General Question

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Does this video piss you off, too?

Asked by IchtheosaurusRex (8626 points ) September 30th, 2008

http://www.cnn.com/video/savp/evp/?loc=dom&vid=/video/politics/2008/09/29/carroll.pulpit.politics.cnn

The Religious Right is going full frontal on Obama and daring the IRS to do something about it. I love this. They break the law, and when the IRS moves in, they’ll be screaming about religious persecution.

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12 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

Thanks for bringing this to our (my) attention.

Organized religion is nothing more than “just another business”, as Jim Bakker and his PTL (“Pass The Loot”) Club proved, to the entire world. (They claimed that the letters could stand for People That Love, but any grade-school English student knows that’s incorrect, and that it would be People WHO Love.)

Organized religion should never have been accorded tax-exempt status, and they should not continue to have it.

robmandu's avatar

Huh… wonder if this came up because of Trinity United Church of Christ‘s endorsements from the pulpit of Obama back in the primary season?

BTW, am I supposed to be pissed off b/c the IRS is stepping into the religious forum to enforce limitations on freedom of speech? Or that people use a non-profit pulpit to drive their political agenda?

augustlan's avatar

That just sucks. Sorry, Gail.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

Did you notice how that Drake guy stressed Obama’s name when he said a Christian wouldn’t vote for him? What a pig.

dalepetrie's avatar

I can’t see the video at work, but I know about the issue and will post here just so I follow this and can remember to look at it later. But I heard one of the preachers here in Minnesota on NPR yesterday on the way home from work saying that he came out in support of John McCain and portrayed it like the government was trying to take away their right as to what they can talk about on the pulpit.

And my though is, hey buddy, say whatever you want, but the government shouldn’t finance it. You have a right to free speech (he was legitimately saying to him it was a 1st Ammendment issue), and I support his right to free speech, but you don’t get a tax exemption for it. I’m not very keen on giving churches tax exempt status in the first place, but as long as they operate as charitable, not for profit organizations, I think it passes muster. I’d be all for changing the laws so that not-for-profit charitable organizations, religious or not get tax exempt status, but if they make profits, interfere with governance or generally overstep the role of a charity, then we shouldn’t support that.

What SHOULD happen here is the IRS should revoke their tax exempt status for breaking the law. Then of course they will challenge the law in court, which is what this is all about. Hopefully by the time it gets to the Supreme Court, President Obama has had a chance to replace one of the more conservative members of the court with a more liberal one, and the law is upheld once and for all, and these self righteous assholes end up paying through the teeth for their political ads.

robmandu's avatar

Just to be sure I understand, you’re all pissed off about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s endorsement of Barack Obama at Trinity United Church of Christ, right?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I’m pissed off about politics in the pulpit getting a free ride at taxpayer’s expense. It doesn’t matter who they’re endorsing, but the politics, I’m sorry to say, tend to be rather lopsided.

robmandu's avatar

Here’s some interesting info about the political activity by charitable tax-exempt organizations during the 2004 election cycle.

- All 501c3 organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Violations of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

- Political campaign intervention includes any and all activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

- The political campaign intervention prohibition is not intended to restrict free expression on political matters by leaders of organizations speaking for themselves, as individuals. Nor are leaders prohibited from speaking about important issues of public policy. However, leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official functions of the organization.

and much more.

dalepetrie's avatar

Hey, I think Wright’s endorsement of Obama from the pulpit is just as bad. Doesn’t make me like Obama less, but I’d gladly take away their tax exempt status if the new preacher there were to endorse Obama (he may have, I don’t know). Just like the rules say, it’s just fine to talk about issues of social justice, public policy, etc., but you can’t actively turn your pulpit into a political campaign, or you’re not doing public service, you’re pushing an agenda, and my taxes shouldn’t pay for that.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’m not watching the video, but I’ve heard of the organized idea. Honestly, it’s not like our legal system works quickly. I hope that their status is revoked by the IRS, as it absolutely should be for pulling that kind of stunt. I hope they go to court, as they want to. And I hope the IRS is like, “Look, we set out the laws when you agreed to the tax exempt status. You could have done this another way, like not during your service, but you didn’t. You abused tax exempt status. The end.” And the court is like, “The IRS is right. also, we’re scared of them. DENIED.”

Bri_L's avatar

@ robmandu – I get your point and I have a problem with it across the board.

JackAdams's avatar

After reading so many of the above comments, I thank Gawd that I am not, and never have been, a Christian.

Amen!

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