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? Continue reading →
The recent media dust up about the Internal Revenue Service doing their job when considering group tax exemptions under the 501(c)4 rules focused on conservative groups being ‘targeted’ for political reasons. What hasn’t been reported as much is that non-conservative groups, including Camp Quest, were also targeted for extra scrutiny. This just shows that the conservative group’s claim of victimhood is more hysterical than the facts support. Continue reading →
Alliance Defending Freedom, which sponsored Pulpit Freedom Sunday on October 7th, claimed over a 1,000 pastors would be taking part in violating the tax laws prohibiting a tax exempt group, such as churches, from electioneering at the pulpit. If the law breaking pastors had done some basic research they would have seen that having a protest now was a waste of time. The IRS suspended investigations of churches in 2009 due to a federal law suit. Basically Pulpit Freedom Sunday was a failure. Continue reading →
A Google alert caught my eye on Sunday. It was to a post on a website called LifeNews.com and it was titled “Liberals Are Trying to Intimidate Your Church This Election”. So of course I had to read about this very important issue. The post basically was the standard conservative scare post. Naturally none of their information was correct. What I did find interesting was links to two voter guides. I didn’t know that a church was so concerned with obviously non-religious issues like energy, Voter ID, and Iran. Continue reading →
On Sunday October 7th, Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative evangelical Christian group, will be promoting ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’. It’s an event where the ADF says it has 1,000 pastors pledged to violate Federal tax laws by preaching about the election, endorsing a candidate, and sending a video of their sermon to the IRS. Their stated point is that the tax law prohibiting endorsing specific candidates violates the pastor’s freedom of speech. Once again the religious right is wrong. Continue reading →
The Washington Post published a story today that talked about the slow death of the Christian Coalition.
The group was founded, in 1989, by Rev. Pat Robertson as the political fundraising and lobbying engine of the Christian right. It was lead for many years by Ralph Reed and is still included in many meetings with the White House and Congress.
Money flowed to the coalition in the mid-1990s, when Bill Clinton was president. But, Michele Combs said, with a conservative president and a conservative Congress, things are different. “It’s harder to raise money when the agenda you’ve been working for all these years is moving forward and you have a place at the table,” she said.
After years of battling the IRS, the Christian Coalition reached a settlement a year ago that secures its status as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) lobbying and educational institution.
But the settlement requires the Christian Coalition to allow candidates to write up to 25 words of explanation on each issue in the voter guides. In the past, the guides listed topics such as “unrestricted abortion on demand” or “adoption of children by homosexuals” and described the candidates’ positions simply as “supports” or “opposes.”