Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

OPPOSE POLITICIZING HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Activist HQ Donate to DU
 
NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 06:39 AM
Original message
OPPOSE POLITICIZING HOUSES OF WORSHIP
Edited on Thu Jun-10-04 06:40 AM by AZDemDist6
Remove "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions in H.R. 4520!

TAKE ACTION NOW!

BACKGROUND:

Republican members of the House of Representatives are attempting to clear the way for partisan politicking by houses of worship by slipping an important change to the nation's tax laws into a job-creation bill. Two sections of H.R. 4520, the "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004," deal not with jobs but with partisan politicking by churches. The so-called "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions would alter current law, which forbids churches from endorsing candidates for public office, and replace it with watered-down language giving wide latitude to such activity.

The "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions are similar to legislation introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) that was soundly defeated on the House floor during the 107th congress. Although the current version is a modification of previous legislation, its effects are equally troubling. In particular, the current provisions appear to grant churches up to three "unintentional" political endorsements per calendar year without losing their tax-exempt status, though with increasing tax penalties for each violation.

Rather than protecting our houses of worship, these provisions will have a deeply coercive effect on them and our country by enticing congregations and religious leaders to participate in campaigns. Churches may rely on political campaign committees, rather than the law itself, for instruction on what activities are and are not permitted.

Please CALL, FAX, E-MAIL your Members of Congress and urge them to OPPOSE final passage of HR 4520 unless the church politicking provisions are removed.

SUGGESTED PHONE MESSAGE:

I have read H.R. 4520, the "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004," and as your constituent, I urge you to oppose final passage unless the "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions are removed. Sections 692 and 4956 have nothing to do with jobs but with partisan politicking by churches.

The so-called "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions would change current law, which forbids churches from endorsing candidates for public office, and replace it with watered-down language giving wide latitude to such activity.

I believe religious leaders have a right to speak out on important issues and current restrictions on houses of worship do not exist as an impediment to that right.

These provisions encourage willful ignorance of the law by houses of worship, amending the tax code to permit churches, and only churches, to engage in political campaigns while maintaining their status as tax-exempt organizations.

I understand this is similar to legislation introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) that was soundly defeated on the House floor during the 107th Congress. Although the current version is a modification of previous legislation, its effects are equally troubling.

Federal tax law serves our nation's religious community well, preventing houses of worship from being drawn into partisan politicking. It does not need "fixing."

Once again, I urge you to oppose the "Safe Harbor for Churches" provisions of H.R. 4520. This is an important issue and one I will be following.

http://capwiz.com/au/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=598...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well, if it does pass, I don't think it can survive a First Amendment
challenge, based on the Establishment Clause and the Lemon Test. Even though the Supremes grumble about the Lemon case, I don't think they're going to overturn it anytime soon.

You know the reps who DO know about this law being thrown into a larger bill are also voting FOR it in order to look good for their constituencies ("I like God") and for the Republican Party generally.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I just share the "call to actions" I get
my legislators must be getting tired of hearing from me :evilgrin:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
be inspired Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oppose increased political power for churches
Thanks for posting this! I came here to this forum today to alert people about the same thing. Here's the message I came here to post:

H.R. 4520, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, contains a provision that would give religious leaders more freedom to engage in partisan politics without endangering the tax-exempt status of their churches.

The bill is also probably misnamed since the rest of it seems more like a typical Republican corporate welfare bill than a jobs creation act.

Please do not allow this infringement on the separation of church and state. The bill is due for consideration in the house NEXT WEEK. Please write your representative NOW and tell them to vote NO. Here's where you can find your representative's contact info:

http://www.house.gov

Here's a sample letter:

Dear Representative:

Please vote NO on H.R. 4520, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. I understand that a provision has been added to this bill that would give religious leaders more freedom to engage in partisan politics without endangering the tax-exempt status of their churches. This is a blatant attempt by Republicans to make it OK for churches to endorse President Bush.

I cannot support this bill while it contains a provision that endangers the separation of church and state. I urge you to vote NO on H.R. 4520.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pallas180 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-16-04 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. YESSSS!!!! So important.
:kick:

call up

e mail

stop the falwell's and robertson's
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 16th 2014, 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Activist HQ Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC