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(Noise and Disturber)   Nine people voted out of church for failing to sign loyalty oath agreeing to pastor's political views. Mark Burnett buys option on "Survivor: Hick-Ass Appalachian Dumbasses"   (newsobserver.com) divider line 377
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13097 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 May 2005 at 8:54 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-05-07 03:14:41 PM
Sounds like they're better off without him.

They should revoke that church's tax exempt status as soon as possible.
 
2005-05-07 03:20:30 PM
Religion is like baseball - great game but the owners suck.
 
2005-05-07 03:26:08 PM
"What have we come to when the doors of a church are closed to longtime members because of their political beliefs?" said Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way. "When a pastor equates political support for the 'wrong' candidate with a sin before God?"

We've come to 2005, apparently. Who didn't see this coming?
 
2005-05-07 03:39:58 PM
The IRS issued advisory IR-2004-59 with the title "Charities May Not Engage in Political Campaign Activities" on April 28, 2004. Here is the text:

WASHINGTON -- Charities should be careful that their efforts to educate voters comply with the Internal Revenue Code requirements concerning political campaign activities, the tax agency said Monday in a presidential election-year advisory.

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Code that are exempt from federal income tax are prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. Charities, educational institutions and religious organizations, including churches, are among those that are tax-exempt under this code section.

These organizations cannot endorse any candidates, make donations to their campaigns, engage in fund raising, distribute statements, or become involved in any other activities that may be beneficial or detrimental to any candidate. Even activities that encourage people to vote for or against a particular candidate on the basis of nonpartisan criteria violate the political campaign prohibition of section 501(c)(3).

Whether an organization is engaging in prohibited political campaign activity depends upon all the facts and circumstances in each case. For example, organizations may sponsor debates or forums to educate voters. If the debate or forum shows a preference for or against a certain candidate, however, it becomes a prohibited activity.

The federal courts have upheld this prohibition on political campaign activity, most recently in Branch Ministries v. Rossotti, 211 F.3d 137 (D.C. Cir. 2000). The courts have held that it is not unconstitutional for the tax law to impose conditions, such as the political campaign prohibition, upon exemption from federal income tax.

(For the court's opinion in that case, see http://1stam.umn.edu/archive/fedctapp/branch-ministries.txt)

If the IRS finds a section 501(c)(3) organization engaged in prohibited campaign activity, the organization could lose its tax-exempt status and it could be subject to an excise tax on the amount of money spent on that activity.

In cases of flagrant violation of the law, the IRS has specific statutory authority to make an immediate determination and assessment of tax. Also, the IRS can ask a federal district court to enjoin the organization from making further political expenditures.

In addition, contributions to organizations that lose their section 501(c)(3) status because of political activities are not deductible by the donors for federal income tax purposes.

The political campaign prohibition as it applies to churches is discussed in Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations. This publication, along with other information about the political campaign prohibition, is available on IRS.gov at www.irs.gov/eo. The IRS issued similar election-year advisories to charities in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
 
2005-05-07 04:00:24 PM
I didn't know the former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback was getting involved in reality television.
 
2005-05-07 04:51:32 PM
All nine walked out after Pastor Chan Chandler told them he expected them to sign forms supporting his political and moral beliefs. After they left, members who remained voted to boot the dissenters.


So, we finally get the story BEHIND the story. Yep, tarrant84, you're right. This church is in the wrong and should lose its tax exempt status.

Now if we would just tighten up on churches that allow political candidates/advocates to speechify from the pulpit.
 
2005-05-07 05:04:41 PM
whatshisname: They should revoke that church's tax exempt status as soon as possible.



Exactly!
 
2005-05-07 05:11:04 PM
Reading the article, and not knowing what the pastor looks like, I ended up picturing him like this:

 
2005-05-07 05:45:08 PM
So I guess the "Culture of Death" has no place in a house of worship built to glorify the torturous murder of its patriarch?
 
2005-05-07 05:49:46 PM
I am disappointed that the whole congregation didn't walk out. I would have. This is the type of partisan bs (on all sides) that is destroying the concept of intellectual discussion in this country.

I visited where JFK was shot today and there were two people arguing freaking politics there. Not politely either. It was disturbing. I can't discuss politics with my grandfather anymore because O'Reilly and Coulter have him believing that I am a babykiller and a fag lover because I support choice and am pro gay marriage.

"He didn't fight in the Pacific so no fags could get married in a church." And he isn't even religious. It is truly mind boggling.
 
2005-05-07 06:10:00 PM
Ghost Rider:
This church is in the wrong and should lose its tax exempt status.

Yep. If the church supports his decision, they should lose their tax exempt status.

