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Warning Letter to 60,000 Pastors: We’re Watching What You Preach
Patheos.com ^ | 9/29/12 | Rebecca Hamilton

Posted on 10/01/2012 1:06:43 PM PDT by marshmallow

Americans United for Separation of Church and State evidently sent copies of this letter to 60,000 pastors recently. It’s important to remember that Americans United is not an official agency of any governmental entity. This letter has no force of law and is just their opinion. Our local AU affiliate here in Oklahoma has sent similar letters to pastors in my House district in the past. The pastors I talked to about it tell me they threw it in the trash.



TOPICS: Activism; Current Events; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: 2012; barrylynn; democrats; election2012; elections; liberalfascism; pastors; pastorsthreatened; threatenschurches; warnschurches
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1 posted on 10/01/2012 1:06:44 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Pastors should half shred it, and send it back.


2 posted on 10/01/2012 1:10:08 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: marshmallow

Time to pay the taxes and preach openly against taxing a God given right.


3 posted on 10/01/2012 1:10:53 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: marshmallow

Barry W. Lynn - head of the self-appointed Liberal-Democrat Gestapo


4 posted on 10/01/2012 1:13:55 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Congrats to Ted Kennedy! He's been sober for two years now!!)
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To: marshmallow

Do these idiots know what “separation” means??


5 posted on 10/01/2012 1:16:04 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: marshmallow

Good, maybe if they watch enough sermons they’ll finally accept Jesus.


6 posted on 10/01/2012 1:16:26 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: marshmallow

I bet the letter wasn’t sent to black churches.


7 posted on 10/01/2012 1:18:16 PM PDT by Theo (May Christ be exalted above all.)
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To: marshmallow
Pastors:

If you get an envelope from this outfit, don't open it.

Write REFUSED - RETURN TO SENDER (or just RTS) across it.

Cross out your address with a black marker (the postal autoread machines will try to redeliver it if they can still read your address)

Also cross out any postal tracking bars (usually light barcodes across the front or back. For the same reason)

Drop it in your local mailbox.

8 posted on 10/01/2012 1:19:43 PM PDT by apillar
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To: marshmallow

Hmph! I wonder how many Black churches they sent this letter to? The blatant, DemocRAT cheerleading that goes on in too many black churches should keep this group busy for a very long time.


9 posted on 10/01/2012 1:22:46 PM PDT by Sister_T
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To: marshmallow

Do you think Holder would apply 501(c)(3) to one of “his people’s” churches? Not a chance!

This only applies to white churches.

A local church in 2008 put a vote for hope and change - vote for Obama posting on its church message board. No problem for them.


10 posted on 10/01/2012 1:23:28 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: marshmallow

Good, the Johnson ammendment is unconstitutional and I would LOVE to see the IRS try to ammend the free speech rights by going after the tax exempt status of churches based on their attempt to sillence their 1ST ammendment rights.


11 posted on 10/01/2012 1:27:37 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: marshmallow

Barry W. Lynn - head of the self-appointed Liberal-Democrat Gestapo


12 posted on 10/01/2012 1:27:37 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Congrats to Ted Kennedy! He's been sober for two years now!!)
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To: marshmallow

Balderdash.


13 posted on 10/01/2012 1:30:00 PM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
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To: VeniVidiVici

Barry does not realize but God is watching him 24/7 and knows every vile thing He has thought or says. The thought of what can happen to him is enough to chill your blood.


14 posted on 10/01/2012 1:33:40 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: marshmallow

How is that a black church can host a democratic candidate and that’s considered ok?! But conservatives cannot. Damn hypocrits.


15 posted on 10/01/2012 1:42:00 PM PDT by ThomasMore (Islam is the Whore of Babylon!)
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To: marshmallow

Mark 12:
13Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.


16 posted on 10/01/2012 1:42:04 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: marshmallow

I’ll check with my pastor tonight.


17 posted on 10/01/2012 1:42:51 PM PDT by zeugma (Rid the world of those savages. - Dorothy Woods, widow of a Navy Seal, AMEN!)
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To: VeniVidiVici
It started as an anti-Catholic organization ("Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State") but shortened its name when they decided to go after some Protestants too.

I remember reading that this all goes back to a law LBJ got Congress to pass when he was running for re-election to the Senate in 1954, in order to keep churches from supporting his opponent. It should have been declared unconstitutional a long time ago because of the First Amendment.

