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(WTOP)   The IRS has basically quit even trying to enforce that whole "tax-exempt churches can't preach politics" thing. Because, you know, it's hard and stuff   (wtop.com) divider line 82
    More: Stupid, IRS, United States federal courts, Americans United, church law, worship service, tax code  
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8757 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Nov 2012 at 12:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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Archived thread
2012-11-05 01:03:34 PM
9 votes:
Just get rid of their tax exempt status.

God understands, otherwise he wouldn't have told you to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

Problem solved.
2012-11-05 01:02:24 PM
7 votes:
During an election year, it's hard to stay away from the topic of politics. If you truly believe in the words of Jesus Christ, then you can't be silent about the evil that is the Republican party.
2012-11-05 01:11:21 PM
6 votes:
Yeah, I stood up in church during the announcement part of our service. I happened to be on the Altar at the time, as I was a LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister) and had my garb on.

I stood up and said "Get out and vote. I don't care who you vote for, but there's more than just the presidential election on the ballot and there's plenty of things that will affect you or someone you know. If you can't make it to your polling place, tell me and I'll drive you there myself."

And then I sat down and that was that.

Why can't other churches do it that way?
2012-11-05 01:07:09 PM
6 votes:

MurphyMurphy: Just get rid of their tax exempt status.

God understands, otherwise he wouldn't have told you to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

Problem solved.


Don't even have to go that far; just eliminate their "closed book" privilege. Non-church non-profits have to justify their status, but churches can just claim it with impunity. They also don't pay property taxes, which is ultra special.

Just make them follow the regular rules about disclosure and let 'em at it.
2012-11-05 01:46:01 PM
5 votes:
i18.photobucket.com
2012-11-05 01:31:55 PM
5 votes:
wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com
2012-11-05 01:01:53 PM
5 votes:
A while ago Bill Maher opined that churches are indeed abusing the tax exemption, and if the church catches on fire the church people should not be allowed to call the fire department.
2012-11-05 01:39:37 PM
4 votes:

JackieRabbit: Many Christians are highly offended by their religion being politicized.


Meanwhile, everyone else is highly offended by our politics becoming religicized.
2012-11-05 01:35:58 PM
4 votes:
Here's my opinion:

What should happen is that the government and religion should be 100% separated. Federal, state, and local governments. No special treatment. No tax breaks aside from 'non profit' to those churches and such that can apply.

All laws should be examined for religious motivation. For example, alcohol laws. You can't buy liquor here on Sunday. Cut and dry, religiously motivated, it's out. You can't buy beer in liquor stores here because there's the temptation that some beer drinkers might turn to liquor. Cut and dry, religiously motivated, it's out. You can't buy non-alcoholic products here from liquor stores because then it would be a convenience for people and thus a temptation to turn to liquor. Cut and dry, religiously motivated, it's out. Liquor licenses are not granted within so many thousands of feet from a school/bus stop/church/etc. Religiously motivated, it's out. No gay marriage here. Religiously motivated, it's out. Etc. Etc. Those are all the ones I could think of within 30 seconds, and would change the way of life around these parts drastically.

Oh, the irony..
2012-11-05 01:02:37 PM
4 votes:
I agree. It is hard. At this point, it's much easier just to get rid of that law and let the government have its taste of tithes and collection plates. It should be retroactive for at least a decade, and let's just go ahead and slap some interest and late fees on it too. The Pope can do with a few less gold hats or ugly-ass shoes this year.
2012-11-05 01:28:07 PM
3 votes:
Good. It's a waste of time and resources. Plus, as a society we should be training people to exercise their free speech, not giving them more and more areas where they feel like they must watch what they say.

Just end tax exempt status for churches already and be done with it.
2012-11-05 01:26:42 PM
3 votes:

Nightsweat: Let them say whatever they want. Also, let them pay taxes.

If you want tax exemption, you'd better abstain from politics.


It doesn't even have to be that cut-and-dried.

I think that even a politically-active organization should be able to do charitable works and have really-charitable contributions counted as deductible.

