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IRS probes Kan. church's political activity (It opposes abortion)
First Amendment Center ^ | 8/18/07 | AP

Posted on 08/18/2007 10:54:00 AM PDT by wagglebee

WICHITA, Kan. — The pastor of a conservative Christian church being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service said the threat of losing its tax-exempt status will not stop the church from fighting abortion.

“We will continue regardless of what the IRS does,” said Rev. Mark Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Center. “We will continue to obey the Lord.”

Holick told reporters Aug. 16 that the church, which has about 150 members, is being investigated for political involvement simply because it speaks against abortion. He called the investigation a violation of the church’s First Amendment rights.

Under federal tax law, churches can discuss politics but can lose their tax-exempt status if they endorse candidates or parties.

A letter from the IRS released by the church showed the agency was specifically concerned about signs in front of the church that criticized Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Paul Morrison during their 2006 campaigns. The letter also noted Holick’s involvement in distributing voter guides with candidate endorsements outside various churches.

Other items of concern included a message sent by Holick on the church e-mail account regarding last year’s attorney general’s race between Morrison and then-attorney General Phill Kline and an article posted on the church Web site opposing Hillary Clinton’s election as president. The IRS also extensively questioned visits made by Kline to the church.

Holick’s comments were made during a news conference in front of abortion provider George Tiller’s clinic, one of the nation’s few remaining late-term abortion providers. Holick blamed Tiller and his supporters for using the IRS to go after the church.

“They are using it as a bullying tactic to silence the church, to silence freedom of speech,” Holick said.

Tiller did not respond to a message left at his clinic. But Julie Burkhart, a lobbyist for ProKanDo, a political action committee Tiller formed, said her group did not file the IRS complaint against the church.

“We have other people in this community who are concerned about the church overstepping its tax-exempt bounds,” she said. “We cannot take credit for that.”

Doug Ittner, an abortion-rights supporter affiliated with an informal group calling itself the Maggot Punks, told the Associated Press that he filed two complaints as a private citizen with the IRS regarding the church’s signs during the elections.

“It is just one more tool,” Ittner said of the IRS. “Might as well get the government to do our work for us, and Spirit One helps by breaking the law.”

The IRS did not immediately return a call for comment.

The church, which was formed in 1991, has responded to a lengthy questionnaire from the agency and now is facing an audit, Holick said. The agency wants to examine financial and accounting records. A meeting is planned between church officials and IRS agents.

During the tumultuous race for attorney general, Kline formulated a “church effort” to take full advantage of his support among conservative Christians. In an internal memo to his staff, Kline discussed political receptions held after services, directing his staff to get friendly pastors to invite “money people.” Someone leaked the memo to reporters.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State said during the elections that Kline’s campaign was leading churches and pastors onto dangerous legal ground, possibly jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

Holick said Kline preached at the church in 2003 and 2004, but his sermons were not political.

Kline did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Holick hosted a fundraiser for Kline at his home in October, an e-mail released by the church showed. He also participated in an effort distributing voter guides outside churches that highlighted anti-abortion candidates.

“In essence because I got involved politically outside the church, they are now investigating my church,” Holick said. “What they are saying is that as a Christian you can’t get involved politically.”

Months before November’s midterm elections, the IRS warned that it would be scrutinizing churches to make sure they do not violate their tax-exempt status. Both liberal and conservative groups have responded by lodging numerous complaints against churches.

Last year, the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of the Wichita-based Operation Rescue West for prohibited political activity during the 2004 election. The group, now known as Operation Rescue, relinquished its charitable status and reorganized more than a year ago.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: abortion; christianity; irs; markholick; moralabsolutes; operationrescue; pastor; persecution; politicking; prolife; sebelius; spiritone; wichita
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Belief in the sanctity of ALL LIFE is a fundamental Judeo-Christian principle, not a political one.
1 posted on 08/18/2007 10:54:02 AM PDT by wagglebee
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To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; 8mmMauser

Pro-Life Ping


2 posted on 08/18/2007 10:54:47 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: 230FMJ; 49th; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; ..
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or little jeremiah to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


3 posted on 08/18/2007 10:55:30 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Tiller owns the RAT politicians in KS. This church won’t get any help from the governor or AG.


4 posted on 08/18/2007 10:55:35 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: wagglebee

Why don’t they go after the Phred Phelps Phreaks???


5 posted on 08/18/2007 10:56:28 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: wagglebee

The shape of things to come.


6 posted on 08/18/2007 11:00:48 AM PDT by YHAOS
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To: ozzymandus

I look forward to the IRS probing the mainline black churches across the country who support getting out the vote for Defeaocrats.

Not.