If they want to stump for a candidate that's fine-- just not on my tax dollar.
 
2005-05-07 06:10:22 PM
"He went on and on about how he's going to bring politics up, and if we didn't agree with him we should leave," said Isaac Sutton, 75, a deacon who was voted out after 12 years at the church. "I think I deserve the right to vote for who I want to."

as well you do. nobody relevant is denying you that right. if you choose to continue to associate with a 'religious' zealot, that is also your right. but if you're stupid enough to mix religion with politics, and then claim your voting rights are hampered, you get no sympathy from me
 
2005-05-07 06:11:32 PM
tarrant84
If they want to stump for a candidate that's fine--

Wow. This country is FLYING down the shiatter.
 
2005-05-07 06:46:08 PM
I have no problem whatsoever with this "church" kicking out members that go against their conservative beliefs.

Since they are engaging in politics, I agree with others on this thread thinking they should loose tax exempt status.

Even more, I think they should be liable for back taxes from the time they began ignoring this requirement for tax-exempt status.

On a similar and relevant issue, there are Active efforts going on in Congress to change tax law to allow churches to do this sort of foolishness and keep their tax-exempt status.

I'm deeply appalled at the all-but-certian practical outcome of such a change being made. But to be intellectually honest, the people for it have logical and valid arguments. You SHOULD be allowed to say whatever you want behind the pulpit without fear of retaliation from Big Brother/The IRS.

That said, I personally dispise xian fundie churches. My mom belongs to one, and it's painful to watch a person's critical thinking gradually being shut off.

It's perfectlly legal what they do to her, of course, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yet, morally it is nothing less than a crime.
 
2005-05-07 06:53:00 PM
Action Replay Nick:

tarrant84
If they want to stump for a candidate that's fine--

Wow. This country is FLYING down the shiatter.



I take it you agree with me that churches shouldn't be stumping for candidates, either.
 
2005-05-07 07:02:25 PM
Ghost Rider
I take it you agree with me that churches shouldn't be stumping for candidates, either.

Yes, I agree very much. Stumping is bad enough, let alone making people sign things!
 
2005-05-07 07:55:30 PM
Action Replay Nick:

Yes, I agree very much. Stumping is bad enough, let alone making people sign things!

Oh, I fully believe they're entitled to freedom of speech, but just so long as they're not doing it as a tax exempt church. Don't want to pay your taxes? Follow the rules. Wanna stump for a candidate? Fine-- but pay your taxes like everyone else.
 
2005-05-07 08:15:09 PM
tarrant84
Oh, I fully believe they're entitled to freedom of speech, but just so long as they're not doing it as a tax exempt church.

Once they start using their "freedom of speech" to endorse candidates, they cease to be a source of spiritual guidance and instead become the arm of a political party.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-05-07 08:42:16 PM
Waynesville attorney David Wijewickrama said at least nine members have called his office. He said he doesn't yet know the details of the case but has agreed to review it. (from article)

It's an uphill battle suing a church over policy decisions in America. A court is simply not allowed to decide whether God believes you should vote for Bush or Kerry, or other matters of inherently religious nature. In addition, if the church has an internal method of handling internal disputes (as the Catholic church does, for example, but independent churches may not) secular courts must defer to ecclesiastical courts.

(A court is allowed to decide whether freedom of religion permits a person to violate some law or rule -- if God says men must wear beards that does not necessarily mean that prison authorities can't require prisoners to shave.)
 
2005-05-07 08:58:10 PM
Action Replay Nick:

Once they start using their "freedom of speech" to endorse candidates, they cease to be a source of spiritual guidance and instead become the arm of a political party.

Thus losing their tax exempt status... I'm thinking we're all in agreement here.
 
2005-05-07 08:58:35 PM
You mean Mark Burnett, submitter?
 
2005-05-07 09:00:45 PM
finally my town makes semi-national news over being a bunch of nazi ass backwards george bush lovers

/godwin
 
2005-05-07 09:01:34 PM
This is a great way for the pastor to get started in his bid for the Senate.
 
2005-05-07 09:02:37 PM
Who is Mark Brunnel, and why is he taking Mark Burnett's television show?
 
2005-05-07 09:02:41 PM
I wonder what "Republican views" were on the paper members were asked to sign. Was it a list of political views typically associated with the right such as pro-life? I doubt it was a blanket "I agree to vote Republican no matter what." It's a little overboard to say you might as well leave the church if you plan to vote for Kerry, but maybe it was an allegory for God.. or Jesus.

