Sunday, September 5, 2010

Interstate Commerce and Your Church

The Interstate Commerce clause of the United States Constitution is found under Article I, Section 8, and reads,
The Congress shall have power...to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
This clause has been especially abused by the US Federal government to justify all sorts of regulations. For example, it was used to justify regulations to set quotas on growing wheat on one's own land for one's own consumption, or of the consumption of one's livestock because doing so could effect the stability of national wheat prices. A failed example has it being used to justify the Federal prohibition of firearms within a certain distance of elementary schools.


Many believe the Interstate Commerce clause gives the Federal government unlimited power to regulate anything, because anything could effect "interstate commerce". As Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his dissent of Gonzales v. Raich,
Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
It's easy to see how this clause could be used to regulate the paying of tithes and offerings to one's Church, and of their handling them. And that is the purpose of this post. All Americans value their freedom to worship, and of the Federal government staying away from their religions and their religious business. How the use of the Interstate Commerce clause has evolved should be of concern to more than just die-hard Constitutionalists. The Federal government can potentially regulate our Churches, just as it regulates our economy. It's already trying to force Americans to buy health-insurance. All Americans should be afraid of the Federal government using this clause beyond it's original intent.

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