Section 220 of S-1, of the Legislative Transparency & Accountability Act of 2007

Silencing Christian Grassroots Groups is Not Lobby Reform

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to silence Christian grassroots organizations with the sponsoring of the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007. Senator Reid has slid a crafty section in this new piece of proposed legislation- Section 220.

Section 220 of this bill would require communications from grassroots organizations subject to registration and reporting requirements including reporting directly to the Secretary of the Senate and clerk of the House any time these groups spend money to communicate to their constituents on issues that are before Congress. Groups like Focus on the Family, The America Family Association, the Family Research Council, Vision America, and many more, would be trapped in bureaucratic red tape that would increase their communications costs and result in a weakened effort to let you know what is happening in Washington, D.C.

In addition to these fine Christian organizations being silenced, even your church pastor could be subject to this legislation should he remind your church to contact their senator about pending legislation! It is apparent from speaking with several people in Washington yesterday that this bill was written to curtail the dramatic affect that grassroots Christian groups have had in reaching Americans from all across the country.

Ironically, this legislation is so unbalanced that it does not affect the labor unions, corporation, 527 groups or others of the big money groups. According to Carrie Gordon Earl, Senior Director of Issue Analysis for Focus on the Family Action, this legislation “affects folks who, on a regular basis, communicate with the grassroots and pass along information.” Tony Perkins, Director of the Family Research Council added that “this should be called the ‘Silence of the Citizens Act of 2007.”

In the new era of Democrat-lead House and Senate it is imperative that the grassroots be allowed the same consideration and rules as other groups. While lobby reform is needed, squashing Christian grassroots organizations is not the answer.

Join me in helping save our nation’s grassroots Christian organizations! Take a moment and call the Capitol Switchboard today at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your senator’s office:
• Tell them to do away with Section 220 of S-1, of the Legislative Transparency & Accountability Act of 2007.
• Tell them you want to know what business is happening in your Congress.
• Tell them that silencing grassroots organizations does not qualify as lobby reform.

For more information:

Dear Bonnie,

Sitting in front of our new Congress, under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, there is a proposal to designate churches, pastors, religious denominations, public interest organizations, and other non-profit groups as ''lobbyists.''

Currently, lobbyists must register with the government - this new bill expands the definition of ''lobbyist'' to include any church or organization that strives to influence public opinion!

Your immediate gift to the ACLJ will help us stand strong as we fight one of the greatest threats to freedom of speech that Congress has ever considered!

This legislation will drastically affect the operation of churches that speak out on major moral and political issues and Christian organizations using TV, radio, or the Internet to mobilize citizens around an issue.

The increased government regulation of churches is not only unwarranted but also unwise.

What happens, under such a law, if pastors speak out and work against partial-birth abortion? Same-sex marriage?

What happens if churches speak out in support of conservative judicial nominees, or military chaplains' right to pray?

Under such a law, they are classified as ''lobbyists'' - in essence, free speech is forbidden.

Plus, many churches, especially larger churches with TV and radio ministries, would be subject to registration as a lobbying organization - and - failure to register under this new law could result in criminal prosecution - fines of up to $100,000, six years in prison - even ten years in some cases.

Don't allow this freedom of speech to be taken away. Give your online gift now, and help us stop Congress from passing this unconstitutional legislation.

I have assembled a legal and legislative team focusing on this dangerous bill; we have already produced a legal analysis (posted at that details the dangers of this legislation.

I am personally leading three senior attorneys and our entire Government Affairs team - working with Congress around the clock. We have also distributed significant legal memorandums throughout Congress.

This bill represents the biggest single legal restraint ever placed on people of faith.

In essence, the proposed legislation attempts to override the United States Constitution.

This cannot wait.

Speaker Pelosi is pushing hard. The politicians will strike quickly on this.

So I urge you to give your generous tax-deductible contribution to the ACLJ. We need your support to mount a nationwide counter-offensive against this bill, and continue all of our work across the country.
Thank you.

American Center for Law and Justice
P.O. Box 90555, Washington, D.C. 20090-0555
Phone: (800) 296-4529

American Center for Law and Justice is a d/b/a for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc., a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, religious corporation as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, specifically dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights. The Center's purpose is to educate, promulgate, conciliate, and where necessary, litigate, to ensure that those rights are protected under the law. The organization has participated in numerous cases before the Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeals, Federal District Courts, and various state courts regarding freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Your gift is very much appreciated and fully deductible as a charitable contribution. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by writing to us at P.O. Box 450349, Atlanta, GA 31145-0349.

As always, let us know of threats to freedom in your area by calling (757) 226-2489. And tune in to our daily radio program, "Jay Sekulow Live!"