Consider the example set by every Rotary/Lions/Kiwanis/Masonic/IOOF/etc chapter in the country. In every case (I've been the treasurer of a tiny Lions club), there's a "club account" and a "charitable account". Charitable fundraising goes in the charitable account. Charitable donations are tax-deductible. Club dues go in the club account. These are not tax-deductible. Club expenses are paid out of the club dues account.

If every little civic service club in the country can keep two sets of books straight, the 'Jesus clubs' can and should do the same damned thing.
2012-11-05 01:23:00 PM
3 votes:
I truly despise organized religion.
2012-11-05 01:00:31 PM
3 votes:
I used to litigate these back in the day on behalf of the government. They're usually brought to the IRS's attention by whistleblowers with an axe to grind ("I'm mad at my preacher!") or Americans United.

The IRS hates to litigate them because of the negative publicity -- the IRS going after your church? Ugh.
2012-11-05 12:36:39 PM
3 votes:
Was the 'Obvious' tag busy instructing its congregation that voting for Obama will usher in the apocalypse?
2012-11-05 07:19:29 PM
2 votes:

Son of Thunder: superfudge73: So as for American Christian's isn't lying a sin?

That depends.

Does "American Christian's isn't lying" mean "American Christian is isn't lying" or does it mean "isn't lying belongs to American Christian"?


At some point around the time the American far right realized that their platform screwed over so many people (women, people of color, anyone not rich, gays, etc.) that the only way to keep a voter base large enough for them to win elections was to hoodwink a lot of these groups of people into voting against their own interests. So it became essential to simultaneously be, for example, opposed to women's interests and yet convince a sizable percentage of women that there was no war on women. And they've gotten very, very good at duping people like this.

One aspect of this has been convincing the American public that science is on their side (when it isn't), or at least that some issue is still up in the air (when it isn't). Abortion, evolution, climate change, gay rights --- on almost every controversial issue you've got people actively working to misrepresent or distort the scientific consensus, because the ACTUAL scientific consensus indicates that the Republican's policies are idiotically counterproductive or destructive. It's a fundamental part of what they do, what they MUST do, to stay elected.

The Republican War on Science has a lot of specific examples if you're interested.
2012-11-05 06:26:12 PM
2 votes:

CaptainScrewy: Dumb question (because I'm, y'know, dumb), but why couldn't taxpaying citizens bring a class action suit against churches who violate tax exemption rules? It seems to me that if I have to pay taxes, so do churches who break the rules.


It's the government's burden to enforce its tax laws. Tax payers do not have standing to sue another entity for tax violations. It would be interesting if you could sue on the government's behalf, like a share holder derivative suit. But it would also be crazy and likely wrought with abuses.

But, basically, the courts will say you're not a proper party to bring the suit.
2012-11-05 02:39:15 PM
2 votes:
What I really hate about this issue is that the IRS code says very clearly that "if you want to be treated as a tax exempt organization for the purposes of charity, you must do so in a particular manner" and some of these church pastors, who spend every Sunday preaching about how we need to live lives with integrity and purpose to please God, then say, "I don't want to follow that rule, so it doesn't apply to me" and actually willfully break the rules so they can endorse candidates and say nonsense about the candidates they don't like.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since these same pastors tend to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they want to follow and which they want to ignore, but it really grates on me that they behave this way. Is it too much to ask that those who are preaching morality actually follow through on their own personal morals?
2012-11-05 02:19:33 PM
2 votes:

HortusMatris: Also, the Renaissance was not a Christian movement, it was more of an intellectual humanist movement, and there was a lot of great art and music that came out of that time that was not Christian or even religious at all.


Now, the Dark Ages that preceded it...
2012-11-05 02:08:50 PM
2 votes:

meanmutton: BarleyGnome: I truly despise organized religion.

I'm an atheist and I'm quite happy to have organized religion. Even if you set aside the amazing music and art from the Renaissance that came out of Christianity and just focus on the modern, you have -- the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Relief Services, tons of hospitals and schools, food banks, homeless shelters, and tons of other service related charities.


