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Good News: IRS Agrees To Monitor Religious Groups For Political Campaigning

churchinthevalleyFor entirely too long now, many churches have been engaging in political action despite laws prohibiting them from doing so while enjoying a tax-exempt status. While we have seen this on the more liberal side of politics as well, the majority of this seems to be coming from evangelical, right-wing Christian groups like the Christian Coalition or Focus On The Family. Fortunately, that could be about to change thanks to a settlement on July 17th from a lawsuit brought by the Freedom from Religion Foundation against the IRS, for failing to enforce rules against churches being involved in political activities.

FFRF filed suit against the IRS shortly after the presidential election in 2012, based on the agency’s reported enforcement moratorium, as evidenced by open and notorious politicking by churches. Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in fact, has become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity. The IRS, meanwhile, admittedly was not enforcing the restrictions against churches. A prior lawsuit in 2009 required the IRS to designate an appropriate high-ranking official to initiate church tax examinations, but it had apparently failed to do so.

The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations. While the IRS retains “prosecutorial” discretion with regard to any individual case, the IRS no longer has a blanket policy or practice of non-enforcement of political activity restrictions as to churches. (Source)

Watching churches involve themselves in partisan political action is something I personally experienced while growing up and being dragged to Mass every Sunday. I can remember the 1996 presidential election and our parish priest raging from the pulpit, claiming that anyone who voted for a pro-choice candidate was risking their eternal soul. On a side note, this was the same priest who also loudly condemned same-sex relationships while allegedly being in one himself with an editor of a Catholic magazine, and also allegedly soliciting sexual favors from members of the local gay community on his days off.

While “get out the vote campaigns” and other political action is allowed, other activities are forbidden – and there are some very fine lines between what is and isn’t permitted while under a 501(c)(3) status. The IRS defines what is and what isn’t allowed here. For a brief summary, read below:

Political campaign intervention includes any and all activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office.  The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.  Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.   Distributing statements prepared by others that favor or oppose any candidate for public office will also violate the prohibition.   Allowing a candidate to use an organization’s assets or facilities will also violate the prohibition if other candidates are not given an equivalent opportunity.   Although section 501(c)(3) organizations may engage in some activities to promote voter registration, encourage voter participation, and provide voter education, they will violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention if they engage in an activity that favors or opposes any candidate for public office.  Certain activities will require an evaluation of all the facts and circumstances to determine whether they result in political campaign intervention. (Source)


It is very important to point out that the IRS is currently under a moratorium for all investigations thanks to Darrell Issa and his accusations that conservative non-profit groups were subjected to unfair scrutiny by the agency. Until that restriction is lifted, which you know the Republican members of Congress will delay as long as they can, the IRS will not be able to start cracking down on churches involving themselves in political matters that they shouldn’t be.

Of course, you just know that once the IRS gets around to actually enforcing the rule, you’re going to hear the usual kvetching about “religious persecution” and how the big, bad government is trying to destroy religion. Franklin Graham, James Dobson and the rest of their ilk will desperately jump in front of every news microphone they can while portraying themselves as political Christian martyrs. We will hear tirade after tirade about the “assault on Christianity” and how it is a new tyrannical attempt by godless liberals and President Obama to silence them.

To summarize, once Darrell Issa and his band of obstructionists in the House get done with their investigation of the IRS, the agency will begin to start enforcing political action restrictions when it comes to churches. A lot of religious organizations have been bending or breaking the rules that outline what can and cannot be done while under 501(c)(3) status. Once the IRS begins to clamp down, we should hope to see either less religious interference in politics, or a loss of tax exempt status for many organizations that choose to violate the guidelines. Either way, it will be a welcome relief to see these groups who have flaunted the rules for a long time finally held accountable.


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Manny Schewitz is a progressive from the Dirty South with an inclination to say it like it is. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and also maintains an active and lively presence on Facebook. You can find him on Twitter as well, @MannySchewitz. Be sure to check out Manny's archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.

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  • MrLightRail

    Issa will drag out this investigation, and the moratorium unless one of two things happen. 1. Democrats take the House, or 2. The coming of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    • Stephen Barlow

      This is beyond Issa’s reach. A court has ruled, there is nothing to investigate.

  • ML

    When I was a kid, the nuns told us that everyone’s parents HAD BETTER VOTE FOR KENNEDY because he was Catholic.

    • Stephen Barlow

      That was wrong, but as a kid, weren’t you committing voter fraud?

      • ML

        ?? did you misread?

      • Stephen Barlow

        I miswrote. I meant to say “as a kid, you WEREN’T committing voter fraud.”