7 posted on 08/18/2007 11:01:53 AM PDT by kjo
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To: YHAOS

You are right. If this is happening under the Bush admin. imagine the harassment and investigations conservative churches will have to endure when the Dems take power again.


8 posted on 08/18/2007 11:02:22 AM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: wagglebee

Abolish the IRS Fair Tax ping.


9 posted on 08/18/2007 11:02:47 AM PDT by Marathoner
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To: wagglebee

There is a very simple solution here.

Churches must drop their 501c3 tax exempt status and come out from under the control of the government. When a church signs up for tax exempt status they agree to a certain set of rules some of which include limits on what they can and cannot say and do. Unfortunately most pastors today want the government ‘benefit’ without the strings that always accompany that largesse.

There is no reason why a local fellowship of Christian believers needs a tax exemption from the government. Pastor - No man can serve two masters - choose ye this day whom you will serve - renounce your 501c3 status and obey the Lord


10 posted on 08/18/2007 11:02:52 AM PDT by The Lumster (USA - where the innocent have nothing to fear!)
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To: wagglebee

If Churches only understood they are not required to get 501(c)(3) status to enjoy being a tex exempt entity they could avoid these hassles. The IRS code and booklets state this, but accountants and MBA’s convince churches otherwise because they like to have a piece of paper which clearly states their tax exempt status. But Churches are automatically tax-exempt under the law.


11 posted on 08/18/2007 11:05:06 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: ozzymandus
"This church won’t get any help from the governor or AG."

One of those two worthies surely dropped the dime on Holick. We have to think that Ittner is nothing more than a toady serving at the pleasure of Tiller, the AG, and the governor.

12 posted on 08/18/2007 11:05:34 AM PDT by YHAOS
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To: kjo

...or the Episco-baal-ians like V. Gene Robinson endorsing Obama and preaching about him in churches.


13 posted on 08/18/2007 11:06:01 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * U.Va. Engineering '09 * Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Democrat * Fred in 2008)
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To: ozzymandus
"This church won’t get any help from the governor or AG."

One of those two worthies surely dropped the dime on Holick. We have to think that Ittner is nothing more than a toady serving at the pleasure of Tiller, the AG, and the governor.

14 posted on 08/18/2007 11:07:22 AM PDT by YHAOS
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To: wagglebee

Get ready for more of this if the Hillary wins in 08’ and Pelosi and Reed control the congress.

I’m convinced they are going to want to dismantle as much of the Conservative base as they can while they run both ends of Penn Ave. They’ll use the IRS, FEC, FCC, etc., to get it done. They’ll go after talk radio too in full force. The trouble is the GOP and the so called Conservatives in Washington aren’t doing much to fight back.


15 posted on 08/18/2007 11:07:44 AM PDT by The South Texan (The Drive By Media is America's worst enemy and American people don't know it.)
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To: wagglebee

“Under federal tax law, churches can discuss politics but can lose their tax-exempt status if they endorse candidates or parties.

....The letter also noted Holick’s involvement in distributing voter guides with candidate endorsements outside various churches.”

Life is Life but the law is the law. You cannot endorse candidates and keep your tax exemption. Everyone in this fight on the side of life should already know this.


16 posted on 08/18/2007 11:10:10 AM PDT by Grunthor (When life gives you lemons, you throw them at the mean people and hope it gets them in the eyes.)
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To: SandRat

How about going after those that peach violence, deprivation of civil rights, condemn freedom of religion, believe in slavery and are committed to the overthrow of our government and our way of life?

If one person can get the IRS to jump on this small church’s back, when is someone going to file a complaint against ROP and CAIR, etc?

Get me the papers and I’ll file the complaint (I’m not a lawyer).


17 posted on 08/18/2007 11:10:12 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1 - Take no prisoners))
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To: The Lumster
Churches must drop their 501c3 tax exempt status and come out from under the control of the government.

Or the IRS should enforce the laws uniformly. All of these black churches which host Democrat party shindigs should also lose their tax exempt status.

18 posted on 08/18/2007 11:11:12 AM PDT by pnh102
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To: Marathoner

Exactly. The Fair Tax would eliminate such harassment of churches.


19 posted on 08/18/2007 11:19:41 AM PDT by Jacquerie (The New Republic - Every bit as reputable as CBS News.)
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To: wagglebee
Belief in the sanctity of ALL LIFE is a fundamental Judeo-Christian principle, not a political one.
Unfortunately, in real life it only takes one side to make an argument. Liberals politicize everything.