Christianity did not create those things, people did, it's just one of many ways to get groups of people together to sponsor and do things like that. We still have people making fantastic music, art, and doing charity without religion. Also, the Renaissance was not a Christian movement, it was more of an intellectual humanist movement, and there was a lot of great art and music that came out of that time that was not Christian or even religious at all. I like to imagine how much more awesome the music and art of the past could have been if more of it had been commissioned by secular organizations instead of religious ones, and artists felt free to express ideas that may have conflicted with whatever church was in power at that time.
2012-11-05 01:48:50 PM
2 votes:
I never saw any justification for allowing church income tax exempt status to begin with. Church charities like food banks and shelters, sure those are CHARITIES and would be exempt, but the CHURCH is a for profit organization. The church should pay the same income tax as any other small business.
2012-11-05 01:40:02 PM
2 votes:
Just for the record, if anyone brings up anything political in an LDS church meeting, they are politely ignored, and then told off later, unless they dont get the hint, in which case they are told off publically. Except for the really really old people. We sometimes let them rant (still ignoring them) but forego the "telling-off" because, well, they are old.

About the most political thing Ive heard is this election cycle is "'Im more of a Hunstman mormon than a Romney mormon"

You do see plenty of Romney and Obama bumper stickers in the parking lots though.
2012-11-05 01:35:40 PM
2 votes:
Solution? Tax the farking churches.
2012-11-05 01:32:07 PM
2 votes:

BarleyGnome: I truly despise organized religion.


I'm an atheist and I'm quite happy to have organized religion. Even if you set aside the amazing music and art from the Renaissance that came out of Christianity and just focus on the modern, you have -- the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Relief Services, tons of hospitals and schools, food banks, homeless shelters, and tons of other service related charities.
2012-11-05 01:31:51 PM
2 votes:

factoryconnection: MurphyMurphy: Just get rid of their tax exempt status.

God understands, otherwise he wouldn't have told you to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

Problem solved.

Don't even have to go that far; just eliminate their "closed book" privilege. Non-church non-profits have to justify their status, but churches can just claim it with impunity. They also don't pay property taxes, which is ultra special.

Just make them follow the regular rules about disclosure and let 'em at it.


THIS THISITY THIS--I'm not even "Tax the Churches" so much as "Close The Church Loopholes".

Make them do what EVERY OTHER SINGLE ORGANISATION FILING FOR 501(C)3 STATUS MUST DO:

1) File some sort of documentation (religious incorporation papers, etc.) with the IRS in the same way that 501(c)3s must prove they are an actual not-for-profit.

2) (The Biggie) File a yearly form 990 or 990-EZ like every other not-for-profit org in the country has to do including documentation of very large donations and very large amounts of money given to third parties.

Incidentially, it's those bits that dominionist churches have fought tooth-and-nail (putting them in a strange Culty-McCulterson similarity with the Scientologists, who are actually the reason that the laws re church incorporation and registration amount to "Claim you're a church to the IRS and never pay a penny of taxes ever again and never keep any records open to your parishoners much less third parties"). It's been very strongly suspected that some of the worst actors (the SBC and the Assemblies of God, as well as a mess of televangelists and other "Independent" neopentecostal megachurches) have been outright funding political groups in a very illegal manner, but it's next to impossible to prove this because nobody can get to the books. (And yes, people have tried. Congress has even tried, in the case of televangelists linked to an embezzlement scandal at ORU. It's next to impossible to do so in practice even with a Congressional subpoena.)
2012-11-05 01:09:01 PM
2 votes:
In other news, taxation of expatriates continues unabated.

Taxation without representation is tyranny"
2012-11-05 01:04:00 PM
2 votes:
Let them say whatever they want. Also, let them pay taxes.

If you want tax exemption, you'd better abstain from politics.
2012-11-05 01:03:31 PM
2 votes:
Meh, not so hard as just completely farking unpopular and would take up all their time.
2012-11-05 01:01:23 PM
2 votes:

PreMortem: Enforce it or change the law.


Why do that when you can leave it on the books and then attack whoever you want for purely political reasons later on, when whoever is in power can deem it necessary? That seems like a good way to run things.
2012-11-05 01:01:17 PM
2 votes:
2012-11-05 12:59:03 PM
2 votes:
"A 2009 federal court ruling required the IRS to clarify which high-ranking official could authorize audits over the tax code's political rules. The IRS has yet to do so."


So basically, high ranking IRS officials are claiming the ol' "It's not MY job" line.

