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  1. #1 Ministers to Defy I.R.S. by Endorsing Candidates 
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    Ministers to Defy I.R.S. by Endorsing Candidates

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    By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
    Published: September 25, 2008

    Defying a federal tax law they consider unjust, 33 ministers across the country will take to their pulpits this Sunday and publicly endorse a candidate for president.

    They plan to then send copies of their sermons to the Internal Revenue Service, hoping to provoke a challenge to a law that bars religious organizations and other nonprofits that accept tax-deductible contributions from involvement in partisan political campaigns.

    The protest, called Pulpit Freedom Sunday, was organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a consortium of Christian lawyers that fights for conservative religious and social causes. When the fund first announced the protest this year, it said it planned to have 50 ministers taking part. As of Thursday it said it had hundreds of volunteers, but had selected only 33 who were fully aware of the risks and benefits.

    ...
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/us...VX8MwTUw2ZuKAw

    Making suggestions or providing guidance over the moral issues in an election is one thing... full on endorsement of candidates by official church leaders seems like crossing the line. Honestly do we want a country so heavily influenced by churches in this way? Should politicians be so heavily intertwined with clergy?
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  2. #2  
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    Good, take every one of their tax-exempt statuses away (regardless of ideology).
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member LibraryLady's Avatar
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    They want a test case

    The Pulpit Freedom Campaign has amassed the pastors to cooperate in a mass violation of a 1954 law that bars religious organizations and nonprofit groups that accept tax-deductible contributions from endorsing specific candidates. The ADF thinks the law is unconstitutional and lined up churches earlier this year willing to commit civil disobedience for a test case headed for the Supreme Court.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...rs-on-sermons/
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    Good, take every one of their tax-exempt statuses away (regardless of ideology).
    Seems like a good idea, but one wonders if that wouldnt make it worse? The tax exempt status is like a dangling carrot that in some ways keeps church officials at arms length from the political process and vice versa.

    On the flip side, I think it's probably a good thing you don't have politicians who are effectively able to reach down to church officials to get public official endorsements... interjecting all the nastiness of politics and the bad stuff that comes with it into the churches. Without the rules of tax exempt status, it may actually encourage the intermingling of both institutions to even greater extremes.

    Of course, churches aren't the only organizations who get tax exempt status for remaining apolitical (even if it is halfhearted). Groups like Green Peace and many other left wing groups... so a big can of worms could be potentially opened up...
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  5. #5  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Everyone knows that the law in question is only ever applied to conservative churches anyhow. Left leaning congragations invite politicians all the time to address their congrgations and nothing is ever done - or if it is ever done the press is conspiratorially silent on the issue.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    Everyone knows that the law in question is only ever applied to conservative churches anyhow. Left leaning congragations invite politicians all the time to address their congrgations and nothing is ever done - or if it is ever done the press is conspiratorially silent on the issue.
    Somehow I doubt that, but even if true, the answer is simple. Take away the tax exempt status for ALL churches. In that way, there can be no inference of government partisanship one way or the other.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    Somehow I doubt that, but even if true, the answer is simple. Take away the tax exempt status for ALL churches. In that way, there can be no inference of government partisanship one way or the other.
    We could do that. We could take away the tax exempt status of hospitals and schools too. AND we could levy a DUMB ASS ATHEISTS tax - but that would be ridiculous.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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    A QUIET FAITH? TAXES, POLITICS, AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF RELIGION

    Richard W. Garnett*

    >>>snip

    But the churches’ exemption comes at a price:32 Like other tax-exempt charitable organizations, religious communities may not engage in activities and expression that concern or touch upon social realities and that are regarded by government as excessively political (or, perhaps, as insufficiently religious).33 Now, we could just regard these rules as the fair cost to churches of the tax benefits they enjoy, and perhaps also as reasonable safeguards against abuse of their tax-exempt status. Or, we could even say that these restrictions on churches impose no real burdens at all; they merely require charitable organizations “to pay for [political] activities entirely out of their own pockets, as everyone else engaging in similar activities is required to do.”34 On the other hand, it could be that the churches’ silence on political matters, and their retreat from the political arena, are no less valuable to government than the “social services” they provide and the “cultural and moral improvement of the community” to which they contribute.35 That is, we might think the tax exemption is simply the government’s way of paying churches not to talk about certain things.36

    But, of course, churches have been talking about these “things” for a long time. From the revivalists of the Great Awakening who helped pave the way for the American Revolution, to the God-drenched abolitionist movements that sparked the Civil War; from the priests, ministers, and rabbis who appealed to the nation’s better angels during the Civil Rights movement, to the priests, ministers, and rabbis who today urge a rejection of the Culture of Death;37 from the presidential bids of Reverends Jackson and Robertson to the “God talk”38 that was a staple of the campaigns of Senator Joseph Lieberman and now-President George W. Bush—our history, traditions, and interminable public debates on the social issues are and have always been awash in religious expression, argument, and activism.
    Interesting article...though wilbur won't like it
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  10. #10  
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    you forgot
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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