18 posted on 10/01/2012 1:53:04 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Jim from C-Town

For the last 4 or 5 years about 1,500 pastors have sent their sermons to the IRS but nothing has happened. So I would say this Barry is blowing smoke just like the one in the one in the White Hut.


19 posted on 10/01/2012 1:53:44 PM PDT by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Isaiah 5:20)
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To: marshmallow

Bump!


20 posted on 10/01/2012 1:56:55 PM PDT by jonrick46 (Countdown to 11-06-2012)
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To: marshmallow

Morons don’t know the difference between the Constitution and an 1813 letter discussing separation between church and state.


21 posted on 10/01/2012 1:57:12 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("OF COURSE I TALK TO MYSELF - Sometimes I need an expert opinion")
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To: marshmallow

In other words, they will sue churches that praise a Republican, and pay no attention to the thousands of urban churches that actively promote barack obama.


22 posted on 10/01/2012 1:57:47 PM PDT by I want the USA back
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To: bjorn14
Exactly. Once the IRS is defeated in court it will be a full court press against the Democrats, even from the USCCB, the Catholic Bishops will be ORDERRED from Rome to present the absolute fact that a vote for the pro choice Democrat against a pro life Republican is an intrinsic evil that puts ones immortal soul in jeopardy of eternal damnation in Hell.

That might even get some of the cafeteria Catholics a wake up call.

23 posted on 10/01/2012 1:59:14 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: marshmallow

You know what’s also a 501(c)3?

Mother Jones and a host of other liberal sites and publications.


24 posted on 10/01/2012 2:01:42 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (Hello OWS? We don't need a revolution like China's; China needs a revolution like OURS.)
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To: marshmallow

Any church that takes sides on a candidate or issue should be stripped of their tax exempt status!


25 posted on 10/01/2012 2:10:40 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: cripplecreek
"Time to pay the taxes and preach openly against taxing a God given right."

Without 501(c)(3) status, what taxes, to your knowledge, would churches have to pay ?

I don't think churches have to pay any taxes at all, to the IRS, even without the 501(c)(3) contract.

There is now a very large movement of "unregistered" (meaning, un-incorporated ; non-501(c)(3) churches. They pay no taxes.

Have 501(c)(3) contract with the IRS ? The church is "tax-exempt." Never had such a contract with the IRS ? The church is NON-TAXABLE as per the First Amendment.

26 posted on 10/01/2012 2:10:50 PM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: Sister_T

I’m sure Barry Lynn will get “right on” getting after those black churches. I bet you’ll be hearing bout those “suits” anytime now. lol


27 posted on 10/01/2012 2:14:11 PM PDT by swampfox101
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To: The_Media_never_lie
There is no law, at any level, requiring any church to sign the 501(c)(3) contract with the IRS. It is entirely voluntary. Sign the contract . . . make the church liable to the provisions of the contract. Thousands of churches around the country are operating without ever having signed the contract.

Don't have 501(c)(3) status, then all the IRS agents in the country could attend the church meetings, listen to the preaching . . . the preacher can say anything he wants, and the IRS agents can say and do absolutely NOTHING.

28 posted on 10/01/2012 2:16:02 PM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: cripplecreek

No, churches shouldn’t pay taxes and this is exactly why! The first amendment alone is enough to fight it in court. What the government taxes, they can control. Period. So”paying off”some churches for preaching what the government deems necessary by giving them tax exempt status is favoring one religion over another.


29 posted on 10/01/2012 2:24:16 PM PDT by DrewsMum
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To: VeniVidiVici
Barry W. Lynn is also an IRS informant. He goes around and monitor's any church he doesn't approve of and reports back to the government if they should modify the tax exempt status of that church.

Simply put, Barry W. Lynn is scum!!!

30 posted on 10/01/2012 2:28:06 PM PDT by wmileo
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To: marshmallow

Black churches included? They all preach “Vote Straight Democrat” arounf here!


31 posted on 10/01/2012 2:39:41 PM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: ThomasMore

“How is that a black church can host a democratic candidate and that’s considered ok?! But conservatives cannot.”

I’m sure a conservative church would be allowed to host a democrat candidate.

:-P


32 posted on 10/01/2012 2:39:41 PM PDT by MeganC (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: DrewsMum

The threat of taxes for speaking out on political issues is already controlling their speech.


