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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:03 AM
Original message
Falwell university’s tax-exempt status questioned after banning Democratic club
Source: RawStory.com

In a little-noticed letter to the IRS last week, Americans United for Separation of Church and State called for a formal review of the tax-exempt status of the university founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell in the wake of the school’s decision to ban a club for campus Democrats.

Liberty University, founded by the late preacher Jerry Falwell, banned a student Democratic club in May, saying that its principles were not in line with the university’s (even though the club was pro-life and is, by most accounts, moderate). Falwell’s son is now chancellor of the school.

Americans United director Rev. Barry Lynn fired off a letter to the IRS May 27. The letter can be read here (PDF).

<snip>

Yesterday, Liberty University returned fire — asking that Americans United be probed for the same alleged offense.

<snip>

Read more: http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/03/falwell-universitys-tax-exempt-status-questioned-after-banning-democratic-club/
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UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. burn
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
25. witches and liberals?
:rofl:
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Only if they weigh the same as a duck
It's the only way to be sure.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
41. Only if the confess after waterboarding. It's the only way to get a 100% conviction rate,
proving gawd is on your side and you are always right. :rofl:
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #26
78. Well... Falwell was a quack, does that count?
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent news.
Take away their tax-exempt status!
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. Will the IRS listen?
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Given how saturated government is with loyal fundies after all these
years of neocons in control, and given the Obama administration's constant rightward turns, I'll wouldn't be surprised if they go after Americans United and defend the "University."

x(

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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
88. You are more right than you know -
after Americans United sent their letter to the IRS, the tax-exempt Liberty Counsel, founded by Liberty University's Law School Dean Matthew Staver, in a tit-for-tat move, sent its own letter to the IRS asking them to investigate AU and remove its tax-exempt status.
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Crabby Appleton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
55. No nt
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. LOL....there must be a gawd!
:evilgrin:

Thanks for the good news!
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RDANGELO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. Why should any university be tax exempt?
It's not a church. Is this an accredited university?
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. It is a church run university
If the church running it won't allow a Democratic Club, but does allow other (rw ) political clubs, then they blew it.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
34. Right. Churches are the only tax exempt organizations in this country.
:eyes:
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #34
65. I think lots of progressives
should be founding our own churches!!! Gee...that means we could write up our own edicts! Yee Haw!!!
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. There are progressive churches. Look into the United Church of Christ,
the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. Oh no....I want to go WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
beyond the UUs. And I just may look into this.

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destes Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #65
89. I've got an old fiat you could use, and wouldn't you look good ..
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 09:55 AM by destes
..behind the wheel of a late model ukase?
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VaYallaDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #65
92. If we do, I call dibs on being pope.
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. It also receives tax payer monies..
Besides being tax exempt it receives grants and student loans from tax payer money.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. It's accredited
Then again, it's accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits several Christian universities. (Two it does NOT accredit are Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones University.)
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...
It is disgusting that joke of a University (Liberty) has the same accreditation as our state run schools down here in the South, as well as Vanderbilt.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
33. Universities are not engaged in for-profit enterprise.
Thus, they are not-for-profit, and thus tax exempt under IRS regulation 501(c)3. Churches are far from the only 501(c)3 organizations. I wish people would read up on tax laws before making uninformed statements.
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TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
43. Why should we read up on tax law before making a post
when we have someone like you who will (graciously?) share their knowledge with us?

This is a message board, not some on-line university study group.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #43
59. Yeah. God forbid you should know what you're talking abut before you post.
What a bizarre thing to expect. :eyes:
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TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #59
67. Well, I'll just continue to let lackies like you feel superior
by letting YOU do my research for me! Sucker! :P
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #33
90. It doesn't matter if they are engaged in partisan politics. And they are. (nt)
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 10:06 AM by w4rma
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
71. Many universities are STATE universities, so it would be govmt taxing itself. nt
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
86. You don't have to be a church to have tax exempt status. I don't believe a university has
to be accredited to have tax exempt status, either.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. It would be really sweet if they lost their tax exemption over this.
If something this blatantly partisan and political doesn't do it, then what will?
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
8. That's great! Now how about....


the Mormon church and the Catholic church. They certainly have been politically active and gotten "rewards" for being so.