Enforce it or change the law.
2012-11-05 08:41:16 PM
1 votes:

relcec: what this is is a ubiquitous liberal claim not backed up by the facts.

"Generally, tax-exempt organizations must file an annual information return ( Form 990 or Form 990-EZ). Tax-exempt organizations that have annual gross receipts not normally in excess of $25,000 ($50,000 for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2010) are not required to file the annual information return; they may be required to file an annual electronic notice, however. In addition, churches and certain church-affiliated organizations are excepted from filing."


from:
http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Churches-&-Religious-Orga ni zations/Filing-Requirements

That is the 'Special Status' being spoken of.

relcec:

if you are a nonprofit and NOT a church your free speech rights are almost certainly intact. see UAW, ACLU, even the f*cking boy scouts. religious institutions are singled out for special scrutiny, not a special tax exempt status.


All 501(c)(3) organization's free speech rights are curtailed under current law, these limitations are specifically expanded for churches and other religious organizations.

So religious institutions ARE singled out for special scrutiny AND special tax exempt status (in that they don't have to file the annual information return).

In case you were confused, I'm opposed to both of these (special scrutiny and special tax exempt status). Treat churches the same as other 501(c)(3) organizations so that the government has no right or obligation to decide what is a church.
2012-11-05 08:40:17 PM
1 votes:

relcec: if you are a nonprofit and NOT a church your free speech rights are almost certainly intact. see UAW, ACLU, even the f*cking boy scouts. religious institutions are singled out for special scrutiny, not a special tax exempt status.


Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.


nope.jpg
2012-11-05 08:24:15 PM
1 votes:

relcec: right Adolf?


That's enough.

*plonk*
2012-11-05 07:52:31 PM
1 votes:
I don't believe any group of people should ever be silenced.

/If corporations aren't people, than neither are labor unions
2012-11-05 07:46:09 PM
1 votes:
Black church endorses Obama (or other Democrat) IRS turns its back.

White Church endorses Huckabee? major problem.

This is the hypocrisy of the Democrat party.
2012-11-05 07:01:28 PM
1 votes:
JackieRabbit: Many Christians are highly offended by their religion being politicized. On the other hand, there are many small storefront "churches" out there that aren't churches at all, but political operatives using the church as a cover. I know of a few that were popped by the IRS and essentially shut down. Fortunately, these usually only have a few very misguided members and once their backdoor funding dries up, the "preachers" close up shop and skip town.

vactech: Wow! Did not know that. I actually thought this could happen theoretically, and wondered why it wasn't more of a concern amongst the faithful rather than the reverse. It really shouldn't be the atheist/left/liberal worried about this stuff. Do they really want their church turning into campain headquarters?


While they may be a minority, the Dominionist fundamentalists are a very vocal, very active group. Their influence and notoriety are therefore disproportionately large.
2012-11-05 06:42:52 PM
1 votes:

CaptainScrewy: Dumb question (because I'm, y'know, dumb), but why couldn't taxpaying citizens bring a class action suit against churches who violate tax exemption rules? It seems to me that if I have to pay taxes, so do should churches. who break the rules.

2012-11-05 06:18:20 PM
1 votes:
Dumb question (because I'm, y'know, dumb), but why couldn't taxpaying citizens bring a class action suit against churches who violate tax exemption rules? It seems to me that if I have to pay taxes, so do churches who break the rules.
2012-11-05 05:12:36 PM
1 votes:
You could appoint a high school intern to go and record church sermons giving political lectures. Then you send an auditor with an invoice. The cost of the auditor and the intern would have to be, what, at worst half of the collection from the invoice(s) to justify the position? Sounds easy to me. The problem with government agencies is that people who run them don't know how to balance budgets.
2012-11-05 04:41:37 PM
1 votes:
This "closed book, tax free" info makes me understand Mars Hill Church in Seattle recently. Mark Driscoll's wife drops down wads of cash for huge jems and etc at local luxury shops, but then the family pretends to need your money so bad, before putting up a financial report that is clearly forged by about ?$100 million? dollars less than what they actually collect (given their size and how pushy they are about donations.

