Telling Church-Goers How To Vote Without Naming NamesSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Telling Church-Goers How To Vote Without Naming Names
 


15 October 2008 at 8:24:45 AM
salon

Here's a PDF sent by a regular reader, from the Diocese of Dallas and Diocese of Fort Worth. Basically, the brochure sets out a firm position on abortion and then says that anyone who votes for a candidate who supports *abortion rights* (whatever that is) is cooperating with evil. I don't have any beef with any religion that has a position pro or con on any issue at all, although I may not agree with it. But I do when the religion crosses the line into telling churchgoers who to vote for by winking and not naming names.  Churches that do this type of thing ought to lose their tax-exempt status. It's dishonest on the part of the churches who engage in this, trying to be coy about telling their parishoners who they should vote for while still trying to dodge having to pay taxes. If a church wants to be part of politics, and advocating for candidates, then fine, be just another Political Party-the Christianists. But then pay your taxes like the rest of us who also exercise our free speech but get no special tax exemption.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Alliance Defense Fund’s Erik Stanley told The Times that “in church it is the pastor who should determine what is said, not the the IRS.”

That’s true, so long as the church doesn’t want a tax exemption. But the exemption is a privilege, and with that privilege, comes limitations — even on the World Wide Web.

A little bit more, because the tax exempt status applies to ALL 501c3 organizations, not just religious ones.

Supporters of these proposals say a change is necessary because clergy are afraid to speak out on political issues. But this argument is mistaken. The free speech rights of religious leaders are already broadly protected by the U.S. Constitution. Clergy can and do address public policy concerns, ranging from abortion, gay rights and gun control to poverty, civil rights and the death penalty. They may support legislation pending in Congress or the state legislatures, or call for its defeat. They may endorse or oppose ballot referenda. Indeed, discussion of public issues is a common practice in religious institutions all over America.

The only thing houses of worship may not do is endorse or oppose candidates for public office or use their resources in partisan campaigns. This restriction, which is found in federal tax law, is not limited to churches and other religious ministries. In fact, it is applied to every non-profit organization in the country that holds a tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contrary to the claims of many in the Religious Right, the IRS is not singling out houses of worship for special regulation. Thousands of educational, scientific, charitable and literary organizations hold the 501(c)(3) status, and all must abide by the legal requirement barring involvement in elections.

Why does this rule exist? The answer is obvious upon a moment's reflection: Non-profit organizations receive tax exemption because their work is charitable, educational or religious. That tax benefit comes with conditions. One requirement is that tax-exempt organizations refrain from involvement in partisan politics. This is a reasonable rule, since tax-exempt groups are supposed to work for the public good, not spend their time and money trying to elect or defeat candidates.

This regulation is also designed to protect the integrity of the election process. Special types of organizations already exist to help political hopefuls win public office. Those groups, such as Political Action Committees, have a different tax status and are organized under a different set of rules than 501(c)(3) groups, rules designed to ensure that the nation's campaign-finance laws are followed. Blurring the distinction between these two types of organizations would harm both religion and politics.


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Comments

salon > Quick update on this, via Pacer-Click on pic to see larger (Turk Case Update- Telephone Conference Hearing Set for March 8 2019 )

salon > Lance Been awhile. Send me an email at salon@glenrose.net with the names of who you're talking about, above. Also, the newspaper editor is no longer local, ie officed here, but the paper is run.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I'd love to see the Hotel Guest books and see if Jacene's name shows up long before he officially *found* the tracks.  I'd like to know if the Visitor's Bureau has emails wit.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I see the land or that part of it is now in the hands of Glen Rose's own Corky Underwood. Is Jacene still involved?   I had already informed the Visitor Bureau manager (who's.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )








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