Churches, politics & IRS II
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013
The news story “Pastors increasingly pushing politics, despite IRS regulations” focused on individuals associated with Catholic organizations who made “political” statements, supposedly violating the IRS regulation against tax-exempt organizations endorsing political candidates.
The anti-God Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote letters to the IRS when it perceived such violations. Annie Laurie Gaylor, foundation co-president, said churches should not be allowed to endorse candidates when other tax-exempt organizations can't.
The foundation targets a selective few tax-exempt organizations in its complaints.
Allegheny County alone has nearly 16,000 tax-exempt/nonprofit organizations. Among them are National Organization for Women and NAACP chapters and various union groups.
During the last presidential election, some Obama supporters became “congregation captains,” organizing their churches to turn out voters for him. Obama and other Democrat politicians solicited votes from the pulpit in numerous churches, but there has been not a letter of complaint about those groups or churches.
Stanley J. Penkala
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