• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Politics from the Pulpit

CriticalThought

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Messages
19,568
Reaction score
8,354
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Iowa pastor preaches politics to oust 3 justices who backed gay marriage said:
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (OtherUnrestricted) — The Rev. Cary K. Gordon has a prayer he recites as he campaigns against the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who are up for retention in next month's election.

"Dear God," he says, "please allow the IRS to attack my church, so I can take them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Gordon, an associate pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, says he will defy federal law this month when he urges the congregation to vote to not retain the three justices, who participated in a unanimous ruling that allowed same-sex couples to wed. His mass mailing to 1,000 church leaders in September prompted one national religious liberty group to file a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service.

Iowa pastor preaches politics to oust 3 justices who backed gay marriage - USATODAY.com

Most people couldn't imagine that the Supreme Court would give freedom of speech rights to corporations and unions so they could spend without limits endorsing candidates. How long do you think before churches are telling you who to vote for and against?
 

Kernel Sanders

Norville Rogers
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
3,730
Reaction score
1,931
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I'm not sure why this guy thinks that the Supreme Court would care. The tax exempt status for chuches is based in statute, not the constitution. By the constitution the US gov can tax any and all churches. The legislature was just kind enough to exempt churches if they stay out of politics. This guy and his church have the Constitutional right to say whatever they want, nobody is disputing that. They don't have a consitutional right to tax exempt status. That's a privilege granted to him by law so long as he hold up his side.
 

jallman

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
36,913
Reaction score
11,282
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Centrist
I'm not sure why this guy thinks that the Supreme Court would care. The tax exempt status for chuches is based in statute, not the constitution. By the constitution the US gov can tax any and all churches. The legislature was just kind enough to exempt churches if they stay out of politics. This guy and his church have the Constitutional right to say whatever they want, nobody is disputing that. They don't have a consitutional right to tax exempt status. That's a privilege granted to him by law so long as he hold up his side.

Exactly. I am all about freedom of religion and leaving churches alone. But I am also all about churches leaving politics alone, too. If this church can't play by the rules, strip them of their TE status and tax them to high heaven.
 

FluffyNinja

All Warm and Fuzzy
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
4,831
Reaction score
1,625
Location
Miss-uh-Sippie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
If this church can't play by the rules, strip them of their TE status and tax them to high heaven.

Do you feel the same regarding the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago (The President's home church)?
 

cpwill

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
65,606
Reaction score
33,483
Location
USofA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
there used to be a time when religion was truly a powerful force in American public and even political life.



interestingly, that time coincided with the time when religious leaders made sure that they never became partisan, or directly involved in politics.



guys like this are thinking tactically, not strategically.
 

digsbe

Truth will set you free
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
20,229
Reaction score
14,235
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
My dad is a pastor. I think he is allowed to speak Biblically about issues, but he isn't allowed to endorse a candidate or tell people who to vote for. I agree that churches should not endorse political candidates, as they represent their faith and not politics. However, I believe that faith and politics can go hand in hand on a personal level.
 

Goshin

Burned Out Ex-Mod
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,511
Reaction score
50,112
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I don't think anyone should be subject to a tax simply for speaking about political issues... including church officials.

However, if it gets to the point that a given church has become simply a political venue masquerading as a church... yeah, strip the tax-exempt status.

As it is being portrayed, the tax-exemption looks like simply a bribe to keep churches silent about politics. :(
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
906
Reaction score
183
Location
Maryland
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Churches should be paying taxes no matter what they do.
 

CriticalThought

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Messages
19,568
Reaction score
8,354
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
As it is being portrayed, the tax-exemption looks like simply a bribe to keep churches silent about politics. :(

What do you mean "as it is being portrayed"? That is exactly what it is.

Of course, in political lingo it is referred to as an "incentive" or "credit" not a bribe.
 
Last edited:

Ned Racine

Banned
Joined
Sep 24, 2010
Messages
588
Reaction score
41
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
I hope this indignation can apply ex post facto to All the Black Church's who avidly supported Jesse Jackson for President in 1984 & 1988 and who openly raised Money for his campaign . At one stop in St. Louis he was introduced as a "Messiah"

NBC has the tape.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,893
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
I'm not sure why this guy thinks that the Supreme Court would care. The tax exempt status for chuches is based in statute, not the constitution. By the constitution the US gov can tax any and all churches. The legislature was just kind enough to exempt churches if they stay out of politics. This guy and his church have the Constitutional right to say whatever they want, nobody is disputing that. They don't have a consitutional right to tax exempt status. That's a privilege granted to him by law so long as he hold up his side.

While it's not clear that the SC would be inclined to get involved, the issue that this guy is getting at isn't quite as settled as it might seem. The ban on direct intervention in political campaigns didn't come into effect until 1954. It was slipped into a much larger tax bill by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson in order to prevent a local church from endorsing one of his political competitors. The ADF thinks it's unconstitutional and has been trying to get the IRS to bring a case for years by hosting an annual "Pulpit Freedom Sunday." The IRS hasn't yet taken the bait, for good reason - only one church has ever had its tax-exempt status successfully revoked.

If you view the federal income tax exemption for charities as a subsidy to the preferred organizations, then the argument for permitting government regulation is stronger. If you think of the income tax exemption in a different way, that may make the argument weaker.

Moreover, the argument that "churches should lose their tax-exempt status and pay fed income taxes like everyone else" misses a key point - even if churches were not 501c3's, the bulk of them would still pay no fed income taxes. 84% of church revenues come from donations, which are not taxable. Although much of the other 16% would be taxable, that would generally be offset by operating expenses, leaving the church with little or no income tax liability.
 