33 posted on 10/01/2012 2:42:56 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: marshmallow
I find it most interest that AU are very busy warning white congregations about the supposed separation of religion and state NOT found in the Constitution but seem to be dumb, deft, and blind when it comes to black religious leaders. Or have I missed hearing about these letters? Or am I simply racist?
34 posted on 10/01/2012 2:44:33 PM PDT by Nip (TANSTAAFL and BOHICA)
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To: marshmallow

http://www.au.org/media/press-releases/americans-united-asks-irs-to-investigate-el-paso-church-that-urged-parishioners


35 posted on 10/01/2012 2:46:05 PM PDT by IbJensen (Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.)
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To: driftdiver

That was exactly my first thought!


36 posted on 10/01/2012 3:00:06 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: marshmallow
Here is a letter that you can recopy and email to your friends and relatives and favorite pastor.

Americans United For Separation of Church and State

Election Season 2012

Dear Religious Leader,

As Election Day draws near, candidates and their supporters may seek help or endorsements from your house of worship. Thus, this is a good time to familiarize yourself with the law governing electioneering by nonprofit organizations.

The First Amendment protects the right of all Americans, religious leaders included, to speakout on religious, moral and political issues. However, houses of worship and other nonprofit entities classified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code are barred from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office and may not intervene directly or indirectly in partisan campaigns.

Any activity designed to influence the outcome of a partisan election can be construed as intervention. If the IRS determines that your house of worship has engaged in unlawful intervention, it can revoke the institution’s tax-exempt status or levy significant fines on the house of worship or its leaders.

Contrary to what some may believe, the IRS does enforce the “no politicking” rule.

In 1995,the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of a Binghamton, N.Y., church for buying a full-page ad in USA Today opposing a 1992 presidential candidate. (The federal courts upheld the revocation.) Other churches and religious ministries, including Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and Jerry Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour, have been subject to auditsand retroactive tax payments for violating the “no electioneering” rule.

In addition, a special “Political Activity Compliance Initiative” has been created to educate houses of worship about the law and deal with reports of violations. (For more information on pulpit politicking, see the IRS Web site at: http://www.irs.gov/charities/churches/index.html and click on "The Restriction of Campaign Political Intervention by Section 501 (c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations.")

Houses of worship and other nonprofit groups may sponsor voter registration drives andcandidate forums if they are truly nonpartisan, and issue advocacy is broadly protected. But remember, tax law prohibits 501(c)(3) groups from supporting or opposing candidates.

I urge you to be especially wary of so-called “voter guides.” Such guides are often thinly veiled partisan materials. If the IRS finds that a violation has occurred, it may be the house of worship, not the organization that produced the guide, that is penalized.

This letter is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice, and I urge you to consult with your legal advisor on specific questions. To learn more about issues surrounding religion and politics, visit our Web site: http://ProjectFairPlay.org.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn Executive Director 1301 K Street, N.W. Suite 850 East Washington, D.C. 20005

(202) 466-3234 (202) 466-2587 fax

americansunited@au.org www.au.org

37 posted on 10/01/2012 3:05:09 PM PDT by IbJensen (Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.)
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To: marshmallow
Barry Lind is no “Reverend”. He is an atheist posing as a concerned minister. No doubt Americans United is ALSO a nonprofit, 501(3)C corporation, yet I wonder how nonpartisan they pretend to be?
38 posted on 10/01/2012 3:22:31 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: marshmallow
That's Barry Lynn is no “Reverend”. He is an atheist posing as a concerned minister. No doubt Americans United is ALSO a nonprofit, 501(3)C corporation, yet I wonder how nonpartisan they pretend to be?
39 posted on 10/01/2012 3:24:23 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: marshmallow

I have written ole Barry and told him he comes to my church other than to worship, I will personally escort him to the door and kick his butt out of the worship in view of everyone there. I received a response from one of his little girl talking about my threat. I wrote her back telling that same offer held for her if she shows up in other than an acceptable manner. I haven’t heard back from either of them.


40 posted on 10/01/2012 3:39:25 PM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: fwdude
Pastors should half shred it, and send it back.

Nah, just bring "BRING IT" in big red letters, THEN send it back.

41 posted on 10/01/2012 4:00:51 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: marshmallow
This is the e-mail I have sent to these black-hearted people at AUSFCAS:

Americans United,, My comment/feedback is...

I have read your threat to monitor sermons of American pastors to assure that they follow the guidelines of section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code.

