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Politics from the Pulpit: What the Pastor Can/Can not Do.
The Liberty Councel ^ | 2008 | Mathew D. Staver, Esq.

Posted on 05/05/2012 12:06:56 AM PDT by jonrick46

Pastors and Christian ministry leaders have a high calling to preach the truth from the Word of God. Speaking the truth is essential all the time but it is especially important to do so when we elect leaders who will make law and policy that affect our faith, our families and our freedom. There is an ongoing struggle for the soul of America. Many people look to pastors and Christian ministry leaders for guidance on important moral and social issues.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: churches; freespeech; pasorspolitics; pastors; pastorsrights; politics; speech
We are in a struggle for the moral soul of America. This information by the Liberty Counsel sets our religious leaders free to voice their moral perspective on candidates and political issues. The whole idea that pastors should be muzzled from making political statements from the pulpit came from an issue when Lyndon B. Johnson ran for the United States Senate in 1954. Since then, the rights and freedoms of pastors has been muddled with misinformation designed to promote the fear of speaking out on political issues from the pulpit. It is time that churches have their rights set clearly and not be afraid to exert their responsibility as citizens in these critical times.
1 posted on 05/05/2012 12:07:03 AM PDT by jonrick46
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To: jonrick46

Timely discussion.

2 posted on 05/05/2012 2:37:56 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

True —but Could they still preach “On the Right to Rebel” the
Samuel West ,1776 sermon. (before he served as mere politician for his States Constitutional ratifying Convention.)

3 posted on 05/05/2012 4:42:52 AM PDT by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: jonrick46

Unfortunately this does not apply to black churches. Just ask Rev. Wright, Sharpton or Jackson for an explanation. Bottom line: Those of us who play by the rules are racist and seen as weak, ripe for the picking. Couple this with the actions of a government Injustice Department and our voice is lost.

4 posted on 05/05/2012 5:20:04 AM PDT by Boomer One
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To: Boomer One

Respectfully, read the pdf document at the link. I thought the same as you until I read it.

5 posted on 05/05/2012 6:18:05 AM PDT by preacher (Communism has only killed 100 million people: Let's give it another chance!)
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To: jonrick46

If "The Lord God" is apparently not answering Christian's prayers for the political salvation for America ...

then a "major part of that reason" is IRS 501 (c)(3) ...

where (secular) "church corporations" sell their soul (silence from the pulpit) in exchange for the IRS's "thirty-pieces of tax exempt staus" silver ...

and that's a "fact" .

Church "tax emempt status" is a VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT where a chuch VOLUNTARILY agrees to accept IRS silver in exchange of "political silence" ...

All the "great" American churches do it ... Pat "Korean War Coimbat Veteran" Robertson ...

San Antonio's Hagee ... Olsteen ... Billy Graham ...

all of them ...

Just attend your church's next congregational business meeting ... passing out copies of IRS 501 (c)(3) ...

and see how FAST you are ESCORTED out the door ...

with "extreme prejudice" ...


"Federal Contract" IRS 501(c)(3) -- Source: Wikipedia

501(c)(3)501(c)(3) exemptions apply to corporations, and any community chest, fund, cooperating association or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, to foster national or international amateur sports competition, to promote the arts, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.[7][8]

These bodies are often referred to in shorthand form as "Friends of" organizations.[9][10][11][12][13]

Another provision, 26 U.S.C. § 170, provides a deduction, for federal income tax purposes, for some donors who make charitable contributions to most types of 501(c)(3) organizations, among others.

Regulations specify which such deductions must be verifiable to be allowed (e.g., receipts for donations over $250).

Due to the tax deductions associated with donations, loss of 501(c)(3) status can be highly challenging to a charity's continued operation, as many foundations and corporate matching programs do not grant funds to a charity without such status, and individual donors often do not donate to such a charity due to the unavailability of the deduction.

Testing for public safety is described under section 509(a)(4) of the code, which makes the organization a public charity and not a private foundation,[14] but contributions to 509(a)(4) organizations are not deductible by the donor for federal income, estate, or gift tax purposes.

The two exempt classifications of 501(c)(3) organizations are as follows:[15]

A public charity, identified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as "not a private foundation," normally receives a substantial part of its income, directly or indirectly, from the general public or from the government.

The public support must be fairly broad, not limited to a few individuals or families.

Public charities are defined in the Internal Revenue Code under sections 509(a)(1) through 509(a)(4).

A private foundation, sometimes called a non-operating foundation, receives most of its income from investments and endowments.

This income is used to make grants to other organizations, rather than being dispersed directly for charitable activities.

Private foundations are defined in the Internal Revenue Code under section 509(a) as 501(c)(3) organizations, which do not qualify as public charities.

Before donating to a 501(c)(3) organization, a donor may wish to review IRS Publication 78, which lists organizations currently exempt under 501(c)(3).[16]

Donors may also verify 501(c)(3) organizations on the web-based, searchable IRS list of charitable organizations[17] as well as on lists maintained by the states, typically on states' Departments of Justice websites.

