Pastors try to pick a tax fight with IRS
Hundreds expected to join call to use sermons to flout restriction on election campaigning
By STEPHANIE STROM
updated 10/1/2011 12:54:23 PM ET
This weekend, hundreds of pastors, including some of the nations 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.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19747577/ns … ork_times/
the age old question again; should religious leaders get involved with politics?
Religion should never play any factor whatsoever in the election process or even it's participants.
Nonsense, all Christians have the same civil rights of freedom of speak that any other person or groups. Christians have both freedom of religion and freedom of speak. Censoring a pastor's speak is in violation of both his freedom of religion and freedom of speak. To allow any government to censor a pastor's speak is a dangerous move, and the reach of gov't's censoring a pastor's speak should be severed.
Tax exempt status is part of freedom of religion not to be burdened by any laws of the nation except the right to deny another his civil rights. Furthermore, groups organize and start political movements all the time. God help us if a time comes that we can not organize for political movements. Pastors informing their members is a freedom of speak and is participating in the democratic process. A person who informs others of the issues is a necessity afforded to all informed persons.
Yes they do. But, religion should NEVER play a factor in how one votes. How else do you expect to keep religion OUT of politics? So much for you thinking straight as per usual.
No one is telling them they cannot speak. But, they cannot and will not be allow to use their religious influence to campaign. Duh! It must stay out of politics.
No one is saying censor them. Duh!
This statement is pure BS and nothing more. They shouldn't have exemption status at all. They only have it, because it's a law that's never been challenged or repealed.
Are you some brand new idiot????? Not censoring??? You need to find the largest library that you can, and educate yourself to freedom of speak laws and the precedent cases; also freedom of religion.
Well, that might be the problem. I thought churches were a house of worship, not meant to be a political rally. Funny how fast the idea of god is shoved to the side in order to effect political change and I don't remember anywhere in the gospels where Jesus advocated taking over and controlling the Roman government.
You are advocating censorship of freedom of religion and freedom of speak. Who told you that us Christians can not speak of current events?
God is involved in everything. Not knowning the Lord nor about the religion has lead you to saying very foolish things.
The only thing foolish I see is when people call political activism spirituality. No one is saying Christians don't have the right to free speech, but if you think stumping for a political candidate from the pulpit is the will of a god; well, you've got a few more problems than just being easily led.
This is actually a very good comment. The pulpit is not for preaching anything other than the Word of God. Any preacher or Pastor who defiles their pulpit preaching any other gospel than that of Jesus Christ is not worthy to be called a preacher of the gospel.
I wish you'd get the word out. Apparently that isn't well known within the religious right.
Actually, it is probably more well known than you think. Those Pastors and preachers who do what they are "supposed to do" are not newsworthy like those who cause controversy all the time.
Who told you that only Jesus is to be preached from the pulpit? Any pastor is free to speak of current events and following with a biblical base sermon. We have freedom of speak and freedom of religion!!!!!!! You are misinformed and mislead.
Have you ever been a member of any church?????
You do understand that the New Testament was written two thousand years ago? It's kind of hard to eek a current event out of that. And if you try, you'll find that no where did it advocate interference in the government. No where did it tell the apostles to get out the vote. Politics should be alien to a truly spiritual person.
Who in the world told you that churches are restricted to speaking of what's in the bible, and that we can't discuss anything else??? Please don't deny my civil rights.
Are you a moron? How is the church interfering with gov't? It's gov't interfering with churches. Hell no, you or anyone else is not going to deny me my civil rights of speak and religion.
Are you a member of any church????
No one is attempting to deny your civil rights. Your argument is all over the place. But, wilderness explained it quite well. And said a few things I didn't know. I guess, if your church doesn't insist on tax exempt status they can discuss anything they want to. Otherwise, they are breaking the rules to use the pulpit for political purposes. That's another thing I don't remember the New Testament advocating. As a matter of fact, I think it is clear in a couple of places that it would be unchristian to break the government rules.
What are the messages that Jesus preached? What did Paul say about preaching? Jesus preached, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth, etc. . ."
Paul spoke of preaching Christ and Him crucified. Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep."
You are truly blind! What in hell does your comment has to do with freedom of speak and freedom of religion.
Certainly Christians have a perfect right to vote or hold political rallies as they choose.
Tax exempt organizations, by effectively taking money from the govt to support themselves, do not.
There are thus two options; either abide by the rules for being a tax exempt organization OR do not abide by those rules and pay taxes.
Being a church does not give automatic tax exemption; that has other requirements set by the govt. While our constitution says that the federal govt. may not establish any religion it says nothing about applying the same tax that other clubs or organizations pay. Churches in general must pay taxes like any other - it is only by following guidelines set by govt for charitable organizes that allows them to skip paying taxes. Those guidelines include not campaigning from the pulpit.
"Taking money from the gov't...", damn, the church is the only one that doesn't take money from the gov't.
Are you a member of any church? Do you know what freedom of religion and freedom of speak real is?
There is not campaign rallies during service, only informed info about the issues and who is the best canidate for us. Member can take or leave it. Sermon begin. Please don't deny me my civil rights!
Tax exempt status was never intended for religious organizations. Why? Freedom of religion as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Appling the law to churches is a recent attack on churches, and the gov't hand should be severed.
Come on now - if you don't pay your share into the common pot you are effectively taking out instead. If it makes you feel better, they take out exactly what they pay, just without any paperwork except that required for tax free status.
Beyond that, many local governments give money to churches to help support soup kitchens, housing projects and such for the poor. It's called charity.
Go away with that sh*t. The church has never had any obligation to pay taxes as afforded by the U.S. Constitution.
