Skip to main content

View Diary: 71 Billion ? – Forget the Corporations, Tax the Churches (313 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  It's definitely a political act. (0+ / 0-)

    We are taking a position on an issue that is coming before the government of those who represent the public.

    The questions involved—such as whether or not to subsidize affordable housing, or to require a certain proportion of any new housing development to consist of affordable housing, or to speed the permit process for organizations setting up affordable housing—are all political questions, in that they concern the polis.

    And such political action is just as legal for religious organizations as it is for other non-profit organizations—so long as such action doesn't comprise a "substantial part" of the religious or non-religious nonprofit organization's activity.

    The "...and we're Democrats" part you are describing there would make it partisan political activity, and that would be the place where such activity would cross the line.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:37:49 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I Don't Agree (0+ / 0-)

      How does the city/town where you live know which political party you belong to?

      How does the city/town know which church you belong to? Are you using church stationery for your written correspondence regarding public housing?

      Yes, public housing funded by public money is a political issue-- I just don't get how your faith/church gets attached to your advocacy, unless you are somehow publishing this information.

      are you?

      "The fundamental strength of the economy is unimpaired". Herbert Hoover December 2, 1930

      by Superpole on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:52:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Political" and "partisan"... (0+ / 0-)

        ...are two different things.

        Our church is an official part of an interfaith network that advocates for things like affordable housing, and we regularly allow our church's main contact person with that network to speak during our congregational announcement time, as well as space in our church's bulletin next to all the other official events of the church, about how to get involved.

        The only way our church could take more of an official position on the matter would be to take a vote of the vestry—and we've had official resolutions on behalf of the vestry on other issues like this one in the past.

        Marriage equality and LGBT rights are also political issues, and our church (as well as the national Episcopal Church) has taken official positions on both issues, in addition to our church's members marching under our official church banner at Pride.

        All of the things I write about above are permitted political activities for a nonprofit religious organization like the church I attend, as long as they're not a "substantial part" of the church's activities—which they aren't, at least not as far as the budget is concerned.

        The two things that can get a religious organization's nonprofit status removed are:
        partisan political activity (i.e., explicitly endorsing a certain party or candidate for office)
        —nonpartisan political activity making up a "substantial part" of the organization's activity

        Nonpartisan, limited political activity is completely permissible for nonprofit religious organizations like churches, while retaining tax-exempt status.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 01:07:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (129)
  • Community (63)
  • Bernie Sanders (44)
  • Elections (36)
  • Hillary Clinton (28)
  • Culture (28)
  • 2016 (27)
  • Climate Change (26)
  • Civil Rights (23)
  • Science (22)
  • Environment (22)
  • Law (19)
  • Spam (19)
  • Republicans (18)
  • Media (18)
  • Labor (18)
  • Barack Obama (17)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (15)
  • White House (14)
  • International (13)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site