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Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS

Mustang

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Look at the highlighted part! Nobody is saying that pastors can't say what they want. As the IRS rule is currently written, churches and other charitable organizations are not permitted to campaign on election issues if they want to maintain their tax-exempt status.

So, for cryin' out loud, pick the ONE thing that's more important to you! Is it more important to you to have a tax exempt status? Or is it more important to you to be able to use your church to pontificate on political issues? And then CHOOSE that one instead of trying to have your cake and eat it too.


This weekend, hundreds of pastors, including some of the nation’s evangelical leaders, will climb into their pulpits to preach about American politics, flouting a decades-old law that prohibits tax-exempt churches and other charities from campaigning on election issues.

The sermons, on what is called Pulpit Freedom Sunday, essentially represent a form of biblical bait, an effort by some churches to goad the Internal Revenue Service into court battles over the divide between religion and politics.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit legal defense group whose founders include James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, sponsors the annual event, which started with 33 pastors in 2008. This year, Glenn Beck has been promoting it, calling for 1,000 religious leaders to sign on and generating additional interest at the beginning of a presidential election cycle.

“There should be no government intrusion in the pulpit,” said the Rev. James Garlow, senior pastor at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., who led preachers in the battle to pass California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. “The freedom of speech and the freedom of religion promised under the First Amendment means pastors have full authority to say what they want to say.”

NYT: Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS - politics - The New York Times - msnbc.com
 

MeBelle

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"Mr. Garlow said he planned to outline where the candidates stood on various issues and then discuss what the Bible said about those issues, calling on church members to stand by their religious principles.
“The Bible says render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” he said. “But Caesar is demanding more and more of what was once considered God’s matter, and pastors have been bullied and intimidated enough.”

How in the hell is this campaigning?



flibbertigibbet
 
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Mustang

Mustang

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"Mr. Garlow said he planned to outline where the candidates stood on various issues and then discuss what the Bible said about those issues, calling on church members to stand by their religious principles.
“The Bible says render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” he said. “But Caesar is demanding more and more of what was once considered God’s matter, and pastors have been bullied and intimidated enough.”

How in the hell is this campaigning?



flibbertigibbet

How is it campaigning? It's nothing but campaigning. The pastor in question isn't ministering to the souls of his flock. He's taking a political position where he's trying to make the case that their Christian faith compels or requires them to vote for or against a particular candidate or political party.

To my knowledge, that is the antithesis of the Christian message because he's essentially demonizing (both literally and figuratively) Democrats.
 

MeBelle

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“There should be no government intrusion in the pulpit,” said the Rev. James Garlow, senior pastor at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., who led preachers in the battle to pass California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.

This one Rev is who you are concerned with?
Or are you thinking that preachers tell their parishioners who to vote for?

To me it was very clear what they are trying to accomplish, using their words:

"Mr. Garlow said he planned to outline where the candidates stood on various issues and then discuss what the Bible said about those issues, calling on church members to stand by their religious principles."

Does not appear to me that preachers are shouting at their flock to "Vote for Obama!"
 

Missourian

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"Mr. Garlow said he planned to outline where the candidates stood on various issues and then discuss what the Bible said about those issues, calling on church members to stand by their religious principles.
“The Bible says render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” he said. “But Caesar is demanding more and more of what was once considered God’s matter, and pastors have been bullied and intimidated enough.”

How in the hell is this campaigning?



flibbertigibbet

How is it campaigning? It's nothing but campaigning. The pastor in question isn't ministering to the souls of his flock. He's taking a political position where he's trying to make the case that their Christian faith compels or requires them to vote for or against a particular candidate or political party.

To my knowledge, that is the antithesis of the Christian message because he's essentially demonizing (both literally and figuratively) Democrats.



As long as they don't campaign for a specific candidate or against a specific candidate, they are not in any jeopardy of losing their tax exempt statis.

This is direct from the IRS website:
Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

They can and should discuss the issues, the candidates positions and how the Bible addresses both the issues and positions.

What they can't do is say "Vote for Romney" or "Don't vote for Obama".
 
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Look at the highlighted part! Nobody is saying that pastors can't say what they want. As the IRS rule is currently written, churches and other charitable organizations are not permitted to campaign on election issues if they want to maintain their tax-exempt status.

So, for cryin' out loud, pick the ONE thing that's more important to you! Is it more important to you to have a tax exempt status? Or is it more important to you to be able to use your church to pontificate on political issues? And then CHOOSE that one instead of trying to have your cake and eat it too.


This weekend, hundreds of pastors, including some of the nation’s evangelical leaders, will climb into their pulpits to preach about American politics, flouting a decades-old law that prohibits tax-exempt churches and other charities from campaigning on election issues.

The sermons, on what is called Pulpit Freedom Sunday, essentially represent a form of biblical bait, an effort by some churches to goad the Internal Revenue Service into court battles over the divide between religion and politics.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit legal defense group whose founders include James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, sponsors the annual event, which started with 33 pastors in 2008. This year, Glenn Beck has been promoting it, calling for 1,000 religious leaders to sign on and generating additional interest at the beginning of a presidential election cycle.

“There should be no government intrusion in the pulpit,” said the Rev. James Garlow, senior pastor at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., who led preachers in the battle to pass California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. “The freedom of speech and the freedom of religion promised under the First Amendment means pastors have full authority to say what they want to say.”

NYT: Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS - politics - The New York Times - msnbc.com

It's about time all Christian leaders left the pulpit and started advocating! Martin Luther King Jr. all over again! Billy Graham's Firm Advocacy Here We Come!
 

MeBelle

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"Mr. Garlow said he planned to outline where the candidates stood on various issues and then discuss what the Bible said about those issues, calling on church members to stand by their religious principles.
“The Bible says render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s,” he said. “But Caesar is demanding more and more of what was once considered God’s matter, and pastors have been bullied and intimidated enough.”

How in the hell is this campaigning?



flibbertigibbet

How is it campaigning? It's nothing but campaigning. The pastor in question isn't ministering to the souls of his flock. He's taking a political position where he's trying to make the case that their Christian faith compels or requires them to vote for or against a particular candidate or political party.

To my knowledge, that is the antithesis of the Christian message because he's essentially demonizing (both literally and figuratively) Democrats.



As long as they don't campaign for a specific candidate or against a specific candidate, they are not in any jeopardy of losing their tax exempt statis.

This is direct from the IRS website:
Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

They can and should discuss the issues, the candidates positions and how the Bible addresses both the issues and positions.

What they can't do is say "Vote for Romney" or "Don't vote for Obama".

:clap2: Exactly!
 

percysunshine

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"Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS"

That is about the stupidest headline the NYT has ever run.

Nobody 'picks' a fight with the IRS.
 

MeBelle

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"Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS"

That is about the stupidest headline the NYT has ever run.

Nobody 'picks' a fight with the IRS.

:lol: I do every time I file a tax return!
They don't like it when I fill it out with a yellow crayon.
:eusa_whistle:
 

percysunshine

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"Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS"

That is about the stupidest headline the NYT has ever run.

Nobody 'picks' a fight with the IRS.

:lol: I do every time I file a tax return!
They don't like it when I fill it out with a yellow crayon.
:eusa_whistle:

That does not count as 'picking a fight'. You know that they will not do anything because they write with crayon on inter-office memos..
 

Avatar4321

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As well they should challenge the IRS on this. Should any person be taxed merely because they exercise their freedom of speech?
 

Quantum Windbag

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Look at the highlighted part! Nobody is saying that pastors can't say what they want. As the IRS rule is currently written, churches and other charitable organizations are not permitted to campaign on election issues if they want to maintain their tax-exempt status.

So, for cryin' out loud, pick the ONE thing that's more important to you! Is it more important to you to have a tax exempt status? Or is it more important to you to be able to use your church to pontificate on political issues? And then CHOOSE that one instead of trying to have your cake and eat it too.


This weekend, hundreds of pastors, including some of the nation’s evangelical leaders, will climb into their pulpits to preach about American politics, flouting a decades-old law that prohibits tax-exempt churches and other charities from campaigning on election issues.

The sermons, on what is called Pulpit Freedom Sunday, essentially represent a form of biblical bait, an effort by some churches to goad the Internal Revenue Service into court battles over the divide between religion and politics.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit legal defense group whose founders include James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, sponsors the annual event, which started with 33 pastors in 2008. This year, Glenn Beck has been promoting it, calling for 1,000 religious leaders to sign on and generating additional interest at the beginning of a presidential election cycle.

“There should be no government intrusion in the pulpit,” said the Rev. James Garlow, senior pastor at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., who led preachers in the battle to pass California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. “The freedom of speech and the freedom of religion promised under the First Amendment means pastors have full authority to say what they want to say.”

NYT: Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS - politics - The New York Times - msnbc.com

You obviously have never dealt with the IRS.
 

Quantum Windbag

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“There should be no government intrusion in the pulpit,” said the Rev. James Garlow, senior pastor at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., who led preachers in the battle to pass California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.

This one Rev is who you are concerned with?
Or are you thinking that preachers tell their parishioners who to vote for?

To me it was very clear what they are trying to accomplish, using their words:

"Mr. Garlow said he planned to outline where the candidates stood on various issues and then discuss what the Bible said about those issues, calling on church members to stand by their religious principles."

Does not appear to me that preachers are shouting at their flock to "Vote for Obama!"

Preachers do that all the time, it is called being a Democrat.
 

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I forgot to include a link in my earlier post, so here is the rest of the relevant section, plus a link.
The IRS has published Revenue Ruling 2007-41, which outlines how churches, and all 501(c)(3) organizations, can stay within the law regarding the ban on political activity. Also, the ban by Congress is on political campaign activity regarding a candidate; churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations can engage in a limited amount of lobbying (including ballot measures)and advocate for or against issues that are in the political arena.

 
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JoeB131

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As well they should challenge the IRS on this. Should any person be taxed merely because they exercise their freedom of speech?

They are being taxed at the same rate everyone else is...

Corporations (which are not "people", Mitt), Labor Unions, PACs, etc. are taxed. So should Churches.

Heck, I'd like to see us apply the consumer fraud laws to Churches, personally. That's be hilarious.
 

editec

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It's not just churches that have to stay out of politics to keep their NFP status.

It's all not for profits.

I think that's a good law, too.
 

DaGoose

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Like JoeB said......

Churches should not be tax exempt. Period. And for those who say that charities would suffer? Allow the churches to deduct their charitible work.
 

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