Actually it's time for this tax exempt status to go altogether. I mean we now also support religion with our tax dollars. They just call it "faith based" something-or-other. Y'know atheist & Science groups aren't tax exempt. Why should believing in stone age guesses about how the universe works trump real science and evidence. Why are those who believe in reason and trust science not given the exact same benefits as those who who don't (but of course benefit from what those who do discover and utilize)?

Tax the churches
Tax the businesses owned by the churches

And make Corporations pay their fare share.

Then we could ALL get a big tax cut from our personal taxes.
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AlexDeLarge Donating Member (141 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. AMEN!
Since when did any of the churches deserve to be tax-exempt? They certainly don't seem to be poor and with the poverty in this country, they don't seem to be taking care of anyone except themselves. Time for some REAL wealth redistribution.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. "Poor" isn't the reason for tax-exempt status.
Public service and being not-for-profit is. They can be religious, educational, or even advocacy (since, in some sense, that's also educational). One could argue quite independently of the tax code that citizen groups, where the citizens already pay taxes and where the groups aren't trying to make a profit for their "owners" should be tax exempt, whether it's the local PTA or the Mormons.

The Nature Conservancy isn't poor, nor are GreenPeace and the ACLU--the all take in a fair amount of money per year, and neither have helping the poor as their primary motivation. Yet they're also non-profit and tax-exempt.
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PSzymeczek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
76. Actually,
The Progressive and Mother Jones are non-profits as well. Not for subscriptions, but for additional contributions. They're considered educational.
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Johnnyheadstone Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Here is the problem....
If you tax them they will scream they deserve a political voice because they are paying for it....so in that sense no you can not tax them (from their perspective)

However....

When a "Church" (like say.... the Mormons) gets openly involved with supporting a ballot iniative, like say....Prop 8....(both publicly vocally and financially) then I think it is time to say you have crossed the line from being a Church to being a Political Entity and therefore you will be taxed....

Also take away "Coprorate Personhood" and eliminate stock options as a pay option (not even for bonuses) to reign in the CEOS of the runaway companies....
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. agree with all that!
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
49. they will scream they deserve a political voice because they are paying for it
Obviously actual churches do have a political voice these days. You mentioned some large examples. There are smaller ones.

So let them pay a "minimum" tax or a special tax or something and make sure they are carefully monitored so they do not stray. Of course if the Government would grow a spine and actually make some big religious organization who has been politically active pay their taxes, the others would scale it back. Money talks and it screams where religion is concerned.

Besides, they'd have a blast being "martyrs"!
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. I agree, but you are talking about the US. It ain't gonna happen.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
35. The regulations allow tax exempt organizations (which are not only churches)
to engage in social advocacy, but not in partisan politics.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
39. Agree with you on getting rid of all the religion based
Tax exempt status stuff.

But as far as tax cuts - no one should be paying income taxes, if they make less than 70K a year. Tax those who make more and start taxing the really rich.
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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #8
93. Tax all or tax none... hmm...
Seems pretty damn fair to me.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
12. tax all religious institutions
a religion, when it is wealthy enough to buy land and attempt to influence votes, is nothing more than a lobbying group and private corporation.

the idea that religious groups perform some essential function is dead. the religions themselves killed this idea and unless they are TOTAL non-profit institutions whose sole purpose is to feed the poor and care for the sick, I see no reason for them to get preferential treatment - esp. when they support and align themselves with domestic terrorism, hate crimes, and bigotry against groups of people like women and gays.

people are able to speak out about their beliefs and still pay taxes as citizens. I see no reason to give religious people should be treated any differently.

