May 2017 Newsletter
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Pacific Justice Inst.
Pacific Justice Institute

May 4, 2017
Washington, DC - Brad Dacus, President of the Pacific Justice Institute ( PJI ), made the following statement in response to the Executive Order that President Trump signed: 

"This important executive order by President Donald Trump is a major step in the right direction for furthering the protection of religious freedom for all Americans."


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Looking for input...

"...freeing those in ministry from business distractions."

We're doing prep work for a  The Church Network workshop , and I'm looking to learn of any churches that encourage telecommuting (aka working remotely). If your church does this, please email me directly at nickn@mbsinc.com.

Thank you!

Nick
Nick B. Nicholaou, President
From the President
Last week President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order which essentially gives back to local pastors, churches and religious leaders the right to speak up on political issues of concern, regardless of whether or not they are associated with the position of a particular political candidate or not. Specifically, the Order instructs the IRS "...to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson amendment, which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about politics and candidates from the pulpit."
 
While liberal religious leaders, and some conservatives as well, expressed their objections to the pending Order out of their concerns that the relaxation of the regulations would prompt new waves of discrimination , I believe this is a good thing for everyone. The relaxation of the rules help level the playing field and once again gives all groups equal opportunity to speak out on issues in our society and culture that concern all Americans.
 
Of equal note, the Order also instructs the Secretaries of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider issuing amended regulations regarding the rights of religious organizations to not participate in certain health care provisions currently in place that go against their religious convictions.

Yours in His Service,

Steve Boersma
President/CEO
New Executive Order Impacts
Religious Organizations
President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order directing the IRS to exercise discretion in its enforcement of the "Johnson amendment." The Johnson amendment limits political activities by certain tax-exempt organizations, including churches, mosques, temples and synagogues. Under the Johnson amendment these nonprofits are allowed to educate voters about issues in a nonpartisan manner but cannot directly or indirectly participate in, or intervene in, a political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate. This prohibition is known as the Johnson amendment, named after the sponsor of the original legislation, former president Lyndon Johnson, who served in the House of Representatives in the 1950s. (read more)
Ransomware on the Rise
What you need to know and 
how to protect yourself and your computers
Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message - supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency - saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed to decrypt them.

These scenarios are examples of ransomware scams, which involve a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users' access to their files or threatens the permanent destruction of their information unless a ransom - anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars - is paid. ( read more)
Employment Law Corner
Employment Drug Testing

The issue of drug-free workplace policies and drug testing is at the forefront of many employers' minds now that so many states have made the recreational use of marijuana legal.  Complicating the matter for employers is that many States have privacy laws protecting the rights of employees which can be violated by workplace drug testing. Employers must be very cautious about drug testing so as not to run afoul of that right.   ( read more )