      • ML

        @@ THE NUNS were! (in light of the above article)
        By telling their students how their parents had better vote. And you had better listen to those nuns!

  • William Fite

    I guess this will also include the democrat party picking up church congregations to take them to vote.

    • Marian Figley

      No, it wouldn’t, not unless they’re telling the people they’re transporting HOW to vote.

      • William Fite

        We won’t ever know unless we are the ones giving the rides or we are one of the people getting the ride. But there is the suspicion of impropriety.

      • Pipercat

        Appealing to ignorance seems to be your strong suit.

      • William Fite

        I see you have no real contribution to the debate. So if you want to join in, please give something concrete or don’t comment at all, even though it is your right to show everyone you are the fool.

      • Pipercat

        Gee, thanks for feigning magnanimity. Now you’ve added an appeal to authority and an ad hominem. C’mon Skeeter, get your fallacies straight. Oh wait, you’re the one trying to divert the debate.

      • William Fite

        Did not divert. Just added to the debate. Mif you are going after the churches that support the republicans, should you not go after the churches that support the democrats? I say if you go after one you should go after them all.

      • Pipercat

        Irrelevant and a fallacy of two wrongs making a right. The law is quite clear on the subject. First sign of a fallacious argument is a bad comparison. All 501c entities must exclusively promote social welfare, per statute. This means they may not engage in any political activity, promote nor endorse any candidate, policy or platform.

      • Charles Vincent

        daaaaaannnnnnggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! quick slip that velvet glove back on before someone gets hurt…..

      • Pipercat

        You should have seen how I wiped out that last boss on my class quest last night!

      • Stephen Barlow

        YOu go girl!

      • Pipercat

        Girl? Why you…!!!!

      • Stephen Barlow

        Are you ”’ vagina deficient? ”’

        Did Chuckk fuc* just OUT IT’s SELF?

      • Pipercat

        Naah, I’m married. Piper is my Tomcat. Big, mean and gorgeous!

      • Charles Vincent

        hahahaha darth piper has arrived. Welcome to the darkside Muahahahaha….

      • Stephen Barlow

        NOT one dollar, iota of energy nor nanosecond of time.

      • William Fite

        You need to be a little more specific. There numerous cat agonies under 501c’s.

        The 501c3 is the category that applies to churches. Under that category a church is not allowed to support a candidate. But it can talk about a political policy.

        The 501c4 is the category that specifically takes into consideration political action committees (PAC’s).

        So your argument, “This means they may not engage in any political activity, promote nor endorse any candidate, policy or platform”, is false.

      • Pipercat

        Skeeter, you have absolutely no idea what the statute is about. So, for your education, here’s the actual statute:

        26 U.S.C.

        United States Code, 2011 Edition

        Title 26 – INTERNAL REVENUE CODE

        Subtitle A – Income Taxes

        CHAPTER 1 – NORMAL TAXES AND SURTAXES

        Subchapter F – Exempt Organizations

        PART I – GENERAL RULE

        Sec. 501 – Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.

        From the U.S. Government Printing Office

        (c) List of exempt organizations

        The following organizations are referred to in subsection (a):

        (1) Any corporation organized under Act of
        Congress which is an instrumentality of the United States but only if such corporation—

        (A) is exempt from Federal income taxes—

        (i) under such Act as amended and supplemented before July 18, 1984, or

        (ii) under this title without regard to
        any provision of law which is not contained in this title and which is not contained in a revenue Act, or

        (B) is described in subsection (l).

        (2) Corporations organized for the
        exclusive purpose of holding title to property, collecting income therefrom, and turning over the entire amount thereof, less expenses, toan organization which itself is exempt under this section. Rules similar to the rules of subparagraph (G) of paragraph (25) shall apply
        for purposes of this paragraph.

        (3) Corporations, and any community chest,
        fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and 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.

        (4)(A) Civic leagues or organizations not
        organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a
        particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.

        (B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an
        entity unless no part of the net earnings of such entity inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

        Just where do PACs fall into this precisely?

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        he just destroyed U underneath with his post
        ======================================
        is it ok for me to ” upvote ” his post?

      • sjl4evr

        The problem with that is that “the Democrats don’t do such things, and they certainly never instructed the IRS to obstruct reception of non-profit status by conservative groups because the Democrats are absolute angels and the Republicans are the spawn of Satan”. Then you can mosy on over to The Blaze or a similar site and witness the staunch conservatives over there saying that the Democrats are the spawn of Satan. Meanwhile, the billionaires of the country buy the votes of whatever Congressperson they want to and/or pay for their minions to be elected, specifically to do their bidding, and our “By The People, For The People” government becomes an oligarchy. So y’all just keep on trying to find fault with each other instead of with your representatives in Congress. It doesn’t matter any more.

