Beyond weird…

Here is a church that may lose its tax-exempt status because it is espousing political viewpoints

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

I’m trying to figure out how every Baptist church in the nation isn’t now paying taxes after the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Dan, please link if blogspirit won’t play nice.

tdaxp’s Comment: Thank you Aaron for the blog post. It’s great to have you back as a guest blogger!

That said, the article doesn’t link to any details on the speech. Does the IRS have a transcript, etc? We do know that the church has a history of breaking campaign laws

The IRS has revoked a church’s charitable designation at least once.

A church in Binghamton, New York, lost its status after running advertisements against Bill Clinton‘s candidacy before the 1992 presidential election.

And that the church chose to escalate the situation

Marcus Owens, the church’s tax attorney and a former head of the IRS tax-exempt section, said the agency offered to drop the proceedings if the church admitted wrongdoing. The church declined the offer, he said.

To repeat, I don’t know the details of the case. Churches have great freedom to discuss issues that concern them, and the IRS’s decision would only make sense if the church stepped beyond that to politically endorse a particular candidate.

Any opinions from the practicing lawyers in tdaxp‘s audience?

PS: Want something truly weird? How about an online statistical clearinghouse shaking down blogs?

3 thoughts on “Beyond weird…”

  1. The church was Episcopalian so my opinion is already known…

    In all honesty I believe Churches should be allowed to have freedom of speech while keeping tax-exempt status

  2. Catholicgauze,

    LOL — so little sympathy for your Anglo-Catholic brothers?

    Perhasp the best strategy is to get the government out of the speech business, and allow non-profits to be political.

  3. Churches and educational non-profits lose their tax-exempt status by becoming avowedly partisan in their actions – vote for party A or defeat candidate B ! Providing ” information” is ok until it crosses that line.

    Someone also has to file a complaint with the IRS

  4. Don't know if you guys remember this but, would this count as overt political support for a specific candidate? Or should it only be spoken, rally like support? N.C. Church Kicks Out Members Who Do Not Support Bush

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