Skip to comments.Hundreds of pastors back political candidates, defy tax rules
Posted on 11/01/2012 1:14:30 PM PDT by Brookhaven
Baptist Pastor Mark Harris stood before his flock in North Carolina on Sunday and joined hundreds of other religious leaders in deliberately breaking the law in an election-year campaign that tests the role of churches in politics.
"Pulpit Freedom Sunday" has been staged annually since 2008 by a group called the Alliance Defending Freedom. Its aim is to provoke a challenge from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in order to file a lawsuit and have its argument out in court...the IRS has yet to respond - even though the pastors tape their sermons and mail them to the agency.
Stanley said that if the IRS continued to ignore the speeches, it could become clear it was not enforcing the ban and hand preachers the de facto right to do as they wish from the pulpit.
IRS LOST KEY CASE IN 2009
Marcus Owens, a partner with law firm Caplin & Drysdale and former head of the IRS division that oversees tax exempt organizations, cited a 2009 case as a turning point.
In that case, the agency took action against James Hammond, pastor of the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, after he endorsed Republican Michele Bachmann for Congress.
The move led to a challenge of the IRS' audit procedure for churches, which the agency lost, and since then there have been no publicly known examples of it taking action against churches.
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.chicagotribune.com ...
I want the Mother of all Cases on this issue to bury it for all time. LBJ’s failed legacy on display.
If anything they need to start with the following:
These supposed ‘Reverends/Ministers’ are not only staunchly political, but race baitors and anti-American.
What people don’t realize is that the tax exemption for churches goes back to the founding of our country. The realized that the power to tax was the power to control and destroy, and since they believed the government should have no control over religion, they made religious institution tax exempt—right at the beginning of the country.
The Johnson amendment only goes back to 1954.
There was never a bargain between churches and the government that if churches stayed out of politics they wouldn’t be taxed. The Johnson amendment wasn’t even aimed at churches. The fact that it ended up being applied to churches was an unintended consequence.
Nothing will happen. Move along.. nothing to see here folks.
One thing that keeps us free is that tin-horn would be dictators like 0bama and his minions cannot stop us from doing what we want to do!
No church has EVER lost its tax exempt status over political activism. NONE.
Leftists, being who they are, simply ignore the law and do it anyway.
Conservatives, respecting the law (rules) as is inherent in the ideology, silence themselves.
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.
What part of this does our Government not understand??
The Government is just using the IRS to try and prohibit free speech
Who do these Pastors think they are? Liberal Pastors? Having said that, churches that become 501-C3 non profits have voluntarily given up certain rights that churches would normally have.
It’s not a valid law if it’s unconstitutional. Calling it a violation of law kinda begs the question.
The tax exempt status for churches goes back to the founding of the country, over 200 years ago. We’ve never taxed churches.
The income tax only goes back to the early 1900s.
Churches aren’t exempt from paying pay taxes because they are non-profits. Churches are exempt, because they are religious institutions.
Of course, in a bigger sense, why should any non-profit (religious or otherwise) pay taxes just because they take a political stand?
Let’s say you and I decided we want to support a candidate (a third-party candidate named John Tre). So, we form and organization to put up billboards across the country that say “Vote for John Tre!” We collect money from other people that support John Tre (thousands of small donations), and spend all the money we collect putting up billboards.
We’re a non-profit. We don’t make any money. Yet, because we’re exercising our political free speech rights and endorsing a specific candidate, the government (via the IRS) will take some of the money we’ve collected (in the form of taxes) which will reduce the number of billboards we can put up (and thus reduce our political speech).
Is that right?
We’re still a non-profit. We don’t actually make any money. We just collect money for a specific purpose, and use it for the that specific purpose. Is it right for the government to penalize us monetarily, because we took a political stand?
Churches arent exempt from paying pay taxes because they are non-profits. Churches are exempt, because they are religious institutions.
That’s right except that once a church claims a 501 c3 status they cease to be a church in the eyes of the government.
“Thats right except that once a church claims a 501 c3 status they cease to be a church in the eyes of the government.”
No, the IRS requires churches to file as 501 c3 or it deems them not to be a church.
The point is moot anyway. Churches (and mosques and synagogues and Hindu temples) are exempt from taxation because of the 1st amendment. That has been true all the way back to the very day the Constitution was ratified by the states. Churches have never been taxed.
And, it doesn’t matter how the government classifies the church (non-profit, profit, or circus-act), because “the government shall make no law...” If it’s a church, it’s a church, and it’s exempt from taxation.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.