      • Stephen Barlow

        I think ALL political ads should be free!!!

        and ONLY broadcast in equal time allotments on NPR and PBS, at minimal taxpayer expense.

      • sjl4evr

        Not a bad idea! Personally, I think it should not cost 1 billion dollars to elect a President, but what do I know? I’m just one of the little peons and nobody cares what I think.

      • Stephen Barlow

        WE make two

        HOW do we go from here?

      • Stephen Barlow

        Yes we SHOULD. I don’t think there is a DEMOCRAT that ever said any different.

        However, the GOP KNOWS how much it has to hid, so it gins up 5 Congressional investigations to stop the REAL investigation into criminal activity long enough to cover it up…

        nd THAT is what we are demanding. That the GOP END it’s criminal activity. ISSA is surely as guilty of RICO conspiracies in office as he was of fire bombing and car theft before holding office.

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        and what ratio of repub VS democrats involving churches is here? 1:1? 2:1? hardly,,,,,,,,,,,, there are no studies but I am willing to wagee that repubs do it a ton more

      • Stephen Barlow

        Notice he took his picture off his avatar. I guess he was being stoned in front of the Adult bookstore by the gay hookers for posting such pious and vulgar CRAP in blogs.

      • Pipercat

        His real avatar is hyperskeeter. There you can see the cholesterol poisoning first hand!

      • Stephen Barlow

        EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

        Complete with vaginal discharges and genital warts?

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        you should see his diversionary tactics when I attempt to engage him in TRUE politics,,,
        to quote sheriff brody in “JAWS” chatting with QUID…
        ” you’re certifiable” ( willie boy fite)

      • Stephen Barlow

        Other than pointing out the Emperor REALLY looks ugly in your new clothes… LMAO!!!

      • Cemetery Girl

        Even if someone on the bus stated that everyone on board needs to vote a certain way, that still does not mean that people will vote that way. My experience (based on my area) is that anyone that would use such a service is a senior citizen. It is also my experience that in many cases it is hard to talk a senior citizen into doing something they don’t want to do! Yes, they can be scammed (plenty of people that aren’t 65+ have it happen too), but when it comes to beliefs they are pretty firm. Short of having someone with them to force them to vote a certain way we really can’t be sure how anyone would vote. Realistically, if a church has a liberal enough base to have a Democrat based organization help members get to their polling place then they’re probably already largely going to vote Democrat. Same goes for a conservative church having the same service provided by a Republican organization. A Democrat organization is not going to pick a heavily conservative group and try to convince them to vote Democrat on the short drive. You’re talking an attempt at brainwashing to get staunch conservatives to vote Democrat. That level of brainwashing couldn’t be done in the span of Election Day.

      • Stephen Barlow

        YOu are right, but it is wrong if it’s a tax exempt bus.

        Andyou are VERY RIGHT about not being able to change EVIL jelly head minds

      • Cemetery Girl

        Going back to the original post, it talked about a party taking members of a congregation on a bus to vote, but even if it was the church’s bus I would not object to them taking members to the polling place. I see that as helping their members. I don’t see as many church buses as I used to (maybe it’s just my area), but the ones I see are primarily used by the elderly. Of course they take them back and forth to services but also some will have dates that they take elderly members to outings or to get flu vaccinations, ect. It’s a service, it helps keep people that have restricted mobility because of age or illness active.

      • Stephen Barlow

        But we are SURE of the TEA Bag Churches who put ads in their bulletins, organize phone banks, hand out flyers, go door to door and buy TV time for malignant ADS!!!

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        are u still annoying the COMPLETE regressive William fite with facts?
        poor willie boy–he is so misunderstood

    • Benjamín Joel Fleet

      First of all, it’s the Democratic* Party. Second, you are incorrect. Transporting people to polls is not even similar to endorsing candidates through the church. Everyone has an equal right to vote, and frankly I see right through your code words and undertones. Fox News and other conservative outlets ran this same propaganda back in 2012, and it only showed how backwards conservatives can be.

      • William Fite

        Nothing democratic about the party. You don’t think those churches are endorsing people. How naive of you. Yes everyone does have a right to vote, won’t disagree with you on that point. The rest of your argument is nothing but deflection.

      • Benjamín Joel Fleet

        What do you mean by “these churches”. I’m curious who you are referring to.

      • William Fite

        Churches that support democrats. You know the churches that the democrat party charters a bus and goes and pick them up.

