Tag: 501(c)(3)

July 20, 2017 / Entanglement
image of a typical Mosque

On July 13th, The House Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill was voted out of committee 31-32 and heads to the full US House of Representatives for consideration. The bill includes a section that would basically eliminate the Johnson amendment enforcement of the tax code against churches opening them up to used as political tools and bribery facilitators.

August 2, 2016 / Entanglement
Official image of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1950s as a US Senator
President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1950s as a US Senator

Every election cycle, Secular Americans have to endure slimy pandering to the religious right by candidates looking to get elected to office. Some on the right of the political spectrum want to see the Johnson Amendment repealed so that churches are free to be involved in politics as much as they want. As it stands now, promises for repealing the law is pandering because it is hardly enforced and it can’t get a repeal vote now in a Congress with a Republican majority.

The Johnson Amendment refers to a change in the US Tax code passed in 1954. It was introduced by then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and some have said he did it to silence some opponents to his reelection to the Senate.

October 4, 2014 / Courts
logo for Pulpit Freedom Sunday event

This Sunday, October 5th, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday will take place. They claim it’s about religious freedom when in fact it’s about creating a lawsuit they can use to try and get tax regulations against electioneering by churches tossed out as unconstitutional. Finally, this year they might get their lawsuit.

August 7, 2014 / Courts
clipart of a minister preaching from a pulpit

Last month I posted about a settlement between the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over policing electioneering by churches. The IRS had for years dragged its feet in investigating complaints about churches violating the terms of the tax exemption rules by getting too political. Of course conservatives now claim, with the settlement, that a church’s first amendment rights will be violated. Such a claim is utter hogwash.

August 31, 2013 / Entanglement
created clipart showing Church welfare courtesy of US Taxpayers

We hear all the time from Christian conservatives, in the US, that they are being persecuted in some way like the fake ‘war on Christmas’ or the new rules requiring businesses to cover contraceptives for their employees. We seculars have always known that such claims of persecution were false and now a report from the Council for Secular Humanism and University of Tampa offers proof that most religious groups aren’t doing charitable work and taxpayers are in fact propping up some of them with tax subsidies.

August 27, 2013 / Entanglement
photo of a church service

Churches get tax exemptions yet some want to get more involved in politics without losing those exemptions. Tax exemptions were a way of promoting the separation of church and state by limiting the influence of government on religion – a government might try to influence what a church supports or teaches by using the tax rates for example. The cost of this protection also limits how involved a church can get in politics. Some on the religious right want to remove those limits of involvement and I think if they do get those restricts removed they should then pay taxes. It is only fair, right?