Is Liberty an accredited university? I think this should be challenged because they teach creationism and pretend it's science. we don't accredit those who teach voodoo and allow them to practice medicine. the same standard should hold for creationists.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. There's no specific law giving tax exempt status to religous institutions.
They are tax exempt under IRS regulation 501(c)3, just like the American Cancer Society or your local homeless shelter. To make a specific law regarding the taxing (or not) of religious institutions would be a violation of the establishment clause. You'll have to find another way to express your hatred.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #30
46. charitable organizations are not supposed to exist for the benefit of private interest
preaching "supply-side jesus" and voter guides sure sound like organizations that exist for private interests to me.

just as I abhor right wing muslim extremists, I abhor right wing christian extremists and I do not apologize for that. Just as organized crime organizations were brought down by targeting their financial aspects, I think it would be a very good thing for this nation if religious extremists in this nation were deprived of funds.

I realize you are involved in a church.

As I said, those that exist to feed the poor and help the sick perform a valuable function. Those that have a history of support for racism, sexism, those that laude the murder of a doctor are worthless. More than worthless. They are harmful to a society.


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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #46
60. But for the government to decide which religions are good,
and which are not wanders dangerously close to violating the establishment clause....which exists for a reason. I mean, if a Dem administration could turn on conservatives, Repugs could turn on UUs and UCCs.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #60
68. yes, you're right
and I'm frustrated.

I am sick of the right-wing influence in this nation. Maybe I'm just sick of this nation...maybe that right-wing is more representative of this nation than I find tolerable.

I need to find a place where I feel more at home.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #60
91. They already have turned on lib churches with the spying and infiltration. nt
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #30
50. You'll have to find another way to express your hatred.
Edited on Wed Jun-03-09 03:37 PM by AlbertCat
I beg your fucking pardon??????


I suppose I could murder some barking preacher I don't like, but that would be acting too much like they do. Besides, ya just wait a while and some sex scandal will get 'em!
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
13. Off you go tho the greatest page for greater exposure of this RW den of virulent RW ideological
brainwashing. :P
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
16. I think they should lose accreditation too
that is if they are accredited..
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melm00se Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. they are
http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=7650

SACS - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
CCNE - Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
CATE - Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
NCATE - National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Ed.
etc

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Rebubula Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
17. WTF?
Why should they even have tax exempt status???

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NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
22. The fact that they are a "institution of higher learning" is an affront to REAL universities.
The best use of a Liberty Univ. diploma is to wipe your ass. No university should be accredited as a "higher institution of learning" if it espouses creationism, fundamental rhetoric, and nonesensical religious bullshit.

J
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #22
40. We saw the truth in your statement
Edited on Wed Jun-03-09 02:32 PM by truedelphi
In action, back when some of Gonzales' assistants had to testify on Capital Hill.

One of his young lawyers kept taking the Fifth - even though she had been given full immunity for her testimony!

Never laughed so hard! In fact it is rather sad.

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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
24. They dumped their club for Democrats which showed they favored one party
Ironically the Liberty University Democrats are all anti-choice.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Yep. That's why they are in danger of losing 501(c)3 status.
Non-profits can't engage in partisan politics.
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #31
74. That of course begs the question
is this partisan politics? The campus Republicans are a sanctioned club, but it may be an open question as to whether the university encourages their involvement in partisan elections to the extent that this is a violation. Barry Lynn is usually spot-on about this sort of thing, but in this case, the slant of his letter is a little strange. He tells the IRS that this MAY be a violation and that they should investigate further, but he knows the law on this point very, very well (AU gets involved in this type of case all the time, and Lynn is an attorney himself, if I'm not mistaken). If there were a really good argument for this being in violation of their tax-exempt status, Lynn could (and would) make it to the IRS at least as well as they could make it to themselves.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
27. Enrollment must be down
Need a publicity stunt.
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JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
28. RECOMMENDED!!
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
29. THIS should be DU's new shirt design - TAX LIBERTY UNIVERSITY!
:rofl:

This is too much. I love it!
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
32. K&R
:kick:
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
36. ROFL! Returned fire?
"Yesterday, Liberty University returned fire — asking that Americans United be probed for the same alleged offense."