      • imapayne

        HAHAHA, Can’t believe that you really believe that.

      • William Fite

        You don’t believe that. I laugh at you for being so naive.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Do you have any receipt’s that prove they CHARTED a bus?

        These parishioners and congregant’s almost always use PERSONAL VEHICLES and church vans.

        SPENDING money on politics is where you should lose your tax exempt status.

      • Stephen Barlow

        CAn you NAME any? Or are you just covering up a systematic FRAUD that you KNOW the GOP has committed?

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        duuuude,,,,,,,,,,,,, these other people here are destroyin you– ya’ might wanna stop while U can still breathe

      • Benjamín Joel Fleet

        Yes, I understand that you support voter suppression, and you would prefer it if poor people wouldn’t vote. That’s the huge difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals want everyone to go vote, because we know that we will win. Conservatives want to prevent people unlike them from voting, because it’s the only way they can win. Gerrymandering, additional voter ID laws, ending weekend/Sunday voting; all of these tactics are solely to limit the number of Democratic votes. If you’re okay with being a party who hates freedom for all, then more power to you. You just need to accept that you will be on the wrong side of history.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Some do, most don’t. On BOTH sides. But When a ‘church’ invests 10% of it’s tithes in an election… they are 100% WRONG. They become moneychangers in Jesus’ eye.

    • Jo Clark

      Likely so, but I’ll take that tradeoff if it means the Mormons can’t sink billions into political campaigns and preachers can’t sit in church on Sunday spewing vile lies about President Obama.

      • William Fite

        Or how preachers spread vile lies about Republicans, then I will agree with you. Politics and churches don’t need to be together. But are you talking about the Mormons individually or as a church?

      • Nicholas A Kocal

        You mean vile lies like it is a Christian duty to help the sick, the poor, the infirm, children. Most churches that support republicans fail to support any of these actions.

      • strayaway

        Prove it. Mormons are about the most Republican religious group. I haven’t heard about all the starving health deprived people in Utah . Fill us in.

      • Corey

        Can u produce an example of a lie one preacher states about ALL Republicans anywhere measurable to those who are Republican that say they hope Obama gets killed, or all gays die of AIDS? ………….. ? Didnt think so !

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        I have a FORMER girlfriend who’s father ( owns church; is pastor) is well- known for his anti OBAMA antics on the sunday pulpit- yet ( again) YOUR half truths only make a statement of preachers with vile lies against repubs.
        Corey ( below post) pretty much evaporated your myopic post. Im loving how easy2see one sided U are——
        easy 2 see,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Kay

      Transporting the congregation can be done by a member of the parish so it shouldn’t necessarily fall under that category, but if a minister exhorts his congregation to vote for a particular candidate, Democrat or Republican, then yes the church can and should be taxed. All it requires to avoid this is that ministers follow Christ’s advice and render unto Caeser that which is Caeser’s. Why should that bother you if your intentions are honest? Put your money where your mouth is or stay out of politics and concern yourself with spiritual guidance. Why is that so hard?

    • Stephen Barlow

      Transportation is a whole different game than PAYING for mailings, making phone calls and buying TV time.

    • ML

      are you trying to say that those churches are wrong to accept a ride? Makes no sense, William Fite.

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      ummmm,,,, democrats and republicans are known for this
      ==================================================
      FOX “news” fact finding at its ‘best’,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, giving HALF facts

    • callie

      It’s right there in the article that this is OK.

  • http://facebook.com/djlorenc Stogiebear

    It is high time the federal government began taking seriously the threat that these Dominionists pose to the United States!

  • Pingback: Thou shalt not be political! | The Cold Hard Truth()

  • strayaway

    I think that churches should pay property taxes but exactly what would the federal government tax churches for anyway? I assume the minister, the church secretary, and janitor already pay federal income tax. If the preacher gets rich preaching, he is already in a high income tax bracket. Is this punishment for preaching and linking politicians or whatever to positions that are relative to the doctrine of churches? If so, what will be taxed? The collection plate? Will they pay federal business taxes? Would the Rev. Martin Luther King jr. or the very Reverend Al Sharpton have been taxed for their political views that were/are not always what the establishment wants to hear? This does sound like an effort to establish a law respecting establishments of religion, free speech, the press,and the right of people to peaceably assemble.

    “During my 2004 presidential campaign, I was fond of saying that it was high time for the Christian right to meet the right Christians.” -Al Sharpton illustrating balance. What are we going to do, tax or fine Rev. Dobson and Rev. Sharpton? Better to just leave them hash it out.

    • William Fite

      I guess the federal government could tax the weekly donations that people give to the church and call that income.

