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View Diary: Pastors Endorse McCain from Pulpit? (21 comments)

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  •  Let's see where this line of reasoning leads (8+ / 0-)

    If, as these pastors claim (backed by the Alliance Defense Fund), that requiring they not endorse candidates for office is a violation of their free speech rights, there appear to be two solutions:

    1. Give us their tax-exempt status, then they can say whatever they want, or
    1. Expand this "free speech argument" to cover all tax-exempt organizations--for instance, let PBS take a stand on candidates.

    I'll bet they're unwilling to do either--tax exemption removal would put them out of business, while most would be loath to allow tax-exempt, but non-religious, organizations to have the same "free speech rights", especially if those organizations are liberal in nature.

    Not sure I can see any other solution, without trying to claim that religious organizations ought to have some special status....

    •  Here is the argument (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, irishwitch

      I have heard it advanced that churches believe that they have a right to tax-exempt status in order to avoid excessive entanglement under the first amendment.  As it currently stands, churches do not need to file the Form 1023 (to get 501(c)(3) status) nor do they need to file the Form 990 (annual informtion report) on this basis.

      The argument usually is that tax-exemption is a matter of legislative grace, narrowly construe.  Unless, of course, you think its your right.  Then churches get to endorse and stay tax exempt, and no one else does.

      Nifty?

      Disclosure: Proud to be the Volunteer coordinator for Indiana for WesPAC

      by ElaineinIN on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:05:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, particularly nifty (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, irishwitch, jcassens

        ...if, as is often the case with the people and groups making these arguments, they don't really buy the "church/state separation myth" (as they call it), except as a one-way wall, designed to keep government out of religion, but not the other way around.

        So, if they think it's their right to have this tax exempt status, can I start a new religion which, as one of its canon, says that all Republicans are the spawn of Satan, and then not have to pay taxes and speak out on behalf of Democratic candidates for office?

        I'm just sayin'....

        •  They buy it when (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, jcassens

          it helps them and disdain it when it doesn't.  They view it as the govt. being unable to tell them what to do at all (I suspect some would probably be OK with human sacrifice if they could justify it scripturaly--which, actually, they can--so long as it only applies to CHRISTIANS, natch) while they can do whatever they damned well please.  They are right that the govt. has to have a good reason for interference ( human sacrifice comes to mind)--what they forget is that the govt cannot establish a particular religion or even favor one over another (which means Wiccans like me have the same rights they do, something they cannot stand). Actually the govt. can't even appear to favor one faith over another.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:20:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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