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(Some Guy)   IRS sued over lack of enforcement of prohibition on electioneering by religious non-profits   (thedailypage.com) divider line 384
    More: Hero, Freedom From Religion Foundation, IRS, establishment clause, sanctity of life, freedoms, tax code, Constitution of the United States, churches  
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17398 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Nov 2012 at 3:38 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-15 02:23:35 PM  

Vodka Zombie: It's pretty astounding and sick that we have to sue these morons to get them to do their jobs.


I'm guessing it's not about incompetence but rather a fear of backlash. The IRS is already hated and then to be blamed as attacking religion (which they certainly aren't)... I'm guessing they think it's not worth the headache.
 
2012-11-15 02:32:58 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: kronicfeld: I don't know that I want to see a precedent set whereby one can sue the government for its exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

It's blatantly and publically breaking the law. If any of us were to do the same we'd be toast.


But you do not sue the local police to report a crime.
 
2012-11-15 03:23:18 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: Ginsburg is ancient, but should feel free to step down comfortably anytime in the next 4 years, and will probably do so in the next 2. I'm guessing Kennedy steps down if the Senate gets a little more conservative in 2 years. That would suit his never ending desire to be in the middle. Scalia will hold out 4 years or die trying. In fact, regardless of who is president, I have a feeling Scalia is going to die on the bench. I'm guessing Breyer will step down if he sees any swing in the electorate toward the right to avoid having to do so in an election year or under a GOP president.

/My $0.02


That sounds about right to me. Other than the Scalia. I know he really likes being a judge but he is mindful of his PR. He doesn't want to go out looking like he was holding on just to hold on.
 
2012-11-15 03:26:30 PM  
They should be given the option of either paying taxes or being burnt alive in the public square.
 
2012-11-15 03:27:46 PM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: namatad: Weaver95: if church pastors violated the law...then there SHOULD be an investigation and face sanctions for their actions.

look, there's a process here. if the law wasn't broken, then the pastors will have a chance to prove that fact. but you can't just ignore the rules. either the IRS rules apply to everyone or they apply to none of us.

this this more THIS and only farking THIS

Doesn't matter. Even if a church ran the most transparently political campaign in history, the IRS wouldn't go near it with a ten-foot pole. You want to see the "war on religion" rhetoric amp up to eleven? You remove the tax exempt status of even one church, and you will see old people of all races rioting as fast as their Rascal scooters will let them. It would make the Tea Party seem like a fond memory with how much derp it would create.


Good.

As we have seen derp loses elections.
 
2012-11-15 03:40:24 PM  
elitemrp.net

Oblig
 
2012-11-15 03:41:29 PM  
 
2012-11-15 03:42:18 PM  
Reminds me of A Man In Full
 
2012-11-15 03:43:28 PM  
religion takes in billions of dollars and they pay no taxes....now you talk about a good bullshiat story! HOLY shiat!

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-15 03:44:50 PM  
My recollection is that the US Supreme Court invalidated the IRS's audit procedures and these audits have been held in abeyance pending the establishment of new rules.

As such, this lawsuit is a smoking failure right out of the box.
 
2012-11-15 03:44:58 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me


Already got a guilty conscience. Might as well have the money too.


Good day to you now.
 
2012-11-15 03:45:31 PM  

Cythraul: I probably have a better chance at winning the lottery than a religious institution losing its tax-exempt status.


What makes you think this case would be precedent-setting in that regard?
 
2012-11-15 03:46:21 PM  
My church consists of Religious Humanists----we don't do God, Jesus, BELIEFS or The Bible. Its called uua.org. Yes, we do social justice but not election-lobbying. We love Teh Gheys
 
2012-11-15 03:46:32 PM  
How dare they not enforce something that's all but unenforceable. Those bastards.
 
2012-11-15 03:46:58 PM  

halfof33: My recollection is that the US Supreme Court invalidated the IRS's audit procedures and these audits have been held in abeyance pending the establishment of new rules.


[citation needed]

They ruled recently that the limit for auditing is three years. Maybe that's what you're thinking of.
 
2012-11-15 03:48:12 PM  
Good
Take the IRS's toys away, and lock them up.
And tax the churches until we all get a check from those skywizard worshipping dickwads.
You want to believe in invisible people and vote? PAY ME, assholes.
We dont' let retards vote. We don't let crazies vote.
What part about you must be of sound mind to vote do you not understand?
Tax the fark out of them and go retrofarkingactive.
Pave our highways with the gold of the stupid and nutless.
 
