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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:04 AM

18. You and I may think it violates church-state separation, but currently its not illegal for churches

Last edited Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:46 AM - Edit history (1)

with tax-exempt status to advocate for or against any political cause.

Yes, this is off-topic relative to the OP. I'm just alerting fellow DUers, that, according to IRS regulation and case law, churches may advocate for political causes, as long as they don't advocate for candidates or political parties.

If a church can't advocate for or against gay marriage, then what cause can they advocate for or against? I just don't see anything anywhere that laws defining marriage are somehow causes that churches may not advocate for or against, but that they can advocate for or against other causes without violating church-state separation.

Do you think the Minnesota Council For Nonprofits is wrong? http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/09/13/good-question-are-churches-allowed-to-say-vote-yes-or-vote-no/

“If a church posts a political sign endorsing or opposing a political candidate they are in violation of their tax exempt status. What if they post a sign either for or against the proposed marriage amendment?” wrote Kristen Ryan from Minneapolis.

“These really are some of the big issues in society, the fact that institutions have an opinion is not surprising, and, in fact, it’s entirely allowed,” said Susie Brown, public policy director at Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. The council helps educate and train nonprofits about the laws that would govern their tax-exempt status.

... The IRS allows churches to preach on the issues of the day, and they’re allowed to lobby on behalf of issues as well. They can puts signs up on church grounds and preach from the pulpit, without jeopardizing their nonprofit status.

“Institutions in the community, whether churches or nonprofits, have principles and values and a vision, and talking about policy positions in a way that’s aligned with that makes good sense,” Brown said.

So churches cannot post a “Vote for Obama” or “Vote For Romney” sign, but “Vote Yes” and “Vote No” signs are perfectly OK.

I may not like it, you may not like it, but it is not illegal at present. Some would argue that black churches were politicing advocating for civil rights and against voter photo ID and other modern-day Jim Crow laws are violating separation of church and state, and they may be right, but under current law it is not illegal. I was in a black church in an anti-voter-photo-ID presentation and rally about 3 weeks ago.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Kablooie Sep 2012 OP
TheDebbieDee Sep 2012 #1
DWinNJ Sep 2012 #2
tblue37 Sep 2012 #7
robinlynne Sep 2012 #17
allan01 Sep 2012 #3
SunSeeker Sep 2012 #4
msongs Sep 2012 #5
fearnobush Sep 2012 #6
progree Sep 2012 #8
SunSeeker Sep 2012 #12
progree Sep 2012 #14
SunSeeker Sep 2012 #16
LineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply You and I may think it violates church-state separation, but currently its not illegal for churches
progree Oct 2012 #18
SemperEadem Sep 2012 #9
daybranch Sep 2012 #10
SemperEadem Oct 2012 #19
hrmjustin Sep 2012 #11
Luminous Animal Sep 2012 #13
progree Sep 2012 #15
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