20 posted on 08/18/2007 11:24:23 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: SandRat

‘cuz phred and Algore are buds, most likely


21 posted on 08/18/2007 11:25:57 AM PDT by snuffy smiff (impeachment-it's not just for democraps anymore.)
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To: Jacquerie; Marathoner
Churches which agree not to preach politics - when in fact (as the abortion issue illustrates) "politics" can be anything - are to that extent, sadly, "established" churches.

Flat tax or Fair Tax, either one would dissolve the issue.

22 posted on 08/18/2007 11:29:32 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: wagglebee

The Liberal-Left-Wing-Socialistas would like to make being “Pro-Life” (or anti-abortion) and “Pro-Traditional-Family” (or anti-gay-agenda) and preaching such values into “hate crimes” / “hate speech”


23 posted on 08/18/2007 11:54:52 AM PDT by KriegerGeist (Lifetime member of the "Christian-Radical-Right-Wing-Kook-Factor")
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To: SandRat

I was wondering the same thing myself.


24 posted on 08/18/2007 12:15:39 PM PDT by lesser_satan (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: wagglebee; ancient_geezer; Taxman; pigdog; Principled; EternalVigilance; PhilWill; kevkrom; ...
The IRS has been for a long time an instrument for the federal government to punish and control instead of merely collecting taxes. It is time to abolish the IRS by passing The Fair Tax Act. More information can be found at . Americans For Fair Taxation Fair Tax ping!
25 posted on 08/18/2007 12:38:01 PM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: Man50D

An aspect of fundamental tax reform that just doesn’t get nearly enough discussion.

If you love freedom, you support the abolishment of the IRS and an end to the income tax.


26 posted on 08/18/2007 12:40:36 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (States' rights don't trump God-given, unalienable rights...support the Reagan pro-life platform)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Flat tax or Fair Tax, either one would dissolve the issue.

The Flat Tax would maintain the IRS. The Fair Tax will abolish the IRS.
27 posted on 08/18/2007 12:41:12 PM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: wagglebee

bump


28 posted on 08/18/2007 12:46:48 PM PDT by VOA
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To: wagglebee

The real question is not if the Lord approves of what you are doing, but whether or not the IRS does. Is your church approved by the IRS??? This is the new fundamental doctrine.


29 posted on 08/18/2007 1:02:46 PM PDT by Goreknowshowtocheat
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To: wagglebee

“conservative Christian church being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service”

I don’t remember the IRS ever — not even under Nixon — investigating anything liberal.


30 posted on 08/18/2007 1:03:23 PM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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To: vetsvette

Back in the 90s, they investigated plenty of liberals who crossed the Klintoons.


31 posted on 08/18/2007 1:06:01 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: kjo; All

Didn’t Hillary speak at a Black Church in the past few months? That’s where she exhibited the now famous Southern drawl, lol.

Also, everyone needs to read the following:

Talk about buying the Black vote...

http://www.corruptionchronicles.com/2007/02/hillary_buys_black_support_in.html


32 posted on 08/18/2007 1:09:58 PM PDT by khnyny (The best minds are not in government. If they were, business would hire them away. Ronald Reagan)
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To: wagglebee
Holick told reporters Aug. 16 that the church, which has about 150 members, is being investigated for political involvement simply because it speaks against abortion. He called the investigation a violation of the church’s First Amendment rights.

With Paul Morrison as the Atty General in Kansas, this does not surprise me. But Morrison will let Tiller the killer off with a small fine and try to use that as proof that he isn't in the pocket of the abortionists.

I sure am glad that some day God's perfect justice will be accomplished.

33 posted on 08/18/2007 1:19:58 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: wagglebee

Here’s a little article on the IRS:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/September_11_2006_Charities.shtml

Click to read more.

Muslim Charities: Quietly Funneling Money to Terrorist Organizations

In 2003, Judicial Watch sent a letter to Commissioner Rossoti of the Internal Revenue Service, calling for the dissolution of 17 Muslim Charities known to be providing funds to terrorist organizations. Today, several of those non-profits are still in operation, functioning just blocks from our nation’s capital. Judicial Watch is currently investigating those charities and will continue to fight to see them closed down.


34 posted on 08/18/2007 1:20:09 PM PDT by khnyny (The best minds are not in government. If they were, business would hire them away. Ronald Reagan)
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To: The Lumster

Uh, you DID read where the Pastor has clearly said they are going to keep fighting against abortion whether or not the government takes their tax free status away, right?


35 posted on 08/18/2007 1:21:45 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: wagglebee
Meanwhile liberal D-rats continue to use churches to speak out against “evil” republicans.

So the Catholic Church is in the same boat? All the churches that speak out for illegal immigrants are in the same boat?

I don’t think so.

36 posted on 08/18/2007 1:32:23 PM PDT by PeteB570 (Guns, what real men want for Christmas)
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To: Always Right

You are correct.

Still, the IR laws that establish 501(c)(3) orgs are a violation of the 1st Amendment. Congress is forbidden by the 1st Amendment from passing any law that restricts speech or the free exercise of religion. They should have been stricken many years ago.


37 posted on 08/18/2007 1:36:59 PM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: kjo

Agreed. This is institutionalized governmental racism, plain and simple.


38 posted on 08/18/2007 1:40:48 PM PDT by Bat_Chemist (Prov. 15:1)
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...

.


39 posted on 08/18/2007 5:27:03 PM PDT by Coleus (Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: Coleus; ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton; corbos; NYFreeper; Alexius; highimpact; nanetteclaret; guppas; ..
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic Ping List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

40 posted on 08/18/2007 5:35:28 PM PDT by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: savedbygrace
Still, the IR laws that establish 501(c)(3) orgs are a violation of the 1st Amendment. Congress is forbidden by the 1st Amendment from passing any law that restricts speech or the free exercise of religion. They should have been stricken many years ago.

Hopefully we have a court that will do that given a chance. I kind of doubt Kennedy would come around though, but he has come through (at least partially) on several key cases.

41 posted on 08/18/2007 8:45:40 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Man50D

Question: Would Fair Tax allow clergymen free speech in their own Churches again?


42 posted on 08/18/2007 10:24:50 PM PDT by Sun (Duncan Hunter: pro-life/borders, understands Red China threat! http://www.gohunter08.com/Home.aspx)
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To: wagglebee
Sadly some churches haven't seen nothing yet as to the scrutiny they will come under. Just wait till Uncle Fed starts calling in markers on all the Faith Based Program money out there. No preacher or Deacon should ever allow their church to take a penny of Cesar's money. That is a far bigger tool to use to control the pulpit but gets little mention.

A church may owe taxes and the Lord says to pay them. But the government must never own the church nor the church allow government to become it's master. The government has been trying for decades to take over the church much in the same fashion it took over the churches functions within the communities. Tax exempt status and Faith Based Programs are not any Churches friend. GOD doesn't need the governments money.

43 posted on 08/18/2007 10:59:14 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Proud Partisan Constitution Supporting Conservative to which I make no apologies for nor back down)
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To: wagglebee
Pinged from Terri Dailies

8mm


44 posted on 08/19/2007 3:46:45 AM PDT by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
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To: Man50D
The Flat Tax would maintain the IRS. The Fair Tax will abolish the IRS.
It would take a constitutional amendment to assure us of the abolition of the IRS. But either the Flat Tax or the Fair Tax would delegitimate IRS inquiry into churches' resistance to the politics of the deconstruction of American culture.

45 posted on 08/19/2007 4:37:44 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Sun
Would Fair Tax allow clergymen free speech in their own Churches again?

Keep in mind the tax exempt status will no longer be held over charities heads as a threat to free speech with The Fair Tax since all loopholes will be eliminated. This is due to taxes being collected on all new products at the point of sale without exception.

More importantly funding for the IRS will be eliminated after January 1, 2011, thereby abolishing the IRS.
46 posted on 08/19/2007 4:55:40 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: wagglebee

These rules do not apply to black Democrat churches when Democrat candidates visit.


47 posted on 08/19/2007 4:59:55 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
It would take a constitutional amendment to assure us of the abolition of the IRS.

That is incorrect. It would only take passing The Fair Tax Act. Funding for the IRS will be eliminated by January 1, 2011, thereby abolishing the IRS. Title III Section 301 states the following:

This section governs the administration of the repealed federal taxes, including for example administering the last year of the income tax(i.e., handling refunds, audits and collections) during the period after its repeal, destroying all records relating to the income tax by the end of fiscal year 2011(except that those records necessary for the determination of Social Security Administration), and states that appropriations for the Internal Revenue Service shall not be authorized after January 1, 2011.
48 posted on 08/19/2007 5:08:08 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: SandRat
I could be wrong, and someone could check,I guess, but I don’t think Westboro BC, Phelps' church, is a 501c3 organization anyway.

No law REQUIRES a church to apply for either incorporation or 501c3 status. There are many hundreds of churches around the country which have never incorporated or filed for 501c3.

49 posted on 08/19/2007 5:10:19 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: The Lumster
You are correct, Lumpster. Is is not incorrect to style a 501c3 church as a STATE church. Thousands, who claim to believe in separation of church and state, tie the two together by incorporating and then applying for 501c3 status. If a church has no 501c3 status, the IRS has nothing to investigate.
50 posted on 08/19/2007 5:13:49 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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