2012-11-15 03:48:16 PM  
One of the reasons we have so many storefront churches is because snake oil salesmen want to fleece the public and not pay taxes on the money they take. They went from selling bad patent medicines to telling Bible stories and other fairy tales to the gullible while passing a basket around.

If they did enforce the tax laws, a lot of these ramshackle institutions would wink out like candles on a child's birthday cake.
 
2012-11-15 03:48:20 PM  
End tax exempt status for all religious organizations.

If your organization wants to endorse a political candidate, you should have to comply with campaign finance laws.

sammyk: CapeFearCadaver: kronicfeld: I don't know that I want to see a precedent set whereby one can sue the government for its exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

It's blatantly and publically breaking the law. If any of us were to do the same we'd be toast.

But you do not sue the local police to report a crime.


You DO sue the police when a crime is reported and they tell you to fark off, we don't care that a crime was committed.
 
2012-11-15 03:50:04 PM  

usernameguy: Unfortunately I think what will happen is that the electioneering statute will be ruled unconstitutional.


That's still better than only churches being exempt.
 
2012-11-15 03:50:19 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: It's estimated that one to three justices will retire, so you're right on that front. No hard evidence as of yet, but it's assumed that he's going to get a couple more picks. However there is evidence that he would pick liberal justices, considering he's had two picks already and they were more like Ginsburg than Scalia.

Scalia is going to wait to see how 2014 turns out but either way he's out after that.

Just my guess only


If Scalia retires, I expect Thomas to retire immediately afterward due to no longer knowing how to rule.
 
2012-11-15 03:53:36 PM  
A) Does this group even have standing to sue?
B) If they do have standing, can't the IRS just argue discretion?
 
2012-11-15 03:53:46 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: citation needed]

They ruled recently that the limit for auditing is three years. Maybe that's what you're thinking of.


My recollection was faulty. It was not the Supremes it was a Federal District Court who ruled that the IRS was not complying with the Church Audit Procedures Act
 
2012-11-15 03:54:09 PM  
Should be fun when churches can no longer host presidents to speak during services or bus their members to the polls.
 
2012-11-15 03:54:14 PM  
It is long past time to do away with any freedom of speech restrictions on churches. Our ministers need to stand up and call out the liberal freeloaders at every opportunity. If the IRS wants to take away a few tax breaks then so be it - we will make them pay for it every Wednesday night and every Sunday morning. We must call them out by name, we must get organized, we must make our voices heard!
 
2012-11-15 03:54:28 PM  
meh. the Constitution does not provide for freedom from religion or freedom from being offended.

how about they sue the IRS for not getting Buffet to have his companies pay the 10 years of back taxes. That would have a bigger impact on the budget.
 
2012-11-15 03:54:32 PM  
About Goddamn time
 
2012-11-15 03:55:02 PM  

cman: How does one have standing for such a suit?




Whether the court will find that the plaintiff has standing or not, I would not care to predict - but it's not without precedent.
 
2012-11-15 03:55:08 PM  

usernameguy: Unfortunately I think what will happen is that the electioneering statute will be ruled unconstitutional.


This seems like a possible outcome. We have separation of the church and state, not separation of the church and politics. The entire purpose of the First Amendment is to safeguard political speech of all types from government interference; I don't see how a ruling could come down that says "This one specific type of organization can't involve itself in politics".
 
2012-11-15 03:55:14 PM  

halfof33: My recollection is that the US Supreme Court invalidated the IRS's audit procedures


sovereign citizen!!
i159.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-15 03:55:15 PM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: usernameguy: Unfortunately I think what will happen is that the electioneering statute will be ruled unconstitutional.

Would depend on how long it takes to work it's way through the courts, if it has standing. Obama is going to flip the Supreme Court sometime in a few years.


I hope this works its way through before he has a chance to shove it right.
 
2012-11-15 03:55:44 PM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Doesn't matter. Even if a church ran the most transparently political campaign in history, the IRS wouldn't go near it with a ten-foot pole. You want to see the "war on religion" rhetoric amp up to eleven? You remove the tax exempt status of even one church, and you will see old people of all races rioting as fast as their Rascal scooters will let them. It would make the Tea Party seem like a fond memory with how much derp it would create.


That's why the IRS is perfect. Everyone already hates and fears them. They're not the agency America wants, but they just might be the agency America deserves.
 
2012-11-15 03:55:50 PM  
On the flip side, the FFRF could have just played into the Religious Right's hands, as there were hoping that someone would either sue or try to collect so a pastor could sue, in an attempt to overturn that portion of the law.
 