I am a layman. I want to assure you that:

1. If you or one of your representatives show up at my church for any purpose other than to give honorable worship to the Lord Jesus Christ, I will personally escort you to the door, tackling or otherwise subduing you if you resist, and throw you out, calling attention to all at that moment to tell them who you are, and what your are doing. I will ask for help from fellow church members to help deal with any security thugs you bring along. I will also tell them that you have apparently not infiltrated ethnic minority churches when prominent Democrats including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton et al who have gone to speak in support of Barack Obama's political agenda, ideals or political support including those of the Democrat party.

2. I will personally donate to churches whom you infiltrate for their defense fund.

3. You are to me personally a reprehensible beast who uses the title reverend much as Jesse Jackson does, hoping that it will somehow generate respect or fear in others. I do not fear you, Barry. I think you are described in the Bible in less-than-flattering ways. And I believe you will meet the same eternal fate as those so described in our Great Book.

4. Please have on your little toities write to me about my threat. I want to show your answer to many in the born-again Christian community exactly what kind of people you are. You should know that I am almost 70 years old. I want people to see your representative fight an old man. I think that will also be illustrative of what kind of people run and operate Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

And then I state my name.
42 posted on 10/01/2012 4:09:07 PM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: Verginius Rufus
I remember reading that this all goes back to a law LBJ got Congress to pass when he was running for re-election to the Senate in 1954...

It is over half a century after 1954, and LBJ has been dead a few decades. Why has this law not been repealed? Is it too convenient for enough of the current crop of politicians?


43 posted on 10/01/2012 4:29:52 PM PDT by magooey (The Mandate of Heaven resides in the hearts of men.)
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To: marshmallow

Translation: “Nice church ya got there, pastor....too bad if anything wuz ta happen to it...”


44 posted on 10/01/2012 5:59:14 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: marshmallow

Someone should tell Obama’s Chicago spiritual advisor...oh, wait.


45 posted on 10/01/2012 6:06:47 PM PDT by TADSLOS (Conservatism didn't magically show up in Romney's heart in 2012. You can't force what isn't in you.)
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To: marshmallow

These are guidelines provided by the Alliance Defense Fund (now the Alliance Defending Freedom). I have given below their guidelines which I derived from their PDF document so my FRriends can have a quick look at what freedoms we do have in our churches. I give it this way so one can copy and paste it for their own use. For the full report, go here:

http://www.speakupmovement.org/church/content/userfiles/Pastors_Guidelines_2011_rev_031411.pdf

For the Alliance Defending Freedom’s web page for more information and news, go here:

http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/page/new-name?referral=I0712AW2

Items of Political Activity:

Note: Those activities pertaining to the church are all official actions of the church body. Those activities of the pastor pertain to activities that are actions as an individual rather than an official church representative.

1. Discuss the positions of candidates on issues. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
2. Endorse or oppose candidates. Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
3. Financial contributions to candidates Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
4. In-kind contributions to candidates. Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
5. Independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates. Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
6. Contributions to political action committees (PACs). Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
7. Payment of expenses for attendance at a caucus or
state/national political party convention. Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
8. Appearance of candidate at church meeting or service. Church: Yes. Pastor: N/A.
9. Non-partisan voter registration activities. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
10. Non-partisan voter identification activities. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
11. Non-partisan get-out-the-vote activities. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
12. Non-partisan voter education. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
13. Lobbying for or against legislation. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
14. Expenditures related to state referendums(Note: Lobbying activities may expose churches in some states to election law register and reporting requirements as a political committee. Many of these statutes are unconstitutional because they expose churches to intrusive regulations for a very small amount of lobbying. If you find your church exposed to such state election law requirements, contact ADF immediately so an attorney can review your situation). Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
15. Distribution of:
a. Candidate surveys or voter guides. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
b. Voting records of incumbents. Church: Yes. Pastor: Yes.
c. Candidate campaign literature. Church: No. Pastor: Yes.
16. Distribution by others of political materials in church parking lots. Church: Yes. Pastor: N/A.
17. Rental of church membership lists at regular rates. Church: Yes. Pastor: N/A.
18. Rental of church facilities at regular rates. Church: Yes. Pastor: N/A.
19. Church publications:
a. Political ads at regular rates. Church: Yes. Pastor: N/A.
b. News stories about candidates or campaigns. Church: Yes Pastor: N/A.
c. Editorials endorsing or opposing candidates. Church: No. Pastor: N/A.


Explanations of Guidelines:

Item 1. Discuss the positions of candidates on public issues. Pastors and churches are free to discuss the positions of candidates on issues—including criticizing or praising them for their positions. This is called issue advocacy.