Churches, however, have specific requirements to obtain and maintain tax exempt status; these are outlined in IRS Publication 1828: Tax guide for churches and religious organizations.[18]

This guide clearly outlines activities allowed and not allowed by churches under the 501(c)(3) designation.

A private, nonprofit organization, GuideStar, also provides reputable and detailed results for web-based searching to verify information on 501(c)(3) organizations.[19]

Consumers may file IRS Form 13909 with documentation to complain about inappropriate or fradulent (i.e., fundraising, political campaigning, lobbying) activities by any 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.[20]

Obtaining status:

Most organizations acquire 501(c)(3) tax exemption by filing IRS Form 1023.

The form must be accompanied by a $850 filing fee if the yearly gross receipts for the organization are expected to average $10,000 or more.[21][22]

If yearly gross receipts are expected to average less than $10,000, the filing fee is reduced to $400.[21][22]

There are some classes of organizations that automatically are treated as tax exempt under 501(c)(3), without the need to file Form 1023:

Churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches[23]

Organizations that are not private foundations and that have gross receipts that normally are not more than $5,000[24]

The IRS also expects to release a software tool called Cyber Assistant, which will assist with preparation of the application for tax exemption.

But as of late 2011 the agency has stated "Software testing revealed problems requiring correction prior to public launch, and the IRS had to delay the release.

Because the IRS must balance a number of competing information technology needs, we cannot presently predict when Cyber Assistant will be available."[25]

Political activity:

Section 501(c)(3) organizations are subject to limits or absolute prohibitions on engaging in political activities and risk loss of status as tax exempt status if violated.[26]

ElectionsOrganizations described in section 501(c)(3) are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office.[27]

The Internal Revenue Service website elaborates upon this prohibition as follows:

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.

Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.

Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.

For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity.

In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

The Internal Revenue Service provides resources to exempt organizations and the public to help them understand the prohibition.

As part of its examination program, the IRS also monitors whether organizations are complying with the prohibition.


In contrast to the absolute prohibition on political campaign interventions by all section 501(c)(3) organizations, public charities (but not private foundations) may conduct a limited amount of lobbying to influence legislation.

Although the law states that "No substantial part..." of a public charity's activities can go to lobbying, charities with large budgets may lawfully expend a million dollars (under the "expenditure" test), or more (under the "substantial part" test) per year on lobbying.[28]

To clarify the standard of the "substantial part" test, Congress enacted §501 (h) (called the Conable election after its author Representative Barber Conable). The section establishes limits based on operating budget that a charity can use to determine if it meets the substantial test.

This changes the prohibition against direct intervention in partisan contests only for lobbying.

The organization is now presumed in compliance with the substantiality test if they work within the limits. The Conable Election requires a charity to file a declaration with the IRS and file a functional distribution of funds spreadsheet with their Form 990.


6 posted on 05/05/2012 8:16:31 AM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin "will win" the 2012 GOP Nomination in Tampa !)
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To: Patton@Bastogne

Thank you for the good contribution to the subject.

It’s a fact that no church has lost its tax exempt status. Legally, churches have wider leeway than their behavior suggests. In these critical times, we need religious leaders to know they can promote political issues and it is their civic responsibility to do so. Christians can lead this nation as they have since its founding.

There is Ephesians 6:12 which says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Christians are good people and know what is good for America. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they have the power of discernment. They, of course, have the power of prayer to help them in their civic liberty to use the political realm in their struggle against the spiritual forces of evil. And, as a believer, with prayer in the political arena, there is nothing impossible and, with God’s will, everything is possible.

7 posted on 05/05/2012 12:58:43 PM PDT by jonrick46 (Countdown to 11-06-2012)
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To: jonrick46

Thank you for the compliments ...

However, I can assure you that many churches have had their tax-exempt status "yanked" by the IRS ... after those church corporations had violated the "terms and conditions" of the "federal contract" with the U.S. Government ...

Let's talk furthur, if you wish ...



8 posted on 05/05/2012 1:37:07 PM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin "will win" the 2012 GOP Nomination in Tampa !)
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To: jonrick46

If Christ is our role model then please show me where He spoke out against Rome. You will not find it in the bible you will find Him speaking out about the spiritual condition of the ruling religious class.

9 posted on 05/05/2012 2:25:40 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Grammar & spelling maybe wrong, get over it, the world will not come to an end!)
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To: guitarplayer1953

Christ spoke through action, like in the temple where he overturned the tables of the money changers. The money changers were the means Rome extracted their tax from the Jews. There was a moral element involved also. It was the idea of buying ones forgiveness from sin and the greediness of the money changers. It embodied the evil relationship between Rome and the Jewish state.

10 posted on 05/05/2012 9:37:24 PM PDT by jonrick46 (Countdown to 11-06-2012)
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