      • Charles Vincent

        Not really that’s considered part of the non taxable shelter under 501c I think. 501c’s subsist on donations and in the case of a church the tithes of parishioners. both of which are tax exempt

      • Sandy Greer

        I don’t support taxing Religion. But fail to see how doing so ‘mixes church and government’.

      • Stephen Barlow

        What the GOD FEARING ‘HONEST’ REPUBLICAN RIGHT EVILjellyhead Wingnuts fail to admit is that when a tax exempt ‘church’ engages in political corruption, they are no longer either a church OR tax exempt.

      • Charles Vincent

        right now they the 501c churches cannot give money to sponsor political campaigns…
        “Irrelevant and a fallacy of two wrongs making a right. The law is quite
        clear on the subject. First sign of a fallacious argument is a bad
        comparison. All 501c entities must exclusively promote social welfare,
        per statute. This means they may not engage in any political activity,
        promote nor endorse any candidate, policy or platform.”
        courtesy of pipercat

      • Stephen Barlow

        WOW! AMAZINGLY astute of you to see that. But $1,000,000 in criminal donations and 666,000 with 334,000 going to food stamps is a HUGE difference.

        NOt to mention their LEADERSHIP IS DOING 8-15 for FRAUD and fundraising from San Quentin or Sing Sing is really mother farkling hard.

      • Charles Vincent

        And your still talking about irrelevancies that have nothing to do with what I said way to be obtuse.

      • Stephen Barlow

        FRAUD is NOT relevant?
        how so?

      • Charles Vincent

        If you were to remove religions tax exempt status it would neither be fraudulent nor illegal for them to either for a PAC or to put money behind legislative policy in the form of supporting a particular candidate or lobbying party.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Thanks for being honest. It’s not religion that is taxable, it’s CHEATING ON TAXES by religious groups who DEFRAUD citizens NOT in their congregation.

      • Stephen Barlow

        What the law giveth, the regulators taketh away.

        YOu make it sound as if “GOD created 501c’s on the 4th day”. The WHOLE ofthe IRS faux investigation and imaginary “scandal that was Obama’s 244th ‘Katrina’” is about social welfare groups fraudulently claiming 501c status while investing and participating in politics.

        I wish your mom would allow you to learn to read.

      • Charles Vincent

        not really but if you want to remove their tax exempt status go right on ahead and when the 200 million church goers start pushing money into the churches and then behind political candidates and policies I will laugh at you and say I told you so you moron. This isnt about whether they do already or not IDK if they do or not, its about what would happen if you did.

        “about social welfare groups fraudulently claiming 501c status while investing and participating in politics.”

        Where is your proof any of the 501c they denied were doing that? Or is that just your opinion.

      • Stephen Barlow

        200 millon attend ONCE a year. 20 million are TWICE the # that makes political noise.

      • Charles Vincent

        All your convoluted points are irrelevant to my post which is if you remove the tax exempt status fron religious groups they will legally be able to use partitioners tithes to support political candidates and PACs as of now they are barred by law from doing this pipercat already stated that and your still too stupid to get such a simple concept.

      • Stephen Barlow

        ANY one ELSE heard the POP?

        Of CV SHOVING HIS OWN HEAD into the gape of his own a nu s.

      • Stephen Barlow

        But the GROUP is NOT tax exempt if they are NOT totally religious.

      • Stephen Barlow

        WOW! the preface of how it’s a woman’s fault she ………

        got you ………..

        DELETED.

      • Charles Vincent

        “The WHOLE ofthe IRS faux investigation and imaginary “scandal that was Obama’s 244th ‘Katrina’””

        This isn’t as fraudulent as you think, considering the recent turn of events with the emails and other evidence that just recently came out.

        http://www DOT nytimes DOT com/2014/07/31/us/politics/in-emails-irs-official-referred-to-gop-crazies.html?_r=0

        http://waysandmeans DOT house DOT gov/uploadedfiles/lerner_email_a DOT pdf

      • sonoitabear

        “http://www DOT nytimes DOT com/2014/07/31/us/politics/in-emails-irs-official-referred-to-gop-crazies.html?_r=0′

        Lerner was emailing HER HUSBAND… But hey! Thanks for plying!

      • Charles Vincent

        It doesn’t matter who she emailed it is clear she harbored animosity towards the conservative ideology.
        Secondly the recipient in the link I provided was blocked out. and the media called the recipient a friend not her husband.
        http://www DOT nbcnews DOT com/news/us-news/ex-irs-official-slammed-conservatives-crazies-holes-n168866
        So either you have some intimate knowledge or you’re lying and or engaging in argumentum absurdum to try and refute my argument either of which are poor form.

