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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 08:42:51 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Biological Ali: The real solution, of course, is to give "those folks" absolutely nothing, and to eventually use the force of government, either legislative or judicial (as with Loving v. Virginia) to bury their idiocy once and for all.

I'd agree, but when you use force on stupid people, they tend to just become violent stupid people. I prefer to just remind them that culture is already shifting. In a few generations at most they'll be a fringe minority and there's not a thing they can do about it.


There weren't any riots after Loving, and there won't be any after the Supreme Court invalidates laws against gay marriage either.
 
2012-11-15 08:43:11 PM  

ProfessorOhki: To satisfy the operational test, an organization must be operated exclusively for one or more of the following purposes:
*religious
*charitable
*scientific
*testing for public safety
*literary
*educational
*fostering national or international sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment)
*prevention of cruelty to children or animals


Interesting. I guess part of the question might revolve around how they define "religious." Can an atheist group possibly be eligible for it? What about a satanic group? What hoops do they have to jump through to qualify?

But no, I'm not really okay with that if it only applies to "religious" groups with a narrow definition. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.
 
2012-11-15 08:45:11 PM  

ProfessorOhki: They are exempt because they're religious; not because they're charitable. If it was on their charity alone, there would be no need all the extra religion-specific language.


Yeah. Not only that, but churches get automatic exemptions merely on the basis of being churches - secular organizations have to actively apply for them.
 
2012-11-15 08:52:45 PM  

DjangoStonereaver: While I am in support of the tax-exemption for religious organizations (despite the abuse that it could
lead to), I vainly hope that this goes somewhere and that these asshat preachers who abused it lose
that status.

They won't, I'm sure, but I can pray for it, can't I?


What about politicians that abuse it? You can start with Hillary's southern drawl speech when she was running for president.

I'm more for auditing the shiat out of Mega churches and revoking tax exempt status if they don't use most of their profits to helping the people instead of being like creflo dollar and building a 40 room mansion with a fleet of luxury cars and a helipad.....
 
2012-11-15 08:53:56 PM  
Tax the Churches.

Tax the Businesses owned by the Churches.

wiki.killuglyradio.com

Remember folks. There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.
 
2012-11-15 08:54:27 PM  

bittermang: 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.


The entire history of the "exemption" is that Lyndon Johnson got in an argument with a preacher while he was running for Senate, so he introduced a bill adding the "electioneering" clause for non-profit status - applicable only to advocating for a particular candidate. You're making an assumption that if the statute is ruled unconstitutional that non-profits will automatically be taxed. That's not necessarily true. Electioneering was allowed for years before Johnson's butthurt made it illegal. And if it is challenged directly and makes it up to the SC, there's a very good chance it won't stand up.
 
2012-11-15 08:57:45 PM  
 
2012-11-15 09:01:19 PM  
The IRS have always been pussies. Picking on the weak. They dont want to fight against the well backed and supported churches. They will run away from this fight any way they can.
 
2012-11-15 09:03:13 PM  

bugontherug: Tax exempt status is available to all non-profits, religious and secular, as it should be.


That's a conclusory statement, not an argument.

An organization that actually contributes a tangible, unconditional social benefit should have the opportunity to make the case their public benefit offsets their tax liability. Fine.

Religion, however, is a private social club. If they wish to engage in charitable giving pursuant to their religious tenants, nobody's stopping them. But if they want tax benefits, they should be required to make the same case that non-religious organizations do. No discriminating, no special rights, level playing field.

The real issue here is the IRS's discriminatory enforcement.

I comprehend the legal issue. I've lodged complaints with the IRS over this issue. Really. There are, however, more and deeper issues here than the ones that get heard in courtrooms.
 
2012-11-15 09:10:25 PM  

rev. dave: One could argue, and I will, that some issues should belong to politicians and others to religious leaders. Marriage seems religious, taxes seem political.


If marriage was religious, it wouldn't require a license from the state to enter, and wouldn't require a court order to exit.

Churches don't get to decide who's qualified to enter a civil marriage, governments don't get to decide who's qualified for religious sacraments.

Step off, "reverend."
 