Charity has never been a duty or obligation. You are mixing tards with bananas.
Hey, I'm getting interested. What church are you affiliated with?
I haven't been "affiliated" for nearly 50 years, although my family very much is.
Search for 2X2 religion, cooneyites, black stocking church, church without a name. Any one will give you information.
In the context of this thread, there are no dedicated church buildings; services are held in members homes and none of those get any tax breaks. The only time I am aware of that they registered with the govt at all was something to do with missionaries overseas; they had legal trouble with local authorities, I think, and needed help getting out of the country. The church finally registered in order to call them "ministers", which they were, just not formally or legally. As I understand it that registration soon ran out, though. Actually I think they registered in Canada, too, but there was quite a stink from members over it and it, too, was allowed to lapse.
Actually, the question was for wilmiers. Any time a hubber starts adamantly arguing what I consider to be an irrational point in religion; I get curious as to what sect has influenced them and is driving their argument. You are never irrational.
I didn't really appreciate his frustrated email to me though. If you have no case, the best thing to do is pack up. Emailing to inform me that I'm wrong and telling me not to reply seems a little cheesy.
"Cheesy?" HA! What else do you expect from Wilmiers? He is the "Limburger" of religious forum posters!
Yes, I finally caught that several hours after I posted it. Getting senile, no doubt. Oh well.
That makes 4 of us that have gotten emails (see below) - 2 are "idiots" and one "hopeless".
Well, I guess I should be honored. I just looked at the email again. He did reference the idiots, but he didn't call me one. Simply asked me to stop. Now I feel a little guilty about refering to his argument as cheese after going through the digestive system of a maggot. Although I do believe the analogy to be appropriate.
He called me a short sighted fool. I wonder what Jesus might think of that.
Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Let's see - you and I are both short sighted, but you are a fool while I'm an idiot. However, you are also hopeless, while there is still hope for me.
It makes me so happy that I'm not hopeless - that God (or Willmiers) may take away my idiocy one day!
Your information is sadly lacking - I personally know of at least one church (I grew up in it) that does not take the charitable organization label, and it pays taxes just like everyone else. As far as I know, any church that does not pay taxes carries the label of a charitable, tax free, organization.
Nor did I say the church was "afforded" by the US Constitution to pay taxes; it was never singled out in that manner.
Hmmm. An addition to the post. OK -
Your civil rights are not being violated. The charitable, tax free organization may not endorse candidates. When the preacher speaks from the pulpit endorsing candidates or causes he is speaking for the church; the church is endorsing through the preacher. I might also add as an aside that I at least have never ever heard a political speech (which is what we're talking about) that informed the listeners. Instead it gives that information, and that information ONLY, that the speaker hopes will convince the listener to vote "properly"
Should that preacher decide to rent a hall or coffee shop or a members home to give his speech, making sure the listeners understand he is speaking only for himself and not the church, there should be no problem. According to the OP that isn't what's happening; the preacher is speaking for the church and using church facilities to do so.
Why should churches get a tax break without being a listed charitable organization? Because they profess a belief in the supernatural? That doesn't make much sense to me.
If it wasn't for a secular society, you wouldn't have those freedoms.
Sinners are continueously trying to destroy the church. Now, it's the can't use your freedom of speak nor freedom of religion phase. Are you nuts!
It's the likes of these preachers that are dividing this country. Religion should stay out of politics and politics should not be allowed in the pulpits.
Churches around here preach/tell people how to vote all of the time; nothing happens. Rock the boat and the IRS will start watching all preaching. Sound like these pastors are seeking publicity or just playing politics themselves.
Tax the churches till they bleed.
You will probably get rid of enough debt to get the economy boot started again with what they have gained tax free for spouting old myths and retarding science.
Can we change the title of this thread?
Wilmiers77 tries to pick a fight with everyone.
If a church is tax exempt under 501(c)(3) then it must follow these rules:
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.
In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.
Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct.
Wilmiers77 sent me an email. His final words were, "Do not reply. You are hopeless. Good-bye!"
I did not ask for this email and I could report it but I won't. I will say that if I am hopeless, then Jesus death meant nothing at all for anyone at all.
Wilmiers77, do not force me to post the whole email here. Some people are just way too high strung to post in forums.
Ha! I got a better one than that from our good friend Wilmiers77:
"Wilderness, you're a short sighted idiot. The U.S. Constitution says no law made regarding a church organization.
To qualify as a religious organization was settled before you were born. Maybe your so-called church didn't qualify as being an established religion. If it did, than your church is full of idiots by paying tax unnecessary. The money should have been given to the dying and needy.
Please don't reply. Goodbye!"
I think you're right; some people are not meant for the forums.
In my email, he called me an idiot. I reported as abuse.
Well, you and I may be idiots, but at least we're not "hopeless" like poor Virgil!
I wonder if Emile got one too?
Mine wasn't in reference to this thread, but to another religious thread.
Oh! I had considered that he got up on the wrong side of the bed, and this would be the end of it. Or maybe a little too much of the vine tonight.
If he's spreading it over different threads, though, he won't last long.
I found it interesting Wilderness, because he told me that he had read more on philosophy than me and then had the nerve to tell me that Contemporary Philosophy opens the mind to questions. It has no answers. I found it pretty funny to be honest.
I haven't received any "love" by email yet. I must be on his Xmas list.
I wonder how many fundies have been eaten alive in these forums.
When people are threatened by someone else's invisible sky fairy, they usually don't respond well.
It's time for the fundies on hubpages to pack their neurosis and disappear up their own ornamental orifices.
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