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church politicking

Dogger807

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http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/07/antiwar.sermon.ap/index.html

I'm all for removing tax exempt status from churches. There is a good reason for removing their exemption if they endorse political viewpoints as religious.

What bothers me on this issue is the fact that with all the blatent right wing disregard for staying out of politics, it is a left wing sermon that gets the publicity.

I'm thinking the IRS is biased right. I hope to be proven wrong and this gets enforced on church politicking from both sides, but for now I find it disturbing that from all the examples I've seen of right wing politicing a left wing loosely political sermon gets yanked.
 

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dogger807 said:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/07/antiwar.sermon.ap/index.html

I'm all for removing tax exempt status from churches. There is a good reason for removing their exemption if they endorse political viewpoints as religious.

What bothers me on this issue is the fact that with all the blatent right wing disregard for staying out of politics, it is a left wing sermon that gets the publicity.

I'm thinking the IRS is biased right. I hope to be proven wrong and this gets enforced on church politicking from both sides, but for now I find it disturbing that from all the examples I've seen of right wing politicing a left wing loosely political sermon gets yanked.
Pastors, both right and left leaning, support candidates from the pulpit. The difference I guess, is when they start mentioning names, and not ideals. For example... a pastor could say "Vote for the candidate that most reflects Biblical principles." Under that statute, that is a legal statement. If a pastor were to say "Vote for ......... (insert candidate's name here) because he most reflects Biblical principles", that is where the line is crossed.

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Unfortunately, not all churches and religious organizations have been content to live within these rules. Quite a few have attempted to evade the rules, either secretly or very openly, in order to allow churches and religious groups to participate actively in political campaigns even while retaining their charitable tax-exempt status.

One of the earliest (and only) cases where a religious group had to be sanctioned by the IRS involved Christian Echoes National Ministry. Founded in 1951 by Dr. Billy James Hargis, it engaged in a wide range of political activity, all the way up to endorsing Barry Goldwater for president in 1964. That year the IRS revoked their tax-exempt status, an action which was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit Court in 1972.

http://atheism.about.com/od/churchestaxexemptions/a/campaigning.htm

The use of this article, is to merely show that the IRS is not slanted to the right, as they have made considerable ground in ensuring ALL tax exempt organizations abide by the rules in which they agree to upon start up. MANY of the organizations, after seeing some of the punishments for breaking this rule, tow a very straight line.
 

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dogger807 said:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/07/antiwar.sermon.ap/index.html

I'm all for removing tax exempt status from churches. There is a good reason for removing their exemption if they endorse political viewpoints as religious.

What bothers me on this issue is the fact that with all the blatent right wing disregard for staying out of politics, it is a left wing sermon that gets the publicity.

I'm thinking the IRS is biased right. I hope to be proven wrong and this gets enforced on church politicking from both sides, but for now I find it disturbing that from all the examples I've seen of right wing politicing a left wing loosely political sermon gets yanked.
Agree with that. And there are a lot of other so-called non-profits in this country that deserve to lose their exemptions. The APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB is one of the biggest offenders.
 

kmhowe72

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I thinkn thats a very good Idea. We left england for that very reason. Thats why we have seperation of Church and state. But one has to wonder by taxing them won't they have say on what goes on in washington. And what are you going to tax them on? Tithings.
 

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dogger807 said:
What bothers me on this issue is the fact that with all the blatent right wing disregard for staying out of politics, it is a left wing sermon that gets the publicity.
That's the serious WTF that gets me.

"Hello, CBN? This is the IRS, I know we should have yanked your tax-exempt status years ago....but...."

:roll:

A church is a business and should be taxed as such. There's no separation of church and state when the church gets special privileges.
 

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Old and wise said:
Agree with that. And there are a lot of other so-called non-profits in this country that deserve to lose their exemptions. The APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB is one of the biggest offenders.
Why should the Appalachian Mountain Club loose their non-profit status?
 