      • Charles Vincent

        “I wish your mom would allow you to learn to read.”
        And I wish your mom had used a condom.
        C WUT I DID THAR?????

      • Stephen Barlow

        ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!! Chuckk fuc* … uh… Women don’t WEAR condoms….

        Do we have to DRAW YOU A PICTURE?

      • Charles Vincent

        Uhh they do…
        http://en DOT m DOT Wikipedia DOT org/wiki/HIV
        And secondly since when can a woman not tell the guy here is a condom use it or no fun time for you. And therefore she should have used a condom. Sorry you’re too retarded to figure that out.

        C WUT I DID THAR???

    • Nicholas A Kocal

      Just don’t let the donation to a church be tax deductible.

      • Michelle F. Becker

        if a person itemizes on their returns, the tithe can be included in the tax deduction.

      • Stephen Barlow

        And they have to puttheir name on a gift to ‘GOD”, but they can stay anonymous on a gift to Ted cruz? Or A Koch Brother Front?

      • Stephen Barlow

        THERE is a thought. I have ALWAYS believe campaign contributions over $1000 per person per election should be non deductible.

      • nikflorida

        campaign contributions are not tax-deductible at all.

      • Stephen Barlow

        I stand corrected. I always thought the Koch Brother’s were getting away with an EXTRA 50% in fraud.

    • Stephen Barlow

      INCOME!!!!!!

    • BBunsen

      “This does sound like an effort to establish a law respecting
      establishments of religion, free speech, the press,and the right of
      people to peaceably assemble.”

      As an individual, I have all of those, but that doesn’t mean I’m tax-exempt; and taxing me doesn’t affect those rights. A pastor saying that abortion is wrong comes under freedom of speech and religious freedom. A pastor saying “Vote for the candidate who is against abortion” is politicking. The pastor can say whatever he wants, but she or he has to recognize religion’s place in this society.

      Churches would be taxed as businesses. Expenses would be tax-deductible, just as with any business, and profits would be taxable. Both the Catholic and Mormon churches gave large amounts of money to the California campaign for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriages. This is sheer politicking, and churches aren’t supposed to do that.

      Hopefully, every church is using its income for purposes that are tax-deductible, and there IS no profit – but I doubt that’s the case for those megachurches.

      • strayaway

        I’m not sure how unions are taxed or organizations like the NAACP. I would be ok with taxing all such organizations including religions. Treat them all equally if they must be taxed but make no law, as in “Congress shall make NO law”, limiting their freedom of speech. Give them equal protection.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Please EXPLAIN how
        “lemme join your club”
        and
        U believe MY hallucination 2?

        are
        the
        same

    • nikflorida

      The biggest thing is that contributions to a church that engages in political campaign intervention should be taxed, just like contributions to a PAC or political party or campaign.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Taxed on BOTH ends… giver and taker.

      • strayaway

        The more I think about this the more it seems that either government should keep out of it or tax every non profit organization no matter what they say. Where does it end? This proposal maybe allows churches to preach against abortion or in support of a civil rights campaign or in support of getting its members to vote but if there is mention of a politician who is opposed to abortion or for attending civil rights march, then they should be taxed. Well what happens if someone leaves some campaign literature in the foyer? Do we tax them then because someone besides the preacher linked beliefs with candidates? Who is going to infiltrate all the churches, synagogues, and mosques to issue reports anyway? This begins to sound like East Germany or China. Also, why should labor unions keep their tax exempt status, assuming they are similarly tax free? Everyone knows unions recommend candidates.

    • Bascoda

      Do some research on how much property the churches – especially the Catholic church – own in this country. All of it dependent upon the surrounding infrastructure to which they contribute absolutely nothing, and do the math.

      • strayaway

        Please reread my previous posts on this thread I’m already on record in this thread supporting that churches pay local property taxes. My concern, which your post doesn’t address, is the equal protection clause as applied to first amendment rights.

  • Matthew Reece

    I wonder how this would affect a religious group that promotes anarchism? Would it constitute political activity to advise people to reject politics as a whole?

    • Charles Vincent

      thats a deep concept Matt. Not sure they are ready for that yet.

    • Pipercat

      Probably not. I think the words that raise the flags, if you will, are promote and/or advocate. Problem with this according to my understanding, would assume that anarchy (in it’s basic form) and organized religion are antithetical to each other.

      • BBunsen

        True – organized religion is all about control, and anarchy is the opposite.