2012-11-15 03:55:59 PM  
Good news in deed.
 
2012-11-15 03:56:15 PM  
While there are violations of this law all the time enforcing it opens a can of worms. If one rogue pastor in a local Episcopal church breaks this rule who is responsible for the fine? The pastor violated the edicts of his parent organization so it would be unfair to hold them responsible. You also can't fine the local church because the statement was the opinion of the pastor and not necessarily the church. What do you end up with a fifty dollar fine on the rogue pastor?
 
2012-11-15 03:56:17 PM  

Slaxl: What's the function of exempting religion from taxes?


I could be wildly wrong, but I always viewed it as the original tax break. As in "Listen, you agree to be cool and stay out of politics in this new country, and we'll be cool and not pass laws against you or tax you to operate here. Everybody just be cool."

But they're not being cool, anymore.

usernameguy: Unfortunately I think what will happen is that the electioneering statute will be ruled unconstitutional.


And then we repeal their tax break, and they can start paying in to the system they want so desperately to stick their grubby arms into.
 
2012-11-15 03:56:26 PM  

k1j2b3: Should be fun when churches can no longer host presidents to speak during services or bus their members to the polls.


Those aren't illegal.
 
2012-11-15 03:56:45 PM  
Failing to enforce a law and violating the establishment clause are completely different things, but other than that overblown bit of rhetoric, I am behind this all the way. I'm not against churches endorsing candidates and taking other political stances, but if they do, they should file their taxes honestly.
 
2012-11-15 03:56:47 PM  

WhoopAssWayne: It is long past time to do away with any freedom of speech restrictions on churches. Our ministers need to stand up and call out the liberal freeloaders at every opportunity. If the IRS wants to take away a few tax breaks then so be it - we will make them pay for it every Wednesday night and every Sunday morning. We must call them out by name, we must get organized, we must make our voices heard!


501(c)3 was a lure to keep religion out of politics. Keep quiet and no fed taxes. Simple.

You want to participate? Then pay your taxes.

They can't have it both ways.

Mixing religion and government works out so well for the rest of the world.

/herp
 
2012-11-15 03:57:17 PM  

jso2897: cman: How does one have standing for such a suit?



Whether the court will find that the plaintiff has standing or not, I would not care to predict - but it's not without precedent.


Sorry - let me try that again:Link
 
2012-11-15 03:57:58 PM  

kronicfeld: I don't know that I want to see a precedent set whereby one can sue the government for its exercise of prosecutorial discretion.


Plenty of such precedents exist, where the exercised discretion ends up violating equal protection. For example, cops can't exercise their discretion and let all white folks go with a warning while ticketing all black folks.
Here, at least according to the complaint, the IRS is enforcing the prohibition against non-religious non-profits, but not enforcing it against religious non-profits, and that that's discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Frankly, I don't think it's going to be a successful suit, but at least it's a reasonable theory.
 
2012-11-15 03:58:03 PM  

Delawheredad: While there are violations of this law all the time enforcing it opens a can of worms. If one rogue pastor in a local Episcopal church breaks this rule who is responsible for the fine? The pastor violated the edicts of his parent organization so it would be unfair to hold them responsible. You also can't fine the local church because the statement was the opinion of the pastor and not necessarily the church. What do you end up with a fifty dollar fine on the rogue pastor?


See example of rogue priest buggering little boys and lookup who paid
 
2012-11-15 03:58:41 PM  

ShawnDoc: A) Does this group even have standing to sue?
B) If they do have standing, can't the IRS just argue discretion?


See above - they do, because they're arguing that the IRS is using its discretion unfairly to enforce the prohibition against them, but not other groups, merely because of their religious beliefs.
 
2012-11-15 03:58:45 PM  

Dimensio: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: It's estimated that one to three justices will retire, so you're right on that front. No hard evidence as of yet, but it's assumed that he's going to get a couple more picks. However there is evidence that he would pick liberal justices, considering he's had two picks already and they were more like Ginsburg than Scalia.

Scalia is going to wait to see how 2014 turns out but either way he's out after that.

Just my guess only

If Scalia retires, I expect Thomas to retire immediately afterward due to no longer knowing how to rule.


Not with a Democrat in the White House. Scalia will hold on to that seat with both hands for as long as he can; when my tinfoil hat is on too tight I imagine he's planning on artificial means to extend his life (respirator, feeding tube), thereby preventing the President from naming a replacement unless the House impeaches and the Senate votes to remove from office.
 