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If the churches can say who can come in and who they want to go. then they should be taxed
 

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kmhowe72 said:
I thinkn thats a very good Idea. We left england for that very reason. Thats why we have seperation of Church and state. But one has to wonder by taxing them won't they have say on what goes on in washington. And what are you going to tax them on? Tithings.
They'd be taxed on property that the churches, temples, and mosques are built on.
 

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debate_junkie said:
Pastors, both right and left leaning, support candidates from the pulpit. The difference I guess, is when they start mentioning names, and not ideals. For example... a pastor could say "Vote for the candidate that most reflects Biblical principles." Under that statute, that is a legal statement. If a pastor were to say "Vote for ......... (insert candidate's name here) because he most reflects Biblical principles", that is where the line is crossed.

No Political Campaigning

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Unfortunately, not all churches and religious organizations have been content to live within these rules. Quite a few have attempted to evade the rules, either secretly or very openly, in order to allow churches and religious groups to participate actively in political campaigns even while retaining their charitable tax-exempt status.

One of the earliest (and only) cases where a religious group had to be sanctioned by the IRS involved Christian Echoes National Ministry. Founded in 1951 by Dr. Billy James Hargis, it engaged in a wide range of political activity, all the way up to endorsing Barry Goldwater for president in 1964. That year the IRS revoked their tax-exempt status, an action which was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit Court in 1972.

http://atheism.about.com/od/churchestaxexemptions/a/campaigning.htm

The use of this article, is to merely show that the IRS is not slanted to the right, as they have made considerable ground in ensuring ALL tax exempt organizations abide by the rules in which they agree to upon start up. MANY of the organizations, after seeing some of the punishments for breaking this rule, tow a very straight line.
What about Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton? The left likes them. But Billy Graham gets the shaft by the left. I think the left likes black churches just to get the black vote.
But if churches are taxed, then they'd get a say in what goes on the country. Would that be your beloved "seperation of church and state"? Nah.
 

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Donkey1499 said:
What about Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton? The left likes them. But Billy Graham gets the shaft by the left. I think the left likes black churches just to get the black vote.
But if churches are taxed, then they'd get a say in what goes on the country. Would that be your beloved "seperation of church and state"? Nah.
Sure it would, they could then say what they wanted to. It's their pulpit, their dollar, and their first amendment right to free speech.
 

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shuamort said:
Sure it would, they could then say what they wanted to. It's their pulpit, their dollar, and their first amendment right to free speech.
I hate to get off subject, but what the Hell are those little things dancing under your screen name?

But would it be seperation if they GAVE money to the gov't?
If you think about it, though. There is no seperation of church ands state. If there was then people who follow religion wouldn't be allowed to vote or work for the gov't. And, what's the difference if the Californian city decided to keep the cross on their seal? What if a mayor walked into a city hall with a big star of David around his neck, showing everyone that he's a jew. Wouldn't that be against your beloved "seperation of Church and state"? To have a religious icon go across the threshold of a gov't building? Nor would kids of religion be allowed to go to public school.

I may be taking this WAY out of context, but I'm trying to stir the pot and get a debate going here.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
Why should the Appalachian Mountain Club loose their non-profit status?
Because they are politically active. Because they are building themselves an infrastructure empire. Because they have an executive director that is paid $300,000 per year and some other very highly paid employees.

They are no different than the Sierra Club.
 

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Donkey1499 said:
I hate to get off subject, but what the Hell are those little things dancing under your screen name?
Honestly? Dunno. I found it at a website for icons and loved the bounce.


Donkey1499 said:
But would it be seperation if they GAVE money to the gov't?
As in a donation? No. If the funds are conditional that the government promote their religion in return, then the government should not accept it.


Donkey1499 said:
If you think about it, though. There is no seperation of church ands state. If there was then people who follow religion wouldn't be allowed to vote or work for the gov't.
Right, the government can have a person of any vote or work for the government.