    • nikflorida

      My guess is that promoting anarchism mostly would be considered “issue advocacy,” which is allowed. To SOME extent, it could at some extreme actually be considered sedition, I suppose… but it’d have to be really extreme, apparently.

    • planetofthemage

      There’s a difference between anarchy and rejection of politics, though. I think we get a negative vibe and associate anarchism with chaos or a lack of politics, but that isn’t the case in actual anarchy.

      • Matthew Reece

        Anarchy can be chaos, but it does not have to be, and many kinds would be less chaotic than statism.

  • Cemetery Girl

    Nothing turns me off from a church more than when a sermon preaches about the exact stances a politician should take. (A nice, round about way of saying who to vote for but not naming names so they can deny supporting anyone.) I’m Christian. I like church. I love when I have a problem weighing on me and I go in and hear a sermon that relates. I believe in the church being a place that helps the people that attend (emotionally and mentally) and helps the community. I detest when a church tries to sway voters. I read a book (years ago, so I forget the name), but it was written by a pastor. It was filled with his thoughts on life, but he had a whole chapter based on how the church should not try to influence voters and a good congregation will have a mix of people (both Republician and Democrat, but also ages and backgrounds and everything.) I wish I could remember the name of that book because a church should embrace diversity.

  • Stephen Barlow

    THIS IS HUGE!!!! it could mean the REDs might have to REFUND all illegally gotten donations OR pay the back Taxes on them. Maybe not for this Midterm, but certainly for 2016!!!!
    The GOP are gonna haveto figure out a new way to launder money.

    Shame we won’t see RICO proceedings come out of this.

  • Corey

    About f_ckn time, can it be retro active?

    • Stephen Barlow

      BACK TO DAY uno.

  • hennypenny

    Most are just Money laundering for the Republican Party ! When they turn their back on children and flush money on politicians and worship “Idol” buildings it’s a Tax farce! Liberty University has hired Virginias former Govornor McDonald who they knew apparently took bribes for political favors! now he is supposed to lead the students down the same path! This has nothing to do with worship and everything about being a tax evading farce CHRUCH !

  • Michael

    We can trust the IRS to always do the right thing, NOT.

  • BBunsen

    FYI, that’s “flouted the rules,” not “flaunted the rules.”

  • Bascoda

    Somebody please remind me, why is it that we don’t tax churches?

    • Tom Tusing

      Same reason all other not for profits are not taxed. Plus that money goes for more good than taxed money getting wasted on

      • William Robert David Niblett

        If by “more good” you mean Mercedes’, gold fixtures and marble countertops, then you’re right! If you meant that as in helping people, then you’re a moron.

      • Tom Tusing

        So I’m a moron for believing what I see? If you don’t believe in god or go to church that’s fine I don’t believe your a moron for that. What you would be know as one for is commenting about something you don’t know. Watching church tv is not what church is about I personally watch help and donate to inter city family’s been to the lunches they have for children in the summer because they might not get lunch because schools out. Also been to church functions where they pass out back packs gets the shoes hair cuts and other school supplies that your tax dollars don’t covers and most teachers have to fund out of their pay. Do I see atheist gay groups doing this that are called no profit? What group do you know that going into city’s and help prostitutes off the streets or go into gang infested areas to show there is more than gang life. And you call me a moron. I’m not hurt by that. I wish you the best in life.

      • Brian

        So are you implying churches spend most of their money on doing these things? If church organizations spent every penny on doing what they claim they believe in, there’d be no poverty in this world. The fact is that the charity work churches do represents only the slightest fraction of their resources, and the rest of the money goes straight into the coffers of the clergy. Have you seen the decadence of these megachurches? That’s saying nothing about the Vatican. These “atheist gay groups” are doing more good than churches ever have because they’re busy spending every moment and dollar fighting for human rights despite religion telling them they’re inferior or evil.
        Maybe I’ll take your claims seriously when African arch-bishops stop saying condoms are evil and will not stop AIDS. Maybe I’ll take your claims seriously when these country pastors stop raping kids. Maybe I’ll take your claims seriously when they stop telling me who Jesus would vote for. In the meantime, take your bible and shove it.

      • Tom Tusing

        Churches spend a lot more on others nobody said all it takes money to run a church so as you said guys just fight for their own personal agenda that’s pretty selfish. Look out for gay and nobody else. Are you telling me gays or atheist don’t rape your out of your mind.media just don’t call them out on it. You are saying Christian judge guys and atheist all while judging christian beliefs nice one. But I will keep my bible close to me and I hope you have the best life possible.

      • Tom Tusing

        love the Moron name calling, so now every church pastor or what ever name you wish to call buys Mercedes and gold fixtures. there is crooks in any aspect of life. so if that’s how you see it you must think your a terrible person because im sure someone that likes what you do is a crook so everyone must be.

