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Director Danguy's avatar

Dangerous Seeker

Sorry to spoil your hope ED-P, but I've decided to come out of Entdom to harass and piss off as many conservatives while drinking my own weight in beer as I can. To celebrate my return, I'm going to b***h about something near and dear to me, the fact that 1,500 pastors can get away with pissing on the US Tax Code without getting reamed by the IRS. For those who don't know, this bullshitery is known as Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday is a day that pastors, priests and vicars take to break United States law by stepping up and openly endorsing a political candidate. Under the US tax code, all 501 (c)(3) organizations "are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office".

Despite the pastors mailing videos of their sermons endorsing candidates straight to the IRS, the IRS has done ******** all to go after the offending parties. Now let's say that I, a bastardly handsome bachelor with no spouse or dependents, suddenly decided to start marking down three children on my tax returns you can bet your a** that the IRS would come after me with knives, lead pipes and sexual organs no one knows exist until they got the money I owed them. To say I'd be ******** seven ways to Friday would be an understatement. Churches being allowed to get away with this is like allowing me to run naked across the White House lawn while waving around a chewed up sheet of acid blotters. The only way it could be allowed to happen without some kind of hellish violent shitrain coming down is gross negligence and ambivalence.

So I say ******** them. The IRS should go after these scum with as much venom and zeal as they go after other tax code violators. And I don't care whether they support Romney or Obama, ******** them all equally. Revoke the tax exemption for churches that violate the 501 (c)(3) requirements.

Source
What I've always wondered, is what right is being violated.Is it just that my Rabbi can't say "vote Obama?" Frankly, if he did, I'd be looking for a new temple (or, more likely, we'd be looking for a new Rabbi)

Seriously, they can talk gay rights, abortions, wars, nuclear power plants, etc. etc. etc., what else is there?
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The IRS would love to bring the noise, but their regulations are still being hammered out with respect to this kind of behavior, whereas the hypothetical you just cited is a dime a dozen. If you look at your source:

Quote:
In its latest annual report, the IRS indicated it planned to examine allegations of political intervention by pastors.

But experts who spoke to Reuters said they do not expect the agency to move against Pulpit Freedom Sunday this year, chiefly because of the absence of a new audit procedure for churches.

Give it time - though I'm certain once the IRS does have the new audit procedure established, a lot of Churches will be less inclined to put their money where their mouth is.
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agrab0ekim
What I've always wondered, is what right is being violated.Is it just that my Rabbi can't say "vote Obama?" Frankly, if he did, I'd be looking for a new temple (or, more likely, we'd be looking for a new Rabbi)

Seriously, they can talk gay rights, abortions, wars, nuclear power plants, etc. etc. etc., what else is there?

I imagine the argument is similar to what we (kind of) touched on in Citizens United, i.e., prohibiting endorsement of candidates might have the unintentional consequence of chilling issues speech, since so many positions are inevitably tied to particular candidates.

Though, even in that situation, few government agencies are going to come down on a Church for issues speech in the same way they would a corporation, and Churches likewise have far less regulatory hurdles to overcome (that is, they have pretty much none.)
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"Turning the other cheek? Naaaww, we'll just piss on his face!"

Considering the IRS is in the crosshairs of conservatards, shouldn't they be stamping this s**t out?
Less Than Liz
agrab0ekim
What I've always wondered, is what right is being violated.Is it just that my Rabbi can't say "vote Obama?" Frankly, if he did, I'd be looking for a new temple (or, more likely, we'd be looking for a new Rabbi)

Seriously, they can talk gay rights, abortions, wars, nuclear power plants, etc. etc. etc., what else is there?

I imagine the argument is similar to what we (kind of) touched on in Citizens United, i.e., prohibiting endorsement of candidates might have the unintentional consequence of chilling issues speech, since so many positions are inevitably tied to particular candidates.

Though, even in that situation, few government agencies are going to come down on a Church for issues speech in the same way they would a corporation, and Churches likewise have far less regulatory hurdles to overcome (that is, they have pretty much none.)


While I can, barely, harbor that conceptually, it just doesn't make sense as an argument. I mean, you can easily graft an opinion that leads your flock in one direction or another, and the flock is all going there anyway...
CU had some sort of argument, until its current use of mooting (bullhorning) the normal-persons speech. I expect a counter balance to emerge from a differently worded CU3
Unless the churches are showing me that Obama is cracking down on them, the historical argument isn't there
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Noogie
"Turning the other cheek? Naaaww, we'll just piss on his face!"

Considering the IRS is in the crosshairs of conservatards, shouldn't they be stamping this s**t out?

Like I already said, the IRS did come down on churches, and the regulations and audit procedure didn't past muster. They're currently trying to revise these regulations and audit procedures so they comply with courts' interpretation of the law. Otherwise, they'd end up embroiled in litigation with a higher likelihood of losing, at best, and bad/unwanted precedent, at worst.
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Less Than Liz
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"Turning the other cheek? Naaaww, we'll just piss on his face!"