Donkey1499 said:
And, what's the difference if the Californian city decided to keep the cross on their seal?
The difference is between an individual's preference and a governmental body. An individual can believe what they want, but the government has to remain neutral in these matters.

Donkey1499 said:
What if a mayor walked into a city hall with a big star of David around his neck, showing everyone that he's a jew. Wouldn't that be against your beloved "seperation of Church and state"?
Nope, individual preference.

Donkey1499 said:
To have a religious icon go across the threshold of a gov't building?.
Well, it's not like a vampire, it doesn't have to wait to be invited in. ;)

Donkey1499 said:
Nor would kids of religion be allowed to go to public school.
Sure they can. The public school on the other hand cannot show preferential or derrogatory treatment towards any religion however.
 

Donkey1499

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shuamort said:
Honestly? Dunno. I found it at a website for icons and loved the bounce.



As in a donation? No. If the funds are conditional that the government promote their religion in return, then the government should not accept it.



Right, the government can have a person of any vote or work for the government.


The difference is between an individual's preference and a governmental body. An individual can believe what they want, but the government has to remain neutral in these matters.


Nope, individual preference.


Well, it's not like a vampire, it doesn't have to wait to be invited in. ;)

Sure they can. The public school on the other hand cannot show preferential or derrogatory treatment towards any religion however.
I didn't mean donation, I meant as a tax.

Can the gov't show favor to any philosophy(ies)?

(You seem to be edumacated on this stuff, so edumacate me.)
 

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Donkey1499 said:
I hate to get off subject, but what the Hell are those little things dancing under your screen name?

But would it be seperation if they GAVE money to the gov't?
If you think about it, though. There is no seperation of church ands state. If there was then people who follow religion wouldn't be allowed to vote or work for the gov't. And, what's the difference if the Californian city decided to keep the cross on their seal? What if a mayor walked into a city hall with a big star of David around his neck, showing everyone that he's a jew. Wouldn't that be against your beloved "seperation of Church and state"? To have a religious icon go across the threshold of a gov't building? Nor would kids of religion be allowed to go to public school.

I may be taking this WAY out of context, but I'm trying to stir the pot and get a debate going here.
The concept of a separation of church and state simply means that the state cannot use its power to endorse, promote, or compel specific religious beliefs and the church cannot use the state as a means to endorse, promote, or compel its religious beliefs.

If you don’t have a separation of church and state, you cannot have freedom of religion and you cannot guarantee civil liberties to all individuals.

Churches just like any other tax exempt non-profit organizations, cannot endorse candidates or a candidates platform. If they do, then they loose their tax exempt status. If we allowed churches to endorse candidates or promote a candidates platform and remain tax exempt, essentially we would be creating a huge campaign finance loophole where politicians could use friendly churches to promote their agenda and use as much money as that church could raise for the purpose. Moreover, such a move would almost guarantee corruption. (That’s not to say that this does not happen already, but at least there is a way for the people to somewhat restrain this because churches are under the threat of being taxed if they get to overly blatant about it.)
 

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Donkey1499 said:
I didn't mean donation, I meant as a tax.

Can the gov't show favor to any philosophy(ies)?

(You seem to be edumacated on this stuff, so edumacate me.)
The government seems to follow the philosophies of its forefathers, its parties, and its citizenry. Paine, Jefferson, Hamilton, Washington, Lincoln, GOP, DNC, all have their own political philosophies. None of which invoke a supernatural ideal that would be in conflict with the 1st amendment.
 

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Using the Catholic church as an example, I do believe churches should be taxed. What seperates the Church from a nonprofit organization is that the Church is def. pro-profit. They have scades of money, art, jewels, and whatnot locked away in their own little country in Rome. The Church also is a major land owner in all Catholic operating countries in which they "tax" their followers and all the proceeds go into the Church bank to use how they see fit.
If for some reason, the Church went nonprofit, then they should be tax exempt, but not until.
 