2012-11-15 09:13:18 PM  

This text is now purple: LasersHurt: Freedom of speech is a function of human rights. The individuals who make up the church are free to speak as they wish.

The church, itself, is a non-human entity and should be appropriately dealt with under the law.

Corporations are treated as a single entity made up of their constituent parts -- people.


This is also wrong and stupid, at least insofar as "free speech" is concerned.

People get free speech. End of story. The idea that you absolutely HAVE to include this for them to have enough "personhood" to do business is retarded. We know what has to be done for businesses to work - let them have those rights. But moneyspeech is not one of them.
 
2012-11-15 09:28:52 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.


Not if you're just in the country illegally. Then you're just fine.
 
2012-11-15 09:39:13 PM  

Cyberluddite: The more basic issue than this for me is that I don't see how the IRS making churches exempt from taxation--or allowing individual taxpayers to take tax deductions for donations to churchs to support religious activities (such as Mitt Romney's millions of dollars each year in tithing that he's required to contributions to the Mormon Church to remain in good standing)--can be deemed to be allowable under the Establshment Clause of the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court keeps chipping away at Establishment Clause cases and allowing more and more religious intrusion into government activities (and vice-versa), but the basic premise at work here was set out 65 years ago in the Supreme Court's Everson v. Board of Education case as follows:

The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

Doesn't allowing Pat Robertson's TV network to be exempt from taxes--when every non-religious TV network pays taxes--amount to the government giving support to religous activities? If the income Billy Graham's o ...


Your careful reading and thought (and accurate understanding of Federalist Paper No. 10 on the founding fathers' intended ban on religious and social factions) have no place in this country.
 
2012-11-15 09:45:18 PM  
There appears to be a profound misunderstanding about what the First Amendment says.

It says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The power to tax is the power to destroy, which interferes with the free exercise and the power to regulate what is said from the Pulpit also interferes with the freedom of speech.
 
2012-11-15 09:54:07 PM  
Any actual charitable causes, and the fees associated withstanding, if you make a profit you should pay taxes. Exercise your 1st amendment right to spew bullshiat all you want like the rest of the country.

Simple as that.
 
2012-11-15 10:12:33 PM  

tekmo: rev. dave: One could argue, and I will, that some issues should belong to politicians and others to religious leaders. Marriage seems religious, taxes seem political.

If marriage was religious, it wouldn't require a license from the state to enter, and wouldn't require a court order to exit.

Churches don't get to decide who's qualified to enter a civil marriage, governments don't get to decide who's qualified for religious sacraments.

Step off, "reverend."


Also, marriage existed before Christianity, and exists among non-Christian faiths.

Christians didn't invent marriage, they don't get to dictate the rules regarding it to non-Christians. 

A real-life example. My wife is a Wiccan priestess, she has an ordination through the ULC, so she can legally perform weddings. A gay couple we know were looking to get married. This state does not have marriage equality, so they weren't allowed to have it be a legally binding ceremony.

Why should a Christian minister (or lobbyist) be able to interfere in the a rite performed by a Wiccan between an Atheist and a Buddhist?
 
2012-11-15 10:24:41 PM  
Black churches have been used as political platforms and tools for years and years and now suddenly people have a problem with electioneering by religious groups.

Careful FFR, your liberal is showing. Do not become yet another one sided partisan tool like NOW and NAACP.
 
2012-11-15 10:42:32 PM  
So does this mean that the "reverends" like Jackson and Sharpton will finally have to shut the fark up? Or does this apply only to religious figures who generally oppose liberalism as incompatible with church doctrine?
 
2012-11-15 10:52:46 PM  

randomjsa: Black churches have been used as political platforms and tools for years and years and now suddenly people have a problem with electioneering by religious groups.

Careful FFR, your liberal is showing. Do not become yet another one sided partisan tool like NOW and NAACP.


It's not going to work.

FFRF is for promoting free thought and the First Amendment. It's historically all they've ever done. They don't pick and choose targets based on political leanings. It's just that your party really sucks at keeping church and state separate.
 
2012-11-15 10:56:56 PM  

halfof33: There appears to be a profound misunderstanding about what the First Amendment says.