We left (I only go because my gf is into that sort of thing).
2012-11-05 04:31:51 PM
1 votes:

Clemkadidlefark: Tell you what, Mr. "The First Amendment Don't Mean Jack To Me"

You prosecute this guy to the fullest extent of the law, then we'll talk ...
...
So, surely you're not arguing for selective free speech are you?


Of course not, they can say whatever they want. They just can't claim to be tax exempt afterwards.

I'm still mystified why NOT taxing churches is constitutional. In order to apply that law, the government must determine that the church is actually a religious organization. In doing that, the first amendment is violated, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." I mean, if they have to acknowledged its standing as a religious organization in order to impart special treatments, isn't that tantamount to being the authority responsible for determining if a given religion is considered 'established' or not.

So, the way to truly deal with this within the scope of the constitution is to treat religious non-profits exactly the same as non-religious ones. That means their special exceptions go *poof*
2012-11-05 04:23:47 PM
1 votes:
So, all you Republicans who are posting pictures of Obama, et al, in church....you are I'm sure just as OUTRAGED to find out that Romney paid no taxes from 1996 to 2009, because he "rented" the tax exempt status of the Mormon Church?
2012-11-05 04:02:29 PM
1 votes:
If only there were some way the IRS could be financially incentivized to do this duty.

/I said duty.
2012-11-05 03:45:25 PM
1 votes:

Hrist: Here's my opinion:

What should happen is that the government and religion should be 100% separated. Federal, state, and local governments. No special treatment. No tax breaks aside from 'non profit' to those churches and such that can apply.

All laws should be examined for religious motivation. For example, alcohol laws. You can't buy liquor here on Sunday. Cut and dry, religiously motivated, it's out. You can't buy beer in liquor stores here because there's the temptation that some beer drinkers might turn to liquor. Cut and dry, religiously motivated, it's out. You can't buy non-alcoholic products here from liquor stores because then it would be a convenience for people and thus a temptation to turn to liquor. Cut and dry, religiously motivated, it's out. Liquor licenses are not granted within so many thousands of feet from a school/bus stop/church/etc. Religiously motivated, it's out. No gay marriage here. Religiously motivated, it's out. Etc. Etc. Those are all the ones I could think of within 30 seconds, and would change the way of life around these parts drastically.

Oh, the irony..


I occasionally point out that you can't ban gay marriage because God because we do not give a fark about God in the legal system. Seriously, my constitution professor was very clear on her distaste for that, and since she's an ex-lawyer\law professor...

/I love that class in hindsight
2012-11-05 03:40:24 PM
1 votes:
factoryconnection:
HortusMatris: "Catholic Relief Services is it's own sentient entity, capable of magically making good deeds happen without any action from individual human beings? Are all religious organizations able to do this kind of thing? Interesting... I may have to create a religious organization to do my housework for me, then."

Religion is a construct of man,


At first I thought you completely missed my point, but then I see you made it for me. I wasn't saying religion isn't real, it's just as real as any other belief system or organization. I was stressing the fact that it is the human beings who comprise it who are the doers of good deeds (as well as bad ones sometimes), not religion itself.
2012-11-05 03:37:19 PM
1 votes:

ISO15693: There was a crazy old woman in Dunedin, NZ, that bore her testimony about being engaged to Elvis, and we were all invited.


There was an old lady in CA that had sort of lost the ability to tell when she was talking out loud or in her own head. After about 15 minutes of any one person talking, a sweet little old lady voice would float up from the congregation, "My heavens, he's still talking. Isn't he done?" and so on. Awesome...
2012-11-05 03:03:17 PM
1 votes:
Let them keep the tax-exempt crap as long as they can show that at least 80% went directly to charitable causes. After that, I don't really care what some blowhard preacher says.
2012-11-05 03:03:06 PM
1 votes:

treesloth: ISO15693: Just for the record, if anyone brings up anything political in an LDS church meeting, they are politely ignored, and then told off later, unless they dont get the hint, in which case they are told off publically. Except for the really really old people. We sometimes let them rant (still ignoring them) but forego the "telling-off" because, well, they are old.

About the most political thing Ive heard is this election cycle is "'Im more of a Hunstman mormon than a Romney mormon"

You do see plenty of Romney and Obama bumper stickers in the parking lots though.