Item 2. Endorse or oppose candidates. Endorsing or opposing a candidate includes any statement which uses explicit words to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, such as “elect,” “support,” “defeat,” or “oppose.” This is called express advocacy. Distributing campaign literature from a candidate is also prohibited express advocacy.
A pastor in his individual capacity, however, may endorse or oppose a candidate. The pastor may state his affiliation with his church, as long as it is indicated that this is for identification purposes only and that his endorsement is from him personally, not his church.
The IRS has taken the unequivocal position that a pastor may not endorse or oppose a candidate from the pulpit. Nevertheless, ADF believes that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects these statements from the pulpit, and ADF will vigorously defend the rights of pastors who choose to do so.
Churches and pastors may support or oppose the appointment of judicial, cabinet, or other non-elected officials so long as it does not involve a partisan selection process. This is considered lobbying, not active electioneering.

Item 6. Contributions to political action committees (PACs). A PAC is any organization of two or more people whose major purpose is to engage in active electioneering by contributing to candidates or by expressly advocating the election or defeat of candidates for political office. Contributions to PACs from church funds are forbidden, and churches may not organize PACs.

Item 8. Appearance of a candidate at a church meeting or service. A candidate may appear at a church service. The appearance of a candidate before a church service, however, is limited as follows:
(1) All legally qualified candidates should be invited;
(2) The questions should be prepared and presented by an independent non-partisan panel;
(3) The topics discussed should cover a broad range of issues of interest to the public;
(4) Each candidate should have an equal opportunity to present his or her views on the issues discussed; and
(5) The moderator should not comment on the questions or otherwise make comments that imply approval or disapproval of the candidates.
Candidates may be introduced at a church service or may preach or read scripture without any restrictions. In addition, public officials who are also candidates, may be invited to speak to a church as a public official, without complying with the above requirements, if no reference is made to the public official’s candidacy, if the public official speaks only in his or her capacity as a public official, and if there is no campaign activity in connection with the public official’s appearance.

Items 9, 10 & 11. Non-partisan voter registration, voter identification, and get-out-the-vote activities. A church may participate in non-partisan voter registration, voter identification, and get out the vote activities. To be non-partisan, these activities may not be directed at the supporters of any particular candidate or political party. A church may, however, direct these activities at certain groups using non-partisan criteria, such as church membership, geographic location or position on certain issues. Furthermore, such activities will not be viewed as non-partisan if they are accompanied by literature praising or criticizing particular candidates or political parties for their positions on issues.

Item 12. Non-partisan voter education. Churches may participate in non-partisan voter education. Here, voter education involves discussion of the electoral process, such as how to run for public office or delegate, how to register, and where to vote. All these activities are permissible as long as they are not directed at supporters of a particular candidate or political party.

Item 13. Lobbying for or against legislation. Churches may spend an “insubstantial” amount of their funds yearly on lobbying. An insubstantial amount is generally considered 5 to 15 percent of a church’s funds. Lobbying is of two types: (1) direct lobbying, which involves direct communications with governmental officials regarding legislative or executive action, and (2) grass roots lobbying, where the church communicates with its members or the general public, urging them to contact governmental officials in support of or in opposition to legislative or executive action. As a result, a church may discuss legislative issues, support or oppose legislation, encourage its members or the general public to support or oppose legislation, and support other organizations with their lobbying efforts. Furthermore, churches may lobby candidates about issues and distribute educational material to candidates or at political events, as long as this is being done to get out the church’s message and not to assist any candidate.

Item 14. Expenditures related to state referendums. Churches may make expenditures in connection with state referendums, including making a financial or in-kind contribution to a referendum effort. Such expenditures are considered direct lobbying. In addition, state election laws should be consulted for any requirements imposed on state referendum activities.
Some state election laws require organizations that lobby on initiatives and referendums to register as a political committee and be subject to reporting and disclosure requirements. Many of these state election law requirements are unconstitutional as applied to churches because they subject churches to intrusive disclosure and reporting requirements based on a very small amount of lobbying activity. ADF has successfully challenged state election law register and reporting requirements as applied to churches that lobby on initiatives or referenda. If you find your church confronted with a state election law register and reporting requirement, contact ADF immediately so an attorney can review your situation.