Signing papers is where he pushed the line, but it seems more likely they were signing a set of morals that may have intersected with one major political platform more than the other. Either way he's obviously a douche. But is it wrong to have your flock sign off on a moral code?
 
2005-05-07 09:02:50 PM


ah, if only he was a farker...
 
2005-05-07 09:04:13 PM
Are we living in Jesustan yet?
 
2005-05-07 09:04:30 PM
diabolic, I just wish he was still alive.
 
2005-05-07 09:04:54 PM
Ooh ... I smell an infinity-symbol flamewar coming on ...
I defy any of you to defend this asshat.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-05-07 09:05:34 PM
The court case cited in the IRS notice that tarrant84 posted above suggests a couple ways the church can keep tax-exempt status.

It has been found constitutional to revoke tax-exempt status for buying advertisements. This church is limiting membership. The political involvement appears internal. While the IRS may say it will revoke tax-exempt status for doing this, that power has to my knowledge not been tested in court. It is much closer to the First Amendment limit on government power because it tries to tell a church who it can have as members. And that comes to the second way out: if a religion requires involvement in politics, the legal analysis is different than if a religion merely suggests certain political opinions.

Also, those who are so eager to punish this church might want to read the court case to see how ineffective the court thought such punishment might be.
 
2005-05-07 09:05:36 PM
tarrant84
Thus losing their tax exempt status... I'm thinking we're all in agreement here.

Not just the tax exempt status, but also their status as spiritual leaders. If spiritual leaders are pontificating about or forcing endorsement of politicians:

A) We have reverted to an ancient society.

B) They have officially become PAC groups and are no longer about spiritual well-being.
 
2005-05-07 09:06:49 PM
I havce nothing to do tonight besides watch the Mavs game. I also challenge anyone to defend this guy.
 
2005-05-07 09:07:36 PM
so the catholic church is losing their tax exempt status also?
 
2005-05-07 09:07:42 PM
I forget if it was Frank Zappa or Jello Biafra who said, "Tax the FARK out of the churches!" I happen to agree.


I do know Mr. Zappa said, "My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can." Again, stellar advice.
 
2005-05-07 09:07:44 PM
Step 1.
Assert right to evict anyone in church who does not believe as the majotiry do.

Step 2.
Assert that this is a Christian nation

Step 3.
Assert the right to banish anyone not aggreeing with the majority from the country

What were you expecting just another underwear gnome joke?
 
2005-05-07 09:08:12 PM
Mark Brunnel, NFL quarterback = Mark Burnett, rality TV show producer???
 
2005-05-07 09:08:57 PM
according to the local news they would have to agree to vote for bush to keep their membership

of course, as my Weeners, it could just be the idiot media here too.
 
2005-05-07 09:08:59 PM
Ugh. 'rality' = 'reality'
 
2005-05-07 09:10:06 PM
You know, this story broke on Friday morning, having been part of the church's Wednesday prayer meeting. I find it revealing that Fark buried for so long.
 
2005-05-07 09:10:41 PM
 
2005-05-07 09:12:13 PM
Church and State are supposed to separate. Guess the pastor didn't learn that one in school
 
2005-05-07 09:12:23 PM
This flame war is shaping up poorly. Too much agreement. Though I despise what the pastor did, I will say,...

Democrats are teh suck and excommunication is too good for them.

Okay, flame on!

/yellow-dog-democrat
 
2005-05-07 09:12:40 PM
Ostracized for failing to sign a loyalty oath? Sir Thomas More surrenders.
 
2005-05-07 09:13:11 PM
Well KerwoodDerby, I submitted it Thursday night, but with a much worse headline.
 
2005-05-07 09:13:40 PM
this pastor (or church government) overstepped it's authority.

/conservative xian.
 
2005-05-07 09:13:48 PM
Who'd have thought a church leader wouldn't be open to debate and diversity of opinions?
 
2005-05-07 09:14:28 PM
Religion has a vested interest in politics since many forms of social change come about from the changing state of the law. Signing papers is bull, but what level of political activism is acceptable in a church - is it ok at a church picnic, or if members of the church are allowed to give speeches?
 
2005-05-07 09:15:25 PM
Good for them, just hope they're not surprised when the IRS comes around to tax their little church political action committee.
 
2005-05-07 09:15:43 PM
KerwoodDerby: I find it revealing that Fark buried for so long.

Revealing of what?
 
2005-05-07 09:17:55 PM
Who'd have thought a church leader wouldn't be open to debate and diversity of opinions?

sweeping generalizations do not further conversation.

i talk to pastors on a weekly basis who all hold differnet political and theological opinions. they are all willing to discuss. some also hold to what they believe, which i assume you also do.
 
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