stand for those communities. When we live in fear of our government we are no longer free. The lives of those who have died in foreign wars to "protect" our freedoms will be a waste if we live in fear of exercising our rights. Take a stand. If you have a religious leader tell him/her to take a stand to help your community. I am not asking anyone to do something I myself have not done. I have,after years of fighting the call to action, downsized my life to bare essentials. I would rather work to help those in need than to continue off their backs feed.
Some links I have enjoyed:
***** http://www.workingpoorfamilies.org/ *******
http://bit.ly/dHi5Ux Middle Class Underclass
http://huff.to/eQyKz3 Obama not into the poor
http://huff.to/hoUiBM Shrinking Middle Class Photos slow loading but worth it.