There was a little of that in sacrament meeting the last couple of Sundays, but very mild. I think the bishop politely invited them to cut that the hell out. It was all overshadowed by the organist (probably around 85 years old) deciding she just didn't like one of the songs, and so she just stopped playing and went back to her seat in the middle of the third verse. Worked for me... I don't like it, either. Old ladies rock!


I can imagine this sort of thing making fast and testimony meeting much more amusing than the toothless man rambling something about how awesome scouts was back in 1934, and the fat old woman listing her health problems.
2012-11-05 03:00:47 PM
1 votes:
Maybe it's time to go old school and start blasting preachers from the pulpit with a Peacemaker?
2012-11-05 02:59:09 PM
1 votes:

ISO15693: Just for the record, if anyone brings up anything political in an LDS church meeting, they are politely ignored, and then told off later, unless they dont get the hint, in which case they are told off publically. Except for the really really old people. We sometimes let them rant (still ignoring them) but forego the "telling-off" because, well, they are old.

About the most political thing Ive heard is this election cycle is "'Im more of a Hunstman mormon than a Romney mormon"

You do see plenty of Romney and Obama bumper stickers in the parking lots though.


There was a little of that in sacrament meeting the last couple of Sundays, but very mild. I think the bishop politely invited them to cut that the hell out. It was all overshadowed by the organist (probably around 85 years old) deciding she just didn't like one of the songs, and so she just stopped playing and went back to her seat in the middle of the third verse. Worked for me... I don't like it, either. Old ladies rock!
2012-11-05 02:59:08 PM
1 votes:
perhaps not enforcing it because this court would rule it an unconstitutional restraint on speech. the government can't condition the grant of a benefit on relinquishing a constitutionally guaranteed civil right and this is a good thing, people. it's why the government couldn't condition the grant of food stamps on the implantation of a norplant device. this is supposedly a progressive ideal, and it shows just how many liberal farkers are among the furthest thing progressive idealists. it is a unconstitutional condition if ever one existed.


even though a person has no "right" to a valuable governmental
benefit and even though the government may deny him the
benefit for any number of reasons, there are some reasons upon
which the government may not rely. It may not deny a benefit to
a person on a basis that infringes his constitutionally protected
interests....
2012-11-05 02:57:04 PM
1 votes:

tjfly: Be careful what you wish for. I'll just leave this here...
[bfl-app-content.s3.amazonaws.com image 484x312][globetribune.info image 400x301][www.infiniteunknown.net image 300x415][assets.nydailynews.com image 485x376]


I'm guessing most folks have your racist ass on ignore.
2012-11-05 02:39:49 PM
1 votes:

Aidan: Agent Smiths Laugh: TheOriginalEd: Sometimes.. I really dont like living here..

Okay, I give up. You humans are all doomed.

A church on the way to work has a big sign that says "Vote your God's Values"

Your guess is as good as mine.


Are they flat out saying that God's values aren't yours? In that case, I'm not voting for that guy!

/What's he running for again?
2012-11-05 02:37:40 PM
1 votes:

Agent Smiths Laugh: TheOriginalEd: Sometimes.. I really dont like living here..

Okay, I give up. You humans are all doomed.


A church on the way to work has a big sign that says "Vote your God's Values"

Your guess is as good as mine.
2012-11-05 02:33:51 PM
1 votes:
it's not like there's programs that could use the additional funding if we enforced the laws...
2012-11-05 02:32:08 PM
1 votes:

MurphyMurphy: Just get rid of their tax exempt status.

God understands, otherwise he wouldn't have told you to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

Problem solved.


I'd like to see a christian church official defend their tax exempt status when faced with this quote.
2012-11-05 02:21:55 PM
1 votes:

Boeheimian Rhapsody: not so csb:

My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii a couple weeks ago when we attended an open-aired sunday morning Episcopal church service. Things were going rather swimmingly until the sermon.

The preacher ended his sermon with:

...I recently had a meeting with numerous other religious leaders. many different races, colors, religions, all present for a lunch-time discussion. We wanted to come together to brainstorm more ways we can help those who need it most. We talked about many things, but the overarching message, was to help figure out what more we can do to help influence public policy.

