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Church and state correction

I posted a bit back that I would no longer support the Presbyterian church because of their stance on the Assault Weapons ban. I was mistaken. It was only the Washington office.

My church isn’t affiliated with them. However, I think churches should stay out of the government business in general.

6 Responses to “Church and state correction”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    Hear, hear!

    And vice-versa, I might add…

  2. Indigo Says:

    Isn’t there a law that removes a church’s “tax exempt” status if the pulpit is used for political purposes? Enforced as diligently as the “no spitting on the sidewalk” law, apparently.

  3. tgirsch Says:

    No, that’s not true. Churches are allowed to engage in issues-based politics. They’re just not allowed to do partisan politicking. For example, the Catholic Church routinely admonishes its parishoners not to vote for pro-choice candidates. That’s perfectly legal, just as it’s perfectly legal for the NRDC to encourage you to vote for environmentally friendly candidates. But if the former group were to say “don’t vote for a Democrat,” or if the latter group were to say “don’t vote for a Republican,” or if either group endorsed or campaigned against a specific candidate, then that would indeed kill their tax exempt status.

    Some groups, such as the Sierra Club and various Pat Robertson groups, have willingly (or, at least, sort of willingly) given up their tax-exempt status to specifically allow them to engage in partisan politics. This is why Robertson’s groups can hand out their heavily Republican-biased “voter guides,” and why the Sierra Club can campaign against the Republican party.

  4. AlphaPatriot Says:

    Groups such as the Sierra Club maintain two separate organizations. One devoted to education, doing “good works”, etc., and the other devoted to lobbying and political activism.

    The National Organization of Women (NOW) got into trouble recently because their two organizations share the same offices, the same officers, and (in some cases) the same bank accounts. The “non-political” arm almost lost its tax-exempt status.

    No wait – the government is too scared to take on someone like NOW or Rainbow/PUSH so everything just got swept under the rug.

  5. tgirsch Says:

    You might be right about NOW (that’s not an uncommon practice), but I can assure you that the Sierra Club doesn’t have any non-profit status. My donations to the Club have never been tax deductible.

    In any case, if there is impropriety, the government usually won’t tackle it by itself. Somebody generally has to litigate. Robertson’s organizations didn’t lose their tax-exempt status until AU got involved.

  6. SayUncle » The Presbyterian Church and Guns Says:

    […] I have mentioned this before but then realized it was just the Washington DC PCUSA. That doesn’t appear to be the case now as this piece is from the Presbyterian Church USA’s main site. Some Presbyterians are jumping ship. Me and the Mrs. are members. Well, actually, shes a member and I just get dragged there once a month to feign interest and listen to gospel music done by white people. Guess Ill be asking them about their involvement with PCUSA. […]

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