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God, I hope this blows up in their faces. For once in my life, I'm rooting for the IRS.

Posted by Hernandez | September 26, 2008 10:38 AM

If they want to endorse a political candidate, it's actually pretty simple. All they have to do is give up their tax exempt status. When a church makes the decision to apply for tax exempt status, they know going in what the requirements are. If you can't deal with that, then don't go tax exempt.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 26, 2008 10:43 AM

No doubt, there are many who will see this and think: What Would Jesus Do? But he's from the middle east, and couldn't vote here anyway. But, just for the sake of it (and I doubt I'm the first to think of this) - lets turn to "the word".

The force is with Luke 19:45-46 - "And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves."

Posted by ReverendZ | September 26, 2008 10:56 AM

It blows my mind that any religious organizations would want to religify the govt. They do realize that, once religified, the govt is not likely to be a member of their weird little sect, don't they? Wasn't that the point of leaving Europe in the first place?

For example, if a religious government decides to allow gay bishops, then they're going to have to kiss his big gay ring, or leave the church.

If they don't want government to influence the content of their sermons, they should stop trying to influence the outcome of elections.

Posted by blank12357 | September 26, 2008 10:57 AM

Go after the MF's and sieze assets. It's time to nip this shit in the bud!

Posted by Vince | September 26, 2008 10:57 AM

They're going to lose their tax-exempt status, plus whatever large sums of money they spent on legal defense. The result? Less money for influencing politicians and a big win for Democrats.

Posted by Greg | September 26, 2008 11:07 AM

@4. Any church is free to try to influence the outcome of an election. As long as they aren't tax exempt. This isn't a church and state issue, it's a tax code issue.

Nonprofits cannot attempt to influence the outcome of campaigns. The IRS doesn't want a nonprofit to masquerade as a PAC or political organization (donations to which are not tax deductible), and so it has drawn a thick line between the two types of organizations. No tax exempt org (the Red Cross, theater companies, etc.) can endorse.

If they want to challenge the code, fine, I guess. But, the way they're going about it seems a little weird to me. I hope they get their status revoked...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 26, 2008 11:09 AM

I hope most are those mega churches that rake in millions of dollars. The government needs the revenue.


And what's even worse is that Evangelicals supported the freedom of religion act in Virginia and the religion clause in the First Amendment because, at that time, they did understand that. Now that they have (some) political power, they're dumb enough to think that this won't turn around and bite them in the ass.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 26, 2008 11:10 AM

I'm okay with the red type, it's all the black ink in that book that scares me.

Perhaps the fundies can't see the red, that would explain a lot.

Posted by Jake | September 26, 2008 11:31 AM

I'd love to see IRS auditors sit in on sermons and go after the church when the minister quietly endorses candidates. About the only exception I'm willing to allow endorsement is when a candidate is when they go to that exact church (and not the chain) because they're one of the flock and it's more of a supportive thing.

Posted by Anon | September 26, 2008 11:43 AM

Because, you know, freeing those entities from regulation had nothing to do with this crisis in the first place!

Posted by Gomez | September 26, 2008 12:37 PM

Can anyone explain why the Mormon church is allowed to preach for Prop 8?

They are clearly using church infrastructure to do it, which was clearly raised through tax-deductible tithing. So what gives? Why isn't the IRS taking them down?

Posted by Alan | September 26, 2008 12:53 PM

They're all apostate freaks who refuse to follow the strict teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and will deep-fry in Hell.

Unless they become pirates.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 27, 2008 12:02 AM

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