He ended his sermon with a smile and a nod, and my wife and I looked at each other with mirrored expressions, "WTF? DID HE REALLY JUST SAY THAT?"

And that's when we looked around everyone else was nodding their heads.

It gave me a sad for this country.


You must have really hated it when those baptist churches in the african american community organized a boycott against the poor bus companies.
2012-11-05 02:18:09 PM
1 votes:

HortusMatris: I like to imagine how much more awesome the music and art of the past could have been if more of it had been commissioned by secular organizations instead of religious ones, and artists felt free to express ideas that may have conflicted with whatever church was in power at that time.


Take a look at civic art from those periods. It's not much different.

It's never been safe for artists to anger their patrons, regardless of who they may be.
2012-11-05 02:13:12 PM
1 votes:

Ehcks: [wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com image 600x776]


Yesssssss......do this. If you are religious enough to skip voting and pray, I'm ok with it. Please, I encourage you to stay home and pray and watch the 700 Club or whatever you religious people do nowadays.
2012-11-05 02:13:06 PM
1 votes:
"In Texas, a pastor of a small independent church posted a sign on the front of the building that read, 'Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim.' Romney is the first Mormon nominee for president by a major party. "

Not that anyone is counting; but Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints ran as independent in the 1844 election. Part of his platform was to annex part of Texas.

So take that Texas!
2012-11-05 02:05:45 PM
1 votes:
Either pay taxes or pray for rain when your building catches on fire.
2012-11-05 01:59:47 PM
1 votes:
2012-11-05 01:55:33 PM
1 votes:

MurphyMurphy: Just get rid of their tax exempt status.

God understands, otherwise he wouldn't have told you to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

Problem solved.


Ding don't ding...I am thinking 5% of gross take in is appropriate.
2012-11-05 01:50:14 PM
1 votes:

enry: Yeah, I stood up in church during the announcement part of our service. I happened to be on the Altar at the time, as I was a LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister) and had my garb on.

I stood up and said "Get out and vote. I don't care who you vote for, but there's more than just the presidential election on the ballot and there's plenty of things that will affect you or someone you know. If you can't make it to your polling place, tell me and I'll drive you there myself."

And then I sat down and that was that.

Why can't other churches do it that way?


Because when you get right down to it, George Carlin was right - religion is about mind control and money.

I do not begrudge others their belief in God/Allah/Yahweh/Whatever, but being a function of man any church has the ability fallible, corrupt, and greedy. I'm not saying every church is. There are some fantastic people out there who can rise above money and politics to do the right thing, but they seem increasingly fewer.
2012-11-05 01:44:23 PM
1 votes:
In my Catholic church they most political thing they've done is complain about the HHS mandate.

Read a downstate interview with a AME (I think) pastor who was annoyed about disinterested voters in his church so he said he's been preaching about voting for Obama for a month to get people fired up.
2012-11-05 01:39:21 PM
1 votes:
I've seen churches provide false documentation calling private school tuition a donation for tax purposes, quite the moral beacon there.
2012-11-05 01:38:11 PM
1 votes:

meanmutton: the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Relief Services,


Despite using the cross (and crescent in Islamic countries), originally as a reference to Swiss neutralitiy, the international Red Cross/Crescent movement did not come out of religious charity in any meaningful sense.

The rest, yes, fair enough.
2012-11-05 01:32:12 PM
1 votes:

SkunkWerks: All that said, it really doesn't sound very practical in terms of enforcement. Short of being exceedingly invasive of religious organizations, i don't see how enforcement could be accomplished.


Actually, it is rather easy to enforce. Ministers may offer prayers (intercessions) to political leaders, candidates, etc, but they cannot preach politics from the pulpit and retain their tax exempt status. If they tell their congregation that they should vote for candidate A because candidate B supports the sin of homosexuality, they have they have just violated the law. The IRS only investigates complaints. They don't go after every church out there. Many Christians are highly offended by their religion being politicized. On the other hand, there are many small storefront "churches" out there that aren't churches at all, but political operatives using the church as a cover. I know of a few that were popped by the IRS and essentially shut down. Fortunately, these usually only have a few very misguided members and once their backdoor funding dries up, the "preachers" close up shop and skip town.
2012-11-05 01:31:55 PM
1 votes:

Son of Thunder: Boeheimian Rhapsody: It gave me a sad for this country.

