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Should they lose their tax exempt status?

The pastors, along with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund, are reacting to a law stating that churches are not allowed to support politicians from the pulpit, according to the ADF.

The growing trend is a challenge to the IRS from the churches, and may jeopardize their all-important tax-exempt status. But some pastors and church leaders said they are willing to defy the law to defending their right to freedom of speech.

Federal tax law, established in 1954, prohibits churches and tax exempt entities from endorsing or opposing political


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 3:35 PM on Sep. 26, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (47)
  • Absolutely. If you want to remain above the law, you must remain above the fray. I have no problem with men of the cloth teaching their faiths standards on the issues of the day (pregnancy termination, same sex marriage, etc) but the second they start demonizing a politician or political party, or endorsing the same, they are crossing the line, and I firmly believe that the first time a church does this the IRS should force them to pay their legal and appropriate taxes for that year, including property and payroll.

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 3:37 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • IMO, a church's tax exemption shouldn't be tied to politics. The income of most churches comes from its congregation and has already been taxed on many levels. Most churches..exceptions being the megachurches which do present themselves in the business world..don't actually have an "income." They survive on the donations of the people.

    IMO, you cannot muzzle the 1st Amendment rights of the pastor of a church simply because he/she is a pastor. I think this is the reason not one church has lost their tax exempt status in the history of this law.

    If you are going to start enforcing it, I suggest you start with Obama's home church.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 4:31 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • There goes Rev. Wright's church!!!!!!!!!!

    Answer by jesse123456 at 4:46 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • I suggest you start with Obama's home church.

    I agree.

    Answer by Carpy at 5:01 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • IMO, you cannot muzzle the 1st Amendment rights of the pastor of a church simply because he/she is a pastor.
    If you understand, that is not the issue at all. The churches can say whatever they wish. What they cannot do is use their organization to put forth a specific candidate or political party. It is not that complicated. They enjoy the privilege of being tax free because religion should not be taxed. Who you "should" vote for is not a religion. It is a lobbying group. Get it?

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 4:53 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • Pastors and church congregations are NOT the gubmint. They are citizens of the US, just like every non church going citizen, and they have as much of a right to choose politicians for their own set of criteria as non believers. If you start taxing churches, they WILL have a right to preach from the pulpit ~ and they WILL have a right to dump any amount of those vast sums of money they want into the campaign of the politician of their choice.

    If you tax them, they will. Those of you who are so firmly wishing to tax churches should ask yourself how you would like living with the legal changes the religious right would bring into office ... maybe consider what an entire Congress of them would do ...

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 8:53 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • If a church ( no matter who it is) feels like stepping into the Political realm ie: putting their money behind specific bills/laws, hosting political hopefuls, sponsering bills/laws..etc.. Then yes.. They need to lose their tax exempt status.

    Preaching about the ills of society. Is one thing. And I'm all for it if that's your thing.
    But spending church funds, and usuing the church as a pulpit to catapolt a politician/political goupr/legislation..ect.. (either by the chruch or the politician themselves) isn't okay with me.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 3:47 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • On February 27, 2008, in an open letter to UCC members, Rev. John H. Thomas announced the creation of The UCC Legal Fund, to aid in the denomination's defense against the IRS.While the denomination expects legal expenses to surpass six figures, it halted donations after raising $59,564 in less than a week.

    In May 2008, the IRS issued a letter which states that the UCC had taken appropriate steps and that the denomination's tax status was not in jeopardy.


    Yeah, wonder how much THAT cost the Obama campiagn to sweep that controversy under the rug.  Between that and paying to have his birth records permanently sealed, becoming president was VERY costly!! LOL


    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:06 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • Let's go over this again gertie -- separation of church and state means that the government has no right to declare religious beliefs for us. It does not mean that religion has to steer clear of anything to do with government.

    That said, I don't think that politics should be preached from the pulpit. But I think it's okay for members of a congregation to work for a particular party or candidate or issue.

    Answer by May-20 at 6:15 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • I thought BO was a Muslim? if so, how could he have a church?

    That was Michelle's church, Obama just went for "appearances." Afterall he claims he never listened to the sermons in the wake of the Reverend Wright scandal!! And how often has been photographed attending Church since becoming POTUS?! Even The Clinton's managed to arrange a few photo ops of them leaving Church on the bigger holidays! LOL

    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:17 PM on Sep. 26, 2010