      • Bascoda

        Not for profit??? Yeah, sure. As for the money going for more good than taxed money, that depends on your definition of “good.” The minute any organization enters the political arena, which churches of all denominations are doing more and more, they should immediately forfeit their tax-exempt status.
        You might keep in mind the fact that much of the “wasted” tax money – for things like wars we shouldn’t be fighting, subsidies to corporations that don’t need or deserve them, etc. is being wasted by the very same politicians that churches worked diligently to put into office.

    • rejectrepublicanlies

      Because our Founding Fathers could have never anticipated that churches would become mega corporations. Also, because every politician, even Democrats, is concerned about pissing off Christians and make them pay their fair share.

      • Bascoda

        There is a large segment of “Christians” who are perpetually pissed off about what they consider attacks on their ‘deeply held religious beliefs.’ What they perceive as ‘attacks’ are actually others pushing back against their attempts to impose their religion on people who don’t share it.
        Our founding fathers were well aware of the dangers of a religion-controlled state. That’s why there is no mention of “god” in the Constitution. That is also why there are prohibitions against religious tests for political office. The only mistake they made was when they used the phrase “freedom of religion,” instead of freedom FROM religion.
        I always consider a day in which I am able to piss off at least one “Christian” as a good day.

  • giankeys luvs shemale porn

    again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, “F*CK” religion,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, religion is trash; here ONLY to make money and control others ( and their money)
    funny how the white trash regressive rightwing scumbags ( FOX “news”) never talks about this— yst all of the shrivel dicked low IQ scumbag regressives will spin this another wat——- we should make religion illegal.

  • blf83

    Churches should definitely be examined for political activity. Fundamentalists of all sorts – Christian and non-Christian – the Catholic hierarchy and others deal in politics on a constant basis. When you are told for whom to vote, what laws to ignore, and what you are to think from the pulpit, your church should lose its non-profit, religious tax exemption for it has become a political entity.

  • Vision Rider

    Sounds like something King George III would have done to silence those uppity colonists back in the 1770s.

  • Vision Rider

    Any idea how this monitoring would be done? George Orwell has already told the story of how it can be done… just send out the Thought Police. If you don’t know this reference it is time you stop and read Orwell’s classic book 1984. After you have done that tell me how you would restrain such a monitoring force once it is unleashed. Who wants to be the one to let Big Brother out of the bag?

  • momo333

    The IRS was enforcing politics from the pulpit back in the 1930-1950s when workers were becoming very interested in socialism. The powers that be only want to investigate politics from the pulpit when workers become much more interested in wealth distribution ideals.

  • rejectrepublicanlies

    The majority of US churches are just corporations. It’s a great scam for making millions and paying no taxes. Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer’s spend 5-7% of their monies on actually helping the poor. The majority of their money goes into their lavish homes, private planes, diamonds, cars, etc.

  • rejectrepublicanlies

    Did the police ever figure out who stole $600,000.00 in cash from Joel Osteen’s church?

  • rejectrepublicanlies

    I constantly see Catholic Churches posting “messages” on their billboards that advocate support for Right Wing candidates and amendments. Sickening abuse of power.

  • rejectrepublicanlies

    Watch them all use the Hobby Lobby decision.

  • Janice Best

    Last sentence, “flouted,” not “flaunted.”

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  • jeremyfive

    Wonderful news! Something HAS to be done about the theft of our tax dollars by allowing the cynical manipulators and thieves to disguise themselves as a “church.” We saw the Mormon church, for instance, use our tax dollars to fight purely political battles across state lines–they were found guilty in court of doing so. And the “Evangelicals”, whose behavior often bears no resemblance whatsoever to Christian values, are often the worst–blatant political activity. If this goes on, let us keep our tax dollars, please. We have much better use for the money than to see it used for purely political causes (and we have causes of our own!!!)

  • flaven

    I won’t hold my breath. The best bet is just to rescind all tax bennies for religious organization. Beside, I’m tired of my tax dollars being used to support superstitions.

  • Carol Perry Smith

    I don’t understand why they are allowed to keep their 501C3′s. I was under the impression that in order to keep that tax free status they couldn’t involve themselves in politics in this way.

  • tomas

    I wonder why this is not on any of the mainstream media.

  • Willow C. Arune

    Tax ‘em, Danno…

  • Phil J Malloy

    were you guys not the same ones who bitched when the feds looked into muslim mosques??? now you want the feds to look into christian churches…

    double stands, typical liberal tactics

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