Well, we wouldn't want religious people infecting public policy with their religious ideas. Right, William Wilberforce? Right, MLK Jr?


Churches have been advocates for social and political ideas for a long time. The Catholic Church has been preaching and fighting for an end to capital punishment for instance. They've lobbied Congress to promote anti-human-trafficking measures. Is every socio-political idea off the table?
2012-11-05 01:23:16 PM
1 votes:

JackieRabbit: declaring war on Christians


The Christian cry of "persecution" comes as easily in this country as the F-word does to Gordon Ramsey, to be fair. You'd think it would be dismissed just as easily, and you'd of course be wrong.

Not that more than an Nth of them have the faintest idea what the word means. Anything much over three syllables tends to confound. But it is one hell of a lightning rod, I suppose.


All that said, it really doesn't sound very practical in terms of enforcement. Short of being exceedingly invasive of religious organizations, i don't see how enforcement could be accomplished.
2012-11-05 01:22:04 PM
1 votes:

IAmRight: PreMortem: Enforce it or change the law.

Why do that when you can leave it on the books and then attack whoever you want for purely political reasons later on, when whoever is in power can deem it necessary? That seems like a good way to run things.


Ironically, this has been the case since 2009, after Obama took office. Could you imagine the situation if Obama directed the IRS to enforce this?

Another example of Obama v. Religion that doesn't exist.
2012-11-05 01:20:13 PM
1 votes:

Boeheimian Rhapsody: not so csb:

My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii a couple weeks ago when we attended an open-aired sunday morning Episcopal church service. Things were going rather swimmingly until the sermon.

The preacher ended his sermon with:

...I recently had a meeting with numerous other religious leaders. many different races, colors, religions, all present for a lunch-time discussion. We wanted to come together to brainstorm more ways we can help those who need it most. We talked about many things, but the overarching message, was to help figure out what more we can do to help influence public policy.

He ended his sermon with a smile and a nod, and my wife and I looked at each other with mirrored expressions, "WTF? DID HE REALLY JUST SAY THAT?"

And that's when we looked around everyone else was nodding their heads.

It gave me a sad for this country.


Well, we wouldn't want religious people infecting public policy with their religious ideas. Right, William Wilberforce? Right, MLK Jr?
2012-11-05 01:12:17 PM
1 votes:
Rev. Wright is happy.
2012-11-05 01:11:31 PM
1 votes:

Englebert Slaptyback: A while ago Bill Maher opined that churches are indeed abusing the tax exemption, and if the church catches on fire the church people should not be allowed to call the fire department.


Liberal compassion at work.
2012-11-05 01:10:42 PM
1 votes:
Wasn't aware the IRS was doing this at all.

On paper, I love this idea. In practice, not so much.

I'd settle for getting that whole "keeping religion out of politics" thing though. That seems a weighty enough task.
2012-11-05 01:08:56 PM
1 votes:

GORDON: They'll be all over making sure to collect the Obamaxare Tax, though.


yeah they already said they aren't shouldering that one

but you know, continue spouting raw sewage out of your computer

which thread you gonna hit next with boldface lies?
2012-11-05 01:08:25 PM
1 votes:

scottydoesntknow: Was the 'Obvious' tag busy instructing its congregation that voting for Obama will usher in the apocalypse?


You've obviously never been to an AME church before election day. They had Obama posters up behind the pulpit this year.
2012-11-05 01:04:08 PM
1 votes:
To HELL with OBAMA and the NAACP...President Obama is a "Judas" and he has sold out African Americans.

media1.policymic.com
/just saying is all.....
2012-11-05 01:03:39 PM
1 votes:

TheOriginalEd: Sometimes.. I really dont like living here..


Okay, I give up. You humans are all doomed.
2012-11-05 01:01:49 PM
1 votes:
They'll be all over making sure to collect the Obamaxare Tax, though.
2012-11-05 01:01:29 PM
1 votes:
Gosh, wouldn't want them to have to do anything useful.
 
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