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Donkey1499 said:
They'd be taxed on property that the churches, temples, and mosques are built on.
Some churches do pay a voluntary property tax, for the fire and police protection they get, etc.
 

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Donkey1499 said:
What about Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton? The left likes them. But Billy Graham gets the shaft by the left. I think the left likes black churches just to get the black vote.
But if churches are taxed, then they'd get a say in what goes on the country. Would that be your beloved "seperation of church and state"? Nah.
And just what say would they get? They'd get to contribute to campaigns? Well, most of the parishoners and pastors already do that, just not with church funds. They'd get to endorse a candidate from the pulpit? and that gives them a say anymore than you or I how?

And if Billy graham got such a shaft, why for the better part of 4 decades, Republican and Democratic presidents alike have invited him to be at their innaugurations, many times praying over the event. Yeah.. ok.

And as far as my beloved separation of church and state, please go and reread my ENTIRE post thank you. I wasn't defending or condoning any pastor/religion. I was merely offering proof to contradict the original poster's assertion that the IRS leans right because they are attempting to remove the tax exempt status of a liberal leaning church.
 

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Because pasters and preist have the power to brain wash people into believing that if you don't vote for a certain canidate you will burn for it. I know. I am not saying all churches. But alot do that. and that could be dangerous.
 

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That seems the popular belief. They probably only had this hearing so the republicans can look good.
 

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debate_junkie said:
I was merely offering proof to contradict the original poster's assertion that the IRS leans right because they are attempting to remove the tax exempt status of a liberal leaning church.
Assertion would be to strong of a word. It was an observation followed by conjecture. Your link does prove data opposing my hypothesis but it is dated. I could change my stance to "In the last 5 years the IRS seems to be taking a right wing view point." And my original post becomes valid again.

Let me take an extreme example . Pat roberson's Christian Coalition of America lost it's tax exempt status in 1999. An excellent example of a far right wing organization losing tax exemption status. But there was little publicity on the subject. And as such a blow to my first post.

You see , I made this thread because over the last year I've seen several stories where religious organizations where making extreme right wing politicking with no reprisal from the IRS and the first I've seen was against a left wing sermon.

My view in this is that the IRS really needs to be unaligned with either side.

As for recent tax exemption removal for left or right .. I need to do more research.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
The concept of a separation of church and state simply means that the state cannot use its power to endorse, promote, or compel specific religious beliefs and the church cannot use the state as a means to endorse, promote, or compel its religious beliefs.

If you don’t have a separation of church and state, you cannot have freedom of religion and you cannot guarantee civil liberties to all individuals.

Churches just like any other tax exempt non-profit organizations, cannot endorse candidates or a candidates platform. If they do, then they loose their tax exempt status. If we allowed churches to endorse candidates or promote a candidates platform and remain tax exempt, essentially we would be creating a huge campaign finance loophole where politicians could use friendly churches to promote their agenda and use as much money as that church could raise for the purpose. Moreover, such a move would almost guarantee corruption. (That’s not to say that this does not happen already, but at least there is a way for the people to somewhat restrain this because churches are under the threat of being taxed if they get to overly blatant about it.)
Well, the Democrats have REV. Al Sharpton. They endorse him. Where's the Separation there?
 

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ddoyle00 said:
Using the Catholic church as an example, I do believe churches should be taxed. What seperates the Church from a nonprofit organization is that the Church is def. pro-profit. They have scades of money, art, jewels, and whatnot locked away in their own little country in Rome. The Church also is a major land owner in all Catholic operating countries in which they "tax" their followers and all the proceeds go into the Church bank to use how they see fit.
If for some reason, the Church went nonprofit, then they should be tax exempt, but not until.
The followers aren't "taxed". The followers give offerings, which help pay for the upkeep of the church. And the offerings also go to charity. Although some catholic churches are corrupt.
 

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Al Sharpton well he is some one I wouldn't consider to be a real paster. and I am dem. he is more of an activist.:rofl
 
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