Let me guess. The place is run by idiots.

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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #36
81. Found the same thing hilarious! These people are sodding morons.
Seriously... I've been in plenty of debates with right wing morons. I explain something to them logically and simply. They tell me I'm 'spouting nonsense' to which I remark, "Ummm... it's simple logic. It's not my fault you don't understand it."

Their reply?

"No! It's YOU who doesn't understand logic!"

"Ok, then explain it to me... logically."

"I can't explain nonsense!"

:wtf:

Seriously, these morons would rob a bank, get caught, be accused of robbery by witnesses, then turn around and say; "No! YOU'RE the bank robbers!"

:wtf:


They are really that fucking stupid. It's just mind numbing. Yes, they will almost certainly turn around and claim that AUSCS should lose it's tax exempt status for, ummm... trying to keep church and state separate?

:wtf:

This'll be fun.
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dashrif Donating Member (353 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
37. Well
do away with all political clubs or allow all, goose and gander. Why does it have to be this hard?
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kleec Donating Member (117 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. Well
because they are neocons, that's why. They make everything difficult for those who believe differently from their ideological strange beliefs!
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SirRevolutionary Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
38. they're accredited by GOD :-)
You can have great senseless arguments with any of them here in Lynchburg. They'll tell you GOD accredited the univer-shitty and he hates dems. They don't listen to me when I tell them god told me he's a liberal though.
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
42. YEAH!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!!
:bounce: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
45. I was talking with someone who knows about VA schools...
Edited on Wed Jun-03-09 03:10 PM by sofa king
In a post a while back I noted that Liberty University was already a guaranteed resume-killer to people like me (which means nothing, because I don't look at peoples' resumes), and I pointed out that there are half a dozen or more better schools with comparable or better tuition rates within a two-hour drive of Lynchburg.

Someone better qualified than I agreed that a Liberty degree doesn't count for much except in batshit land, but corrected me about one thing: most Liberty students don't have a snowball's chance in Jerry's new digs of getting into any of those other schools. Liberty isn't even a safety school for most C-or-lower students (and home-schooled students). Rather, it's the only shot some people have of skipping the minor leagues and stepping up directly to a four-year college. Parental church patronage essentially guarantees admission, along with a pulse.

The United States is blessed with a higher education system which practically guarantees a place for anyone who can muster up the funds, and with a lot of hard work, luck, and research, some don't even need that. Liberty is the place for those who can scrape up one or more of the first three of those things, but who are totally incapable of performing the fourth.

Edit: The above is a little unfair, I think, because it does not take into account those who make the best of the meager opportunities they have. I'm sure that there are plenty of those kinds of students at Liberty, too, and they are not so easily dismissed. However, their future success will be in spite of their studies there, not because of it.
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SirRevolutionary Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. this is dead on
I can say with certainty it's a cliche down here. If you're "saved", you're in. Not only do they go to school together, they do business with each other, etc and so on. It's most definitely a cult. In their minds, all the other schools are pretty much junk because science is bull. Liberty to them is the only real school around. They offer Kool-aid and fire-side chats about Jesus with a flame thrower riding around on a dinosaur (which is really a Komodo dragon because dinos only exist in Hollywood). They throw parties when some terrorist Christo-con murders someone like Dr Tiller because they detest murder. I gave up trying to debate these people because that would require a logical mind. Truly they're insane, simple as that and I wish there would be more public discourse around that topic.....Fundies of all religions are insane, there's no logic to be found, only Kool-aid.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #48
54. Eh, I feel bad for saying it, now.
It has taken me quite a while to realize it, but I do know someone who was a Liberty student. And that guy was as good as they come. Straight as an arrow, quite bright, and tolerant of me, which is saying a lot. I became pretty good pals with him when I was a student at one of those nearby schools, and I'd completely forgotten him after all these years. I think that edit I made above must have been some part of my brain saying, "hey, wait a minute!"