Item 15. Distribution of candidate surveys or voter guides:

Churches may publish the results of surveys of candidates on public issues (often called “voter guides”). Voter guides should not include an endorsement of a candidate or otherwise expressly advocate the election or defeat of any candidate. Further, voter guides should not advocate voting for or against candidates who support or oppose particular issues, i.e., single issue voting. Churches also may distribute voter guides prepared by other organizations that meet these guidelines. As a result, church voter guides should conform to the following guidelines:

(1) Questionnaires should be sent to all candidates;
(2) The questions should cover a wide variety of issues;
(3) The questions should not indicate a bias toward the church’s preferred answer;
(4) The candidate’s responses should not be compared to the church’s preferred position;
(5) The responses should be published in the candidate’s own words or in a neutral, unbiased, and complete summary of the candidate’s position; and
(6) The survey should not be published under the direction or control, direct or indirect, of any candidate.
(b). Voting records of incumbents. Churches may also publish the voting records of incumbent public officeholders. In the case of publication of voting records, the church has more leeway than in publishing candidate surveys, as follows:

(1) Incumbent’s positions should not be compared to the positions of other candidates or the church’s position;
(2) The voting record should be distributed on a regular basis, not just at election time;
(3) The voting record should be broadly distributed to the general public, not targeted to certain voting blocks;
(4) A variety of issues of interest to the general public should be presented.

Item 16. Distribution by others of political materials in church parking lots. Under some state constitutions, if a church parking lot is open for public use, people have a free speech right to distribute literature there. Even if there is no such right, a church is not responsible for political literature distributed by others in their parking lot without their permission or consent, and a church has no obligation to bar people from distributing political literature there. In the same way, a church may choose to restrict its parking lot to only attendees who park there for church activities; the church need not allow literature distribution on its premises.

Item 17. Rental of church membership lists at regular rates. Churches may give candidates or political action committees access to church membership lists on the same basis that other non-church groups are allowed to have them. If other non-church groups are required to pay some cost for using the list(s), the candidate or PAC should be charged the same amount.

Item 18. Rental of church facilities at regular rates. Churches may allow candidates or political action committees to use church facilities for meetings or campaign appearances on the same basis as other non-church groups. If other non-church groups are required to pay some rent for using the church property, the candidate or PAC should be charged the same amount.

Item 19. Church publications:

(a). Political ads at regular rates. Church publications, such as church bulletins and newsletters, may include an advertisement for a candidate or political action committee, as long as the candidate or PAC purchases the ad at regular rates. If discounts are given to regular advertisers under certain circumstances, the same discounts may be extended to a political advertiser. A political ad may not otherwise be sold to a candidate at less than the regular rate, since this would constitute a financial contribution to the candidate. The political ad must be identified as paid political advertising, and the church must include a disclaimer stating it does not endorse the candidate. Advertising must also be solicited from all candidates on an equal basis.

(b). News stories about candidates or campaigns. Church publications may include news stories on candidates and political campaigns. The publication of voting records and candidate surveys are subject to the limitations delineated in Items 15 (a) & (b).
(c). Editorials endorsing or opposing candidates. Church publications, however, may not publish an editorial that endorses or opposes a candidate for office.


46 posted on 10/01/2012 7:37:18 PM PDT by jonrick46 (Countdown to 11-06-2012)
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To: Theo

Why doesn’t this chump sending the letters include his telephone number?

As a man of the cloth, he certainly values personal feedback...


47 posted on 10/01/2012 9:08:52 PM PDT by Bshaw (A nefarious deceit is upon us all!)
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To: marshmallow

Don’t worry, they can’t back this threat up. Thousands of Pastors around the country have been challenging the IRS to attempt to enforce this regulation every year. Never happens. Not one of these cases has EVER gone to trial. The IRS ALWAYS dismisses. They know the law is blatently unconstitutional and refuse to allow a test case.


48 posted on 10/02/2012 1:26:22 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: VeniVidiVici
Barry W. Lynn - head of the self-appointed Liberal-Democrat Gestapo

Allow me this one correction. It's REVERAND Barry Lynn ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. {Ok IMO so called reverand} but yea it's OK for him to be pushing his political agenda it seems.

49 posted on 10/02/2012 1:38:22 AM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: marshmallow

Barry Lynn is a Communist, not a Christian. He pushes Communist values, fights Christian values. Loves Big Government. Hates God. Hates Jesus. Hates Christians. The United Church of Christ was taken over by Communists decades ago. One of them is Barry Lynn.


50 posted on 10/02/2012 1:50:25 AM PDT by WashingtonSource
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