It says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The power to tax is the power to destroy, which interferes with the free exercise and the power to regulate what is said from the Pulpit also interferes with the freedom of speech.


So, if any tax is levied on anybody, their right to free speech is being abridged? I mean, the last time I checked, I'm free to say or print or paint or sing whatever I want. But I still have to pay my taxes. Are you saying I have no freedom of speech because I have to pay taxes?
Now, if the government offered me a special deal, like churches get, where I didn't have to pay taxes if I agreed to restrict my speech in certain ways, I would either reject the deal, or, if I accepted it, I'd honor it.
 
2012-11-15 10:57:50 PM  

Lenny_da_Hog: It's just that your party really sucks at keeping church and state separate.


Actually, it's your party. There wasn't a restriction on electioneering until Lyndon Johnson got in a fight with a minister during a campaign.
 
2012-11-15 11:00:51 PM  

SpacemanSpoof: So does this mean that the "reverends" like Jackson and Sharpton will finally have to shut the fark up? Or does this apply only to religious figures who generally oppose liberalism as incompatible with church doctrine?


It doesn't apply to anybody when they are speaking in their capacity as a private citizen.
 
2012-11-15 11:04:49 PM  
images.sodahead.com
 
2012-11-15 11:05:21 PM  

Lsherm: Lenny_da_Hog: It's just that your party really sucks at keeping church and state separate.

Actually, it's your party. There wasn't a restriction on electioneering until Lyndon Johnson got in a fight with a minister during a campaign.


You mentioned that upthread, and it caught my interest - I never heard that story about Johnson. Do you have any good links on it?
 
2012-11-15 11:15:36 PM  
Black Churches will mysteriously not be included in a successful lawsuit.

/Welcome to Sarajevo
 
2012-11-15 11:26:33 PM  

jso2897: Lsherm: Lenny_da_Hog: It's just that your party really sucks at keeping church and state separate.

Actually, it's your party. There wasn't a restriction on electioneering until Lyndon Johnson got in a fight with a minister during a campaign.

You mentioned that upthread, and it caught my interest - I never heard that story about Johnson. Do you have any good links on it?


Well, it's a hot button issue so Google turns up a lot of sources that lean one way or the other, but here are two that outline the history of the exemption, one from a religious advocacy website and one from a "keep church and state separate" website:

http://www.lc.org/resources/pastors_churches_politics.htm
http://www.au.org/church-state/julyaugust-2012-church-state/featured /t ax-exempt-electionering

Both note that Johnson was acting against a non-profit founded by two Texas billionaires, which is correct, but they leave out his fight with whatever Texas minister was campaigning against him (at the prodding of the two Texas billionaires).

The fight he had with the minister was in a biography I read, so I'm searching for a link to outline that fight. But if you Google "Johnson Amendment" and "tax exempt" you'll get the history of the exemption. Prior to Johnson's amendment, electioneering was perfectly legal for non-profits. He specifically wrote the provision to disallow mentioning candidates.
 
2012-11-15 11:39:16 PM  

jso2897: Lsherm: Lenny_da_Hog: It's just that your party really sucks at keeping church and state separate.

Actually, it's your party. There wasn't a restriction on electioneering until Lyndon Johnson got in a fight with a minister during a campaign.

You mentioned that upthread, and it caught my interest - I never heard that story about Johnson. Do you have any good links on it?


This may well be a definitive history of the amendment, if you feel like reading through it:

http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/content/docs/issues/church/J oh nson-Amendment-History.pdf

The author's argument is that the amendment wasn't intended to affect religious organizations, so understand that before reading it.
 
2012-11-15 11:44:41 PM  

bugontherug: ProfessorOhki: To satisfy the operational test, an organization must be operated exclusively for one or more of the following purposes:
*religious
*charitable
*scientific
*testing for public safety
*literary
*educational
*fostering national or international sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment)
*prevention of cruelty to children or animals

Interesting. I guess part of the question might revolve around how they define "religious." Can an atheist group possibly be eligible for it? What about a satanic group? What hoops do they have to jump through to qualify?

But no, I'm not really okay with that if it only applies to "religious" groups with a narrow definition. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.


Looked this up for another thread once. Link That ruling mentioned at the end is sort of interesting too.
 
2012-11-15 11:46:10 PM  

jso2897: halfof33: There appears to be a profound misunderstanding about what the First Amendment says.

It says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The power to tax is the power to destroy, which interferes with the free exercise and the power to regulate what is said from the Pulpit also interferes with the freedom of speech.

So, if any tax is levied on anybody, their right to free speech is being abridged? I mean, the last time I checked, I'm free to say or print or paint or sing whatever I want. But I still have to pay my taxes. Are you saying I have no freedom of speech because I have to pay taxes?
Now, if the government offered me a special deal, like churches get, where I didn't have to pay taxes if I agreed to restrict my speech in certain ways, I would either reject the deal, or, if I accepted it, I'd honor it.


Face palm. You are conflating two points. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I have explained that if you exercise the freedom of speech from the pulpit, you may be subject to a punitive action, I.e taxation. That is a concern.
 
2012-11-16 12:13:18 AM  
If they find that religious groups can endorse political causes, will donations to political actions committees become tax deductible?
 
2012-11-16 12:15:45 AM  

beta_plus: Black Churches will mysteriously not be included in a successful lawsuit.

/Welcome to Sarajevo


As far as I know, there are no black churches in the IRS. It's a tax agency, and contains no churches. You do understand who is getting sued here, don't you? I thought you were supposed to be smarter than all us inferiors.
 
2012-11-16 12:21:01 AM  

halfof33: jso2897: halfof33: There appears to be a profound misunderstanding about what the First Amendment says.

It says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The power to tax is the power to destroy, which interferes with the free exercise and the power to regulate what is said from the Pulpit also interferes with the freedom of speech.

So, if any tax is levied on anybody, their right to free speech is being abridged? I mean, the last time I checked, I'm free to say or print or paint or sing whatever I want. But I still have to pay my taxes. Are you saying I have no freedom of speech because I have to pay taxes?
Now, if the government offered me a special deal, like churches get, where I didn't have to pay taxes if I agreed to restrict my speech in certain ways, I would either reject the deal, or, if I accepted it, I'd honor it.

Face palm. You are conflating two points. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I have explained that if you exercise the freedom of speech from the pulpit, you may be subject to a punitive action, I.e taxation. That is a concern.


If it's such a concern, maybe they shouldn't take the deal. They are being granted a special privilege - one that comes with a reasonable restriction. If they don't like it, they are free to pay their taxes like the rest of us, and endorse whatever politicians they choose. I don't see anything to be concerned about.
And you don't need to use snark phrases like "facepalm" - I am already aware that you dismiss those who disagree with you as stupid, I take that as a given, and expect it.
 
2012-11-16 12:26:55 AM  

michihunt: So...religious organizations aren't allowed to voice their opinion? Freedom of speech is being attacked. Sorry if you don't like it. It's ok for everyone to have an opinion except churches. But the LGBT can endorse Obama. Doesn't seem very democratic to me.


I know this is Fark, but you can't possibly be that stupid.
 
2012-11-16 12:29:21 AM  
Subby has just displayed the pitiful absurdity of Public Education by using the HERO tag.

Does Subby not know that without Revolution preached from the pulpit for a decade+, Subby would not have an America, nor the 1st Amendment which allows Subby to post eye popping Bogosible bullshiate?

Take the tag back, Subs.

Go read some history above the coloring book 5th Grade level.

(Jesus Christ, and people like this are allowed to vote and breed) (head smack)
 
2012-11-16 12:38:55 AM  

Loris: If they find that religious groups can endorse political causes, will donations to political actions committees become tax deductible?


Are they non-profit? Then yes. Pre-1954 it was perfectly legal.
 
2012-11-16 12:43:23 AM  
Hope you're ready to shut down every black church ever.
Not trolling, so spare the 1/10 nonsense from commentators with nothing to say.
 
2012-11-16 12:49:54 AM  

halfof33: Face palm. You are conflating two points. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I have explained that if you exercise the freedom of speech from the pulpit, you may be subject to a punitive action, I.e taxation. That is a concern.