So there's a lesson for me and maybe others. No matter what generalities I can draw about such things, I must remember that "people" are always made up of unique individuals. I'm supposed to know that by heart.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
47. Falwell, Warren, Robertson, and all their ilk - they've been getting away with it too long.
Time to make them pay the fuckin' piper.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
51. End all tax exempt status for churches. It is a violation of separation of church and state
to have the government give tax breaks to churches. And especially for the mega churches that turn around and us their money to affect legislation.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #51
62. Churches don't get tax exemptions because they're churches.
They qualify along with all other 501c3 organizations, and have to meet certain criteria to do so--none of which includes being a church. There's no specific regulation regarding churches. To begin taxing churches would also mean taxing the American Cancer Society, the Humane Society of the US, your local homeless shelter, any non-profit. A law regulating only churches would be a violation of the establishment clause.

So, you're anti-Christian bias will have to find some other way to play itself out.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #62
73. I am an anti-dogmatist. I do not think churches that spend millions to influence legislation
Edited on Wed Jun-03-09 07:19 PM by rhett o rick
meet the criteria for 501c3 organizations. The Catholic Church and the Mormon Church are a couple of the biggest corporations in the world. Why should my tax money go to to them. They ain't the American Cancer Society, or local food bank. They are a huge corporation that is using their money to influence legislation.

I should have a choice where my tax money goes. And I certainly don't want it to go to any religion, Christian or not. I will help those with cancer, the homeless, the sick, but not help mega churches build huge churches and cathedrals to promote their dogmas.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. When you get to run the IRS, or re-write the Constitution,
what you want will matter. Until then, the law and IRS regs will be the deciding factors.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. Please explain where in the Constitution it says that the non-religious need to support the
religious. It does mention the separation of church and state. So the state giving churches a tax break is a violation of the Constitution. The only reason the IRS and Congress don't enforce it, is because of the pressure brought to bear by the churches.

I also believe it is against the law for churches to get involved in politics.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
52. I don't think this will work
First, I am a tax CPA. My understanding of IRC Section 501 is that they are prevented from supporting or opposing specific candidates. They can say or do anything they want in regards to issues. If I had to guess, I would think this would fall under issues.
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Crabby Appleton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #52
56. I think you are correct. nt
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #52
63. I've been told my aunt, a retired lawyer with the IRS,
to avoid speaking out in regard to any candidate OR POLITICAL PARTY. I can speak on social issues, but nothing partisan. This seems a pretty clear violation.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #63
75. What is she basing this on?
IRC 501(c)(3) states "does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for political office."

Regs 1.501(c)(3)-1(c)(3)(iii) defines candidates as "an individual who offers himself, or is proposed by others, as a contestant for an elective public office, whether such office be national, state or local."

I spent about 15 minutes looking at BNA and some other Treatises and found NOTHING that would lead me to believe this is not acceptable under 501(c)(3) of the Code.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #75
79. I'm guessing she's basing it on 30+ years of experience. nt
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #79
84. All of my tax, legal and denominational advisors have all said the same thing...
you have. Address issues to your heart's delight, but steer clear of candidates AND parties.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #84
85. Really???
I spent a little time researching revenue rulings, revenue procedures and court cases (we know the Code and Regs don't specifically address this) and could not find anything. Additionally, I contacted an ex-coworker (she has 15 years of non-profit tax experience for a Big 4 firm) and she was not aware of anything saying this.

Do you have any citations? Could you ask them if they do? I would be really interested in reading the conclusions.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #85
87. I did a bit more research and...
based on some Revenue Rulings I found, I would think there MAY be an issue if a specific political party is chosen related to a specific election. Based on this, I would still question if this action would jeopardize tax exempt status.

