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Nov 06 2012

Proof That Some Churches Are Trying To Influence Today’s Election.

For anyone who thinks that churches are not trying to influence American politics, please see www.MissouriFamilyNetwork.net. One of our spies in Missouri, who thinks that church and state should be separate, as the First Amendment mandates, emailed to advise that this Family Network voter’s guide was passed out in at least some of the churches in Missouri.

This, of course, is in violation of the law. In exchange for their tax free status, non-profit outfits like churches are permitted to not pay taxes on their real estate if they agree not to take a part in partisan politics. The voter’s guide referenced takes part in partisan politics by clearly telling American voters who and what to vote for or against.

Readers are invited to share other proofs of this lawlessness of the godly.

If churches paid property taxes, literally billions of dollars in revenue would be generated. We could wipe out the national debt, and maybe fix some roads and bridges and once again teach music and have gym, and do and teach other most worthwhile things in our schools, that have all been cut so wealthy folks can have the money formerly used for the public good.

So, we should let them politic all they want, so long as they pay their taxes. Sounds fair to

Edwin.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Goomba

    I always thought that churches should be taxed. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard them scream about how there’s no separation of church and state, so I say we take them at their word and start taxing them. And when they complain just tell them “hey, you said there’s no separation.”

  2. 2
    nohellbelowus

    Yes, tax the religious crackhouses.

    It’s what Jesus would have wanted.

    …and upon this rock taxable real estate I will build my church.”

    Matthew 16:18 (Matthew was a tax collector, remember?)

    1. 2.1
      JanaTheVeganPiranha

      Jesus approved of taxation- “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, and all that.

  3. 3
    Menyambal

    Amen, brother.

    Most churches preach that this is a Christian nation, founded on the Ten Commandments, and they expect any politician to be a religious person. They vote based on their religious beliefs—abortion is very much a religious issue, even though the Bible really isn’t against it. They fight against any separation of church and state, some even deliberately and publicly flout the no-politics laws.

    So let them put their money where their hearts are, and render unto Caesar.

  4. 4
    Menyambal

    Woohoo! I voted in Missouri, and I went exactly opposite their recommendations for every politician. I went the same on a couple of the issues, but not for their reasons.

    The language in that brochure was laughably biased. But why the hell was a churchly organization dropping in ratings from the NRA? Is Jesus for guns, now? Or is it just that the NRA is another batch of delusionals pushing their goofy interpretation of misunderstood scripture into everyone else’s faces, and collecting money from the faithful?

  5. 5
    C

    yes tax them If they do some side charity work like a soup kitchen then that portion won’t be taxed.

  6. 6
    maddog1129

    I’m not sure, but my understanding was that churches may advocate on issues, but not endorse particular candidates.

    1. 6.1
      Edwin Kagin

      These folks endorsed specific political issues. See the check marks in the Voter’s Guide they passed out in church telling people how to vote. This goes quite a bit beyond “advocacy.”

  7. 7
    JanaTheVeganPiranha

    It’s blatant, and the courts will support the wrong side, because NOBODY understand confirmation bias!! There are actually honest, hard-working judges who BELIEVE they are not part of an underground conspiracy- who will vote their personal preference over the obvious confines of the law. This is because they are HUMAN BEINGS. All human beings do this, religious and irreligious alike.

    I keep hoping we’ll grow up. I keep seeing evidence that we will not.

    1. 7.1
      rapiddominance

      Thank you for your focus on “humanity” and not on any particular world view or political group.

      I’m a theist who, more or less, agrees with you guys on this one and I tend to experience shame when I realize that my side is giving yours good reasons to feel disgusted with us.

      I have a question. What do you mean by the phrase, “underground conspiracy”? Are you referring to anything sophisticated or elaborate or is this something of a loose understanding that freethought regulars would be familiar with?

  8. 8
    Christoph Burschka

    So… time for a lawsuit?

  9. 9
    otrame

    It is infuriating. I spent a couple of years volunteering as the Treasurer of a state-wide educational organization. We had to be extremely careful not to advocate for specific legislation, for instance .

    Here is what I think: the church itself and it’s parking lot– no taxes as long as they do not sell anything and do not break the 501c(3) politics rules. All other property owned by the church, including auxiliary “meeting” buildings taxed at the same rate as anyone else–with significant deductions if the property is used for charity. Sales tax on what they sell unless ALL proceeds go to charity. All employees pay regular taxes, unless their entire function is for a charity associated with the church. And when I say charity above I do NOT charity that only benefits the church. Soup kitchen and homeless shelters, not “building funds” .

  10. 10
    Ex Patriot

    Not to much to say other than TAX ALL OF THEM especially their business dealings,mthat will hit them where it really hurts, their pocket books and drop tax credits for donations to all religious groups.

  11. 11
    jb

    One of these church reps was on the Colbert report and he said that churches could not be taxed b/c then the government would have power over them…or something. Kind of a weak excuse!

  12. 12
    grumpyoldfart

    This is the advice the Family Policy Institute was handing out to Christian Churches just before the elections:

    Only one church has ever lost its tax exempt status because they did something political, and that was because a church in New York took out a newspaper ad campaigning against Bill Clinton. So…unless you’re planning to spend church resources buying full page newspaper ads, you’re going to be fine.

    http://www.fpiw.org/about/family-policy-blog/how-churches-will-lose-their-tax-exemption.html

  13. 13
    AZJ

    The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
    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.
    Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 17-Dec-2012

    http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/The-Restriction-of-Political-Campaign-Intervention-by-Section-501(c)(3)-Tax-Exempt-Organizations

    That is the law and the voter guide in question does not seem to violate it in any way. It shows people how to vote on certain issues but it does not promote one candidate over another, keeping in line with the law presented above from the IRS’s website. The blog post by Mr. Edwin clearly states the church in Missouri is in violation of the law, which it clearly is not. The subsequent comments were more along the lines of revenge filled anger toward the church than it was with an attitude of rule of law. Had it been, the law would have been presented, and you would have realized the church was not in violation of it.

    This is not to say I approve of every churches actions or theologies, I do not. But if you want to make a point, make it correctly, otherwise you severely weaken your argument, as you have done here.

  14. 14
    Maurice Smith

    Jesus Rocks!!!

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