Not being tax exempt isn't a punishment.
 
2012-11-16 12:52:39 AM  

Nerdhurter: Hope you're ready to shut down every black church ever.
Not trolling, so spare the 1/10 nonsense from commentators with nothing to say.


Fun fact: 99% of posters who use the phrase "Not trolling" in their posts are, in fact, trolling.
 
2012-11-16 01:11:38 AM  

Biological Ali: Nerdhurter: Hope you're ready to shut down every black church ever.
Not trolling, so spare the 1/10 nonsense from commentators with nothing to say.

Fun fact: 99% of posters who use the phrase "Not trolling" in their posts are, in fact, trolling.


Fun Fact: 99% of posters that claim troll have nothing to say and just want to seem officious.
/ 99% little peen also*
 
2012-11-16 01:26:13 AM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: You remove the tax exempt status of even one church,


Scientology.
 
2012-11-16 01:39:31 AM  

Nerdhurter: Biological Ali: Nerdhurter: Hope you're ready to shut down every black church ever.
Not trolling, so spare the 1/10 nonsense from commentators with nothing to say.

Fun fact: 99% of posters who use the phrase "Not trolling" in their posts are, in fact, trolling.

Fun Fact: 99% of posters that claim troll have nothing to say and just want to seem officious.
/ 99% little peen also*


You're not even trying. How do you expect to get any bites with that dismal effort?
 
2012-11-16 01:45:16 AM  
Oh the games we play.
So you're the actual troll, casting aspersions on posters you disagree with, a little psychological warfare I suppose? Shiats getting meta now.
 
2012-11-16 01:54:04 AM  

TheMysticS: Raharu: Tax.

All.

Religions.

Equally.

New.

Revenue.

Stream.


!.


Damn straight. Tax them all.
 
2012-11-16 01:57:57 AM  
Come on buddy here's where you tell me how much I hate brown people.
 
2012-11-16 02:00:12 AM  

yousaywut: I think I'll go with just leave it alone. You don't religions cool don't like em. You think it's a good idea to rile up a bunch of religious folk well then we have an issue. Just check your history books it is always a bad idea to piss of the religious folk. always. Even when they have no logical reason the religious people can be extremely dangerous (inquisition I'm looking at you here). I think it's best to not give them an actual target.

/let sleeping dogs lie and all that.


That's how you end up in a theocracy.
 
2012-11-16 02:08:00 AM  

Snapper Carr: yousaywut: I think I'll go with just leave it alone. You don't religions cool don't like em. You think it's a good idea to rile up a bunch of religious folk well then we have an issue. Just check your history books it is always a bad idea to piss of the religious folk. always. Even when they have no logical reason the religious people can be extremely dangerous (inquisition I'm looking at you here). I think it's best to not give them an actual target.

/let sleeping dogs lie and all that.

That's how you end up in a theocracy.


Confused you end up with a theology by pissing off the churches or by leaving them alone?
 
2012-11-16 02:08:57 AM  

GAT_00: Sad that a lawsuit is necessary, but it's clear that religious groups are flagrantly violating the law. Remove the tax exemption.


If that's the case, I want the NFL to lose it too, and make politicians pay for stamps like the rest of us.
 
2012-11-16 02:15:23 AM  
 
2012-11-16 02:18:52 AM  
Oh, all you revolutionaries out there, the United States has a lesser number of believers than we've ever had. Probably just a coincidence that we're in dire straits economically, our children are dumber than they've ever been. Just noticing though, that we landed on the farking moon with a vast majority of our population identifying as Christians, not saying thats why we accomplished what we did but it obviously wasn't holding us back. But hey, fark it piss all over everything that came before us, Looking at our culture now compared to 50 years ago its pretty obvious we're headed towards idiocracy. At least no one will be offended when we name Lil Wayne a cultural ambassador
 
2012-11-16 03:18:19 AM  

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


no, the lawsuit will be tossed. you can't just sue the farking government everytime it fails to do its job.
holy shiat, can you fathom the can of worms that would be opened if that was actionable?
 
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