Last edited:

Goshin

Burned Out Ex-Mod
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,511
Reaction score
50,112
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Churches should be paying taxes no matter what they do.


1. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

2. The more taxes churches have to pay, the less they have available for charity and outreach programs. Churches in my home town run soup kitchens, homeless shelters, crisis family shelters for abused women/children, food banks for the poor, after-school programs for 'at risk' children, etc etc etc. How much of that would be lost?
 

Glinda

You kids get off my lawn!
DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
790
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
2. The more taxes churches have to pay, the less they have available for charity and outreach programs. Churches in my home town run soup kitchens, homeless shelters, crisis family shelters for abused women/children, food banks for the poor, after-school programs for 'at risk' children, etc etc etc. How much of that would be lost?

Probably a lot.

You'd (speaking generically, here) have to ask yourself what sort of phonies/a-holes are running the church and providing these services if they're willing to risk it all to break the law and play politics.

The more they're willing to risk, the quicker you should join a new church.
 

RosieS

Active member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
69
Location
Central Florida
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Probably a lot.

You'd (speaking generically, here) have to ask yourself what sort of phonies/a-holes are running the church and providing these services if they're willing to risk it all to break the law and play politics.

The more they're willing to risk, the quicker you should join a new church.

Exactly. The church, synagogue or mosque that attempts to combine itself with the state should be shut down and a true church, synagogue, or mosque can be invited to take its place for as long as they adhere to the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

There are not any mandated breaks for evening prayer for Muslims at County Commission meetings. When there are, the lack of punishing religions for acting outside their bounds will be really painfully obvious.

It must be stopped for all religions well before then.

Regards from Rosie
 
Last edited:

Goshin

Burned Out Ex-Mod
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,511
Reaction score
50,112
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Exactly. The church, synagogue or mosque that attempts to combine itself with the state should be shut down and a true church, synagogue, or mosque can be invited to take its place for as long as they adhere to the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

There are not any mandated breaks for evening prayer for Muslims at County Commission meetings. When there are, the lack of punishing religions for acting outside their bounds will be really painfully obvious.

It must be stopped for all religions well before then.

Regards from Rosie


When you can prove that the 1st Amendment prohibits religious organizations from speaking on the subject of politics, you'll have a point. Until then, no.

I had this odd notion that freedom of speech applies to everyone... even preachers.
 

TacticalEvilDan

Shankmasta Killa
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
10,443
Reaction score
4,479
Location
Western NY and Geneva, CH
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
When you can prove that the 1st Amendment prohibits religious organizations from speaking on the subject of politics, you'll have a point. Until then, no.

I had this odd notion that freedom of speech applies to everyone... even preachers.

Removal of a TE does not in any way stifle speech.

I pay taxes, and yet somehow I manage to make ends meet and vent my spleen.

If they want the added benefit of not being taxed, then they need to accept the price of that exemption.

I don't really care if that means they'd be able to do less outreach. I could do all kinds of stuff with the money that gets taxed out of my pockets, as could anybody who woke up one day and discovered they didn't have to pay taxes.
 

RosieS

Active member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
69
Location
Central Florida
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Having your organization talk about politics on tax exempt real estate isn't freedom of speech. If they wanna do it, let them do it on the street, or in a gov't. meeting, like everyone else does. Then the gov't is prohibited from restricting it...when it's in the open.

Remove the property tax exemption and then you'd have something, anything, to have a point about, Goshin.

Regards from Rosie
 

digsbe

Truth will set you free
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
20,229
Reaction score
14,235
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Why can other non-profit organizations endorse political candidates and not churches? I'm personally against churches endorsing a candidate, but I think they should have the right to do it like other non-profits.
 

Glinda

You kids get off my lawn!
DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
790
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
That's abusing the separation of church and state. It doesn't mean churches cannot take political stands or endorse candidates. It means a church cannot govern or run for election.

All organizations that are recognized as exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are subject to the prohibition against political campaign intervention. Thus, religious organizations are not treated more harshly than schools, hospitals, social services agencies, colleges and universities, scientific organizations, museums or other charitable organizations exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Code. None of these organizations may intervene in political campaigns.

To qualify for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must meet the following requirements:

• The organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;

• Net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;

• No substantial part of the organization's activities may involve attempts to influence legislation;

• The organization may not intervene in political campaigns; and

• The organization's purposes or activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

IRS Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations 3 (Rev. September 2006): The IRS has noted that "[c]hurches that meet [these requirements] are automatically considered exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS." On the other hand, "nlike churches, religious organizations that wish to be tax-exempt generally must apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status unless their gross receipts do not normally exceed $5,000 annually."

Source
 

Glinda

You kids get off my lawn!
DP Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
1,716
Reaction score
790
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
our Constitution says that Congress cannot comment on religion, it says nothing about religion not commenting on Congress.

As documented above, the IRS (the "state") says otherwise. If this is a problem for you, I suggest you contact them for further discussion.
 

Barbbtx

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
8,467
Reaction score
1,993
Location
W'Ford TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
Absolutely. Any church that abandons being a church and takes up politics should be stripped of TE status.

Do you think Pelosi has crossed a line here?


May 8, 2010 ... Pelosi asks Catholic clergy for immigration help, ...
http:The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, 'We want you to pass immigration reform,' and I said, 'I want you to speak about it from the pulpit. I want you to instruct…',” Pelosi said, according to Fox News.
The House Speaker, who says she is Catholic, said that some people who oppose immigration reform are in the pews and

Pelosi asks Catholic clergy for immigration help, praises sisters who undercut bishops :: EWTN News a manifestation of our living the Gospels.”
 
Top Bottom