That said, the government has shown restraint in ever enforcing this. Look at the 2008 election. BOTH parties had churchs straight out supporting them and nothing has happened to them.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #87
96. Churches, or pastors?
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 11:36 AM by Critters2
Clergy can be as political as we want, as individuals. People often mistake an individual clergyperson as speaking for a church. To do so, they must be speaking from the pulpit, during a meeting or worship service of the church, or otherwise blatantly, obviously speaking in the role of pastor.

Clergy do have the same rights as anyone else to express opinions.
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #96
98. Indeed. I am known in my community as being both clergy and a progressive political activist.
Might be why I was invited to deliver the invocation at the local NOW chapter's candlelight vigil in honor of Doctor Tiller tomorrow evening. :)

Whenever someone from the paper contacts me for a statement, I always remind them I am speaking for myself and not my congregation. Each and every time.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #98
100. Smart move
The only one that pops into my mind is the speech Wright gave about how Clinton doesn't have the personal experiences that Obama has. This was clearly a pro-Obama speech. However, I don't know if this speech was part of a sermon or not.
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #85
97. It may very well be a matter of prudence.
In other words, creating a nice wide barrier to avoid crossing the actual line. I have just always been cautioned to avoid partisanship in the pulpit.
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
53. Smash that grade inflating place.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
57. OMG, get this. ""We are very rigorously non-partisan,"
Because...wait for it....he added, noting in that in recent months the organization has criticized the Obama Administration for its faith-based initiative.

They're non-partisan because they've criticized the Obama administration! :crazy:
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #57
82. Sooo - they BAN Democrats AND they CRITICIZE THEM, too!!!
I don't see how that's not partisan...in fact - it makes them MORE partisan...
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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #57
94. Err... uh... I think you read it wrong.
This quote was American United's response to the allegations of Liberty University which questions AU's tax-exempt status for being (paraphrased) 'a de-facto arm of the Democratic party' since it only 'seems' to want to go after churches endorsing Republican candidates. This was offered up in defense.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
58. K&R
:kick:
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santamargarita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
61. Christian Fascists like this bunch should be taxed...
university of hate and bigotry
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Stump Donating Member (808 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
64. I live here in Lynchburg
They are actually building a damn fake-snow ski slope on the mountain behind the school. (I refuse to call it a University) They've already fucked up the beautiful mountain view with a huge LU logo made out of rocks just to get around the Lynchburg City sign ordinance since they claim it's natural. It's like freaking Fundy-Land Theme Park...no fucking way they should be tax exempt.


Looks like nature huh?

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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #64
70. That's really sickening. Such beautiful hills ruined by Liberty Baptist College. nt
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Stump Donating Member (808 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #70
72. Tell me about it...
You can see this shit from The Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway...about 50 miles away. It sucks. The only cool thing about it was sometime last year when some people rearranged the rocks to spell "FU". What I would not have done for a picture.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #72
101. From Peaks of Otter?!
I grew up in Central VA. Now I'm even more sad about it. Like the FU though - bet it wasn't the last time unless they put up a concrete wall like JF's home compound.
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Dirigo Donating Member (157 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #64
77. I Wonder How Many Hymen Have Been Dented Up There In The Rockpile?
Edited on Wed Jun-03-09 08:50 PM by Dirigo
What a desecration of greenery turning beautiful Lynchburg into a freakin' Six Flags or Disney Theme park attraction. You have to wonder how many vestal virgins sent to Liberty University don't hike up there with raging hormones getting their hymen dented while overlooking the village below? As has been said this blight on the beauty of Virginia's natural beauty doesn't deserve a tax exemption and they should be made to replant the area forthwith and clean up the site.
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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #64
95. It's pronounced "loo"... as in toilet. n/t
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #95
99. LOL! That's the first thing that popped into my mind too.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
102. good
:)
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