Considering the IRS is in the crosshairs of conservatards, shouldn't they be stamping this s**t out?

Like I already said, the IRS did come down on churches, and the regulations and audit procedure didn't past muster. They're currently trying to revise these regulations and audit procedures so they comply with courts' interpretation of the law. Otherwise, they'd end up embroiled in litigation with a higher likelihood of losing, at best, and bad/unwanted precedent, at worst.
Whoah, sorry, my eyes glazed over your post because for some stupid reason I thought you were quoting someone in thread.

When their audit procedure is hammered out, I suppose the evidence already sent in will do wonders for their tax exemption status in years to come. I fully expect to hear how the gubment is stepping on their beliefs.
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"Turning the other cheek? Naaaww, we'll just piss on his face!"

Considering the IRS is in the crosshairs of conservatards, shouldn't they be stamping this s**t out?

Like I already said, the IRS did come down on churches, and the regulations and audit procedure didn't past muster. They're currently trying to revise these regulations and audit procedures so they comply with courts' interpretation of the law. Otherwise, they'd end up embroiled in litigation with a higher likelihood of losing, at best, and bad/unwanted precedent, at worst.
Whoah, sorry, my eyes glazed over your post because for some stupid reason I thought you were quoting someone in thread.

When their audit procedure is hammered out, I suppose the evidence already sent in will do wonders for their tax exemption status in years to come. I fully expect to hear how the gubment is stepping on their beliefs.

I dunno how retroactivity would play out in that respect. It would depend on how the IRS decides to implement their audit procedure, I guess.
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Less Than Liz
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Less Than Liz
Noogie
"Turning the other cheek? Naaaww, we'll just piss on his face!"

Considering the IRS is in the crosshairs of conservatards, shouldn't they be stamping this s**t out?

Like I already said, the IRS did come down on churches, and the regulations and audit procedure didn't past muster. They're currently trying to revise these regulations and audit procedures so they comply with courts' interpretation of the law. Otherwise, they'd end up embroiled in litigation with a higher likelihood of losing, at best, and bad/unwanted precedent, at worst.
Whoah, sorry, my eyes glazed over your post because for some stupid reason I thought you were quoting someone in thread.

When their audit procedure is hammered out, I suppose the evidence already sent in will do wonders for their tax exemption status in years to come. I fully expect to hear how the gubment is stepping on their beliefs.

I dunno how retroactivity would play out in that respect. It would depend on how the IRS decides to implement their audit procedure, I guess.
Not having been to a church in years and the last time was for a screening of the first Harry Potter movie, I'm not even sure who exactly the IRS would take to task. Denomination would make a muddle if the preacher answered to a higher power. (geddit?)

Ideally, it should be based on how long they have been telling their church how to vote and where this instance is the only information they can get, then it should start from the lastclosest(?) lodged tax filings. I almost mentioned a statute of limitations, but our tax systems seem worlds apart and even then, just recently a Greens member from South Australia was found guilty of not lodging a return in 10 years, even though we're only obligated to keep paperwork for 7. Crazy stuff.
Ban's avatar

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There's also other thorny issues to decide, like when would a pastor be speaking as an agent of the church and when would he be speaking in his individual capacity. It seems like it would be possible to organize the internal corporate structure of the church so as to limit liability.
Gotta apply the rule to all non-profits. Separation of Church and State really just means state cannot endorse a religion. Doesn't really mean a damn thing about churches.
If this does get their status revoked, it should be applied to ALL non-profits across the board who support a particular candidate.
Of course, reality is, if they endorse a specific candidate, they should also remove any federal money they receive immediately, so that they know damn good and well it's not being done for political favor.
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Old Blue Collar Joe
Gotta apply the rule to all non-profits. Separation of Church and State really just means state cannot endorse a religion. Doesn't really mean a damn thing about churches.
If this does get their status revoked, it should be applied to ALL non-profits across the board who support a particular candidate.
Of course, reality is, if they endorse a specific candidate, they should also remove any federal money they receive immediately, so that they know damn good and well it's not being done for political favor.
How exactly is it a separation if one can meddle with the other? 'Cause I can tell you now that that is not a separation. Like, at all.
Noogie
Old Blue Collar Joe
Gotta apply the rule to all non-profits. Separation of Church and State really just means state cannot endorse a religion. Doesn't really mean a damn thing about churches.
If this does get their status revoked, it should be applied to ALL non-profits across the board who support a particular candidate.
Of course, reality is, if they endorse a specific candidate, they should also remove any federal money they receive immediately, so that they know damn good and well it's not being done for political favor.
How exactly is it a separation if one can meddle with the other? 'Cause I can tell you now that that is not a separation. Like, at all.


Separation of Church and state was implemented so that, unlike England, the government couldn't establish a 'government religion', it wasn't anything more than that. It doesn't mean that Churches aren't allowed to have opinions on candidates that are going against their teachings.

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