2012-11-15 03:58:54 PM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: namatad: Weaver95: if church pastors violated the law...then there SHOULD be an investigation and face sanctions for their actions.

look, there's a process here. if the law wasn't broken, then the pastors will have a chance to prove that fact. but you can't just ignore the rules. either the IRS rules apply to everyone or they apply to none of us.

this this more THIS and only farking THIS

Doesn't matter. Even if a church ran the most transparently political campaign in history, the IRS wouldn't go near it with a ten-foot pole. You want to see the "war on religion" rhetoric amp up to eleven? You remove the tax exempt status of even one church, and you will see old people of all races rioting as fast as their Rascal scooters will let them. It would make the Tea Party seem like a fond memory with how much derp it would create.


Ya. Obama's going to ask them to squash this one quietly. A church is going to need to publicly endorse a candidate by name for anything to happen.
 
2012-11-15 03:58:59 PM  
Good. I have no problem allowing tax-exempt status for churches that actually do charitable work but they must be held to the same standards as any other non-profit. Violate that, lose your status.
 
2012-11-15 03:59:12 PM  

Delawheredad: While there are violations of this law all the time enforcing it opens a can of worms. If one rogue pastor in a local Episcopal church breaks this rule who is responsible for the fine? The pastor violated the edicts of his parent organization so it would be unfair to hold them responsible. You also can't fine the local church because the statement was the opinion of the pastor and not necessarily the church. What do you end up with a fifty dollar fine on the rogue pastor?


If their tax-free status is revoked, there is no fine or punishment - they just have to pay their taxes.
 
2012-11-15 03:59:41 PM  

Weaver95: EatHam: Weaver95: anyone who gets up there and starts endorsing candidates loses their exemption. anyone who avoids politics and/or keeps it vague (i.e. not endorsing a candidate) gets to keep their exemption.

I could very well be mistaken (and I'm sure that there will be plenty of people very happy to tell me if I am), but isn't it supposed to be that way for all non profits, not just religious ones?

well yeah. problem is that we don't follow our rules that are already on the books. I just don't see the point of writing NEW rules when the ones we've got address the issue quite well. so the problem isn't with the rules...its with the IRS. why has the IRS not done it's job? is it politics? a structural issue? slow response? that's where I'd focus my attentions.


The IRS has been gutted by years of anti-tax politicians and their appointees. The less functional the IRS is, the more proof they have that it's non-functional and unfair and the more excuse they have to gut it further.
 
2012-11-15 04:00:45 PM  
Isn't the Freedom From Religion Foundation also a tax exempt organization?
What are they doing getting involved in political matter like this?
 
2012-11-15 04:01:14 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: It's estimated that one to three justices will retire, so you're right on that front. No hard evidence as of yet, but it's assumed that he's going to get a couple more picks. However there is evidence that he would pick liberal justices, considering he's had two picks already and they were more like Ginsburg than Scalia.

Scalia is going to wait to see how 2014 turns out but either way he's out after that.

Just my guess only

Here are SCOTUS's ages:

Link

Ginsburg is ancient, but should feel free to step down comfortably anytime in the next 4 years, and will probably do so in the next 2. I'm guessing Kennedy steps down if the Senate gets a little more conservative in 2 years. That would suit his never ending desire to be in the middle. Scalia will hold out 4 years or die trying. In fact, regardless of who is president, I have a feeling Scalia is going to die on the bench. I'm guessing Breyer will step down if he sees any swing in the electorate toward the right to avoid having to do so in an election year or under a GOP president.

/My $0.02


It's like watching dinosaurs riding Jesus while they go extinct.
It's too bad it has to be watched in slow motion, but that is the way life, and history are.
Once I've settled in for my dirt nap, I'm sure we'll all have high speed data exchanges for pennies.
God spwerers will be told publicly by politicians to STFU with their bullshait nonsence, cancer and aids will be cured, and unicorns will shait rainbow puppies that fart rose scented flatti upon my grave.

Until then, we have got to get tought with these farking assholes.
they want to take away your rights, and liberties because Jebus.
Next week, you will have people doing the same because Allah or Moohummed ( yeah, THAT asshole)

Pick your battles, this one makes sense.
 
2012-11-15 04:01:22 PM  

ShawnDoc: A) Does this group even have standing to sue?


The FFRF is also a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that must abide by rules against electioneering.

I think that gives them standing. Since the federal government is essentially treating them unequally, saying that tax-exempt nonprofits can't be involved in political campaigns, except for churches, since we're not going to enforce our rules when it comes to churches.
 
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