Americans United Condemns Religious Right Plot To Politicize Pulpits (1 Viewer)

Mick Jagger

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Americans United Condemns Religious Right Plot To Politicize Pulpits
Friday, May 9, 2008


Asking Churches To Violate Federal Tax Law Is Deplorable, Says AU's Lynn


A Religious Right group’s plan to ask churches to violate federal tax law on electioneering is deplorable, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is urging clergy to defy the tax-law ban on candidate endorsements by tax-exempt groups. Ministers are being pushed to use their pulpits on Sept. 28 to preach about candidates and spark a showdown.


The ADF, a theocracy-minded legal operation founded by right-wing religious broadcasters, hopes the Internal Revenue Service will launch investigations of these churches, thus opening the door to a federal test case of the constitutionality of the law.


Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “This is a truly deplorable scheme. Federal tax law rightly requires churches and other tax-exempt groups to use their resources for religious and charitable purposes, not partisan politics. When the faithful put their hard-earned dollars in the collection plate, they don’t expect it to wind up pushing some politician’s campaign.


“The Religious Right leaders who lust for political power in America will apparently stop at nothing, not even the sacred character of the church,” Lynn continued. “The vast majority of clergy do not seek to turn their incense-filled sanctuaries into smoke-filled political backrooms.


“I think very few clergy will yield to the Alliance Defense Fund’s worldly temptation,” Lynn concluded. “And those who do will find their churches’ tax exemptions in jeopardy. I assume the ADF will provide a list of congregations unwise enough to join this move, and we’ll be ready to report those churches to the IRS.”


Lynn noted that clergy know they are free to speak out on religious, moral and political issues. But they cannot use tax-exempt resources to support or oppose candidates for public office, which includes statements from the pulpit by church officials and other indications of campaign intervention.


In May of 2000, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously held that the IRS properly revoked the tax exemption of the Church at Pierce Creek, a congregation near Binghamton, N.Y., that bought newspaper ads in 1992 opposing presidential candidate Bill Clinton. (Americans United filed a complaint with the IRS about this clear violation of tax law.)


The court ruled in Branch Ministries v. Rossotti that “the revocation of the Church’s tax-exempt status neither violated the Constitution nor exceeded the IRS’s statutory authority.” (The three judges were Reagan appointees, and the opinion was written by James Buckley, a scion of the ultra-conservative Buckley family and brother of William F. Buckley.)


Americans United has served as a monitor of the intersection of religion and politics. In response to church politicization efforts, the watchdog group has distributed informational literature to religious leaders about federal tax law. In 80 cases since 1996, Americans United has asked the IRS to investigate apparent electioneering violations of the IRS Code by religious groups.


Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
 
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Are they also going after the National Baptist Convention and other black religious groups? Seems like they've been doing this for decades.
 

Fifty2One

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Churches shouldnt get involved in political business
Politicians shouldnt get involved in church business
Income taxes should be aboloshed in USA anyhow because it infringes on the ninth ammendment of their constitution.
Similarly income tax needs to be abolished in Canada because it is part of a temporary war measures act from world war 2.
Perhaps everyone from the middle income level and lower should just quit their jobs and go on welfare.
 

Mick Jagger

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Are they also going after the National Baptist Convention and other black religious groups? Seems like they've been doing this for decades.
File a complaint, dude, if you have some evidence that the law is being violated.
 

statsman

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Churches shouldnt get involved in political business
Politicians shouldnt get involved in church business
Income taxes should be aboloshed in USA anyhow because it infringes on the ninth ammendment of their constitution.
Similarly income tax needs to be abolished in Canada because it is part of a temporary war measures act from world war 2.
Perhaps everyone from the middle income level and lower should just quit their jobs and go on welfare.

I agree with everything you said except...

Canadian Income Tax was a temporary measure from World War I.

You'd think they'd have it paid off by now.
 

Mick Jagger

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The Men Who Made The U. S. Constitution
Were Godless Heathens​

The men who made the immoral U. S. Constitution were Godless heathens. The document does not acknowledge or make any reference, to the existence or providence of the Supreme Being. The nation, as such, has no God. This is an essential evil in the Constitution, which involves the hideous charge of national atheism! "The general government is erected for the general good of the United States, and especially for the management of their foreign concerns: but no association of men for moral purposes can be justified in an entire neglect of the Sovereign of the World. No consideration will justify the framers of the federal constitution, and the administration of the government, in withholding a recognition of the Lord and his anointed from the grand charter of the nation.
 

Sum Guy

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The Men Who Made The U. S. Constitution
Were Godless Heathens​

The men who made the immoral U. S. Constitution were Godless heathens. The document does not acknowledge or make any reference, to the existence or providence of the Supreme Being. The nation, as such, has no God. This is an essential evil in the Constitution, which involves the hideous charge of national atheism! "The general government is erected for the general good of the United States, and especially for the management of their foreign concerns: but no association of men for moral purposes can be justified in an entire neglect of the Sovereign of the World. No consideration will justify the framers of the federal constitution, and the administration of the government, in withholding a recognition of the Lord and his anointed from the grand charter of the nation.

Doesn't the US Constitution protect your right NOT to believe in God...if that is your choice?
The concept of separation of Church and State in the US Constitution was a novel inclusion. At that time, every other country had a STATE relition. In most of Europe it was Catholisism, in England the Church of England.
By placing the separation into the Constitution, the Founding Fathers essentially said "No religion is better than any other".
No doubt the fact that several of the 13 colonies were founded by groups who came to America for religious freedom was a factor.

Personally, I would like to see any Church that meddles in politics lose its tax exempt status.
 

Sum Guy

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Why would they be tax exempt anyway?:confused:

Separation of Church and State.

I believe all C of E assets in the UK are also tax exempt.

There are an abundance of individuals in the US who got their mail order divinity degrees and stated their home was their church. No taxes. They still have to work to get their daily bread but all of their "take home" is donated to their church.

Who says only politicians make great con artists.
 

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