Tax Political Churches

Americans have supported tax-exempt status for charitable organizations, including churches, based on the premise that their primary mission is making the world a better place, by comforting the sorrowing, healing the sick and feeding the hungry, and generally helping those in need, and who want what the churches offer. When churches behave as political activists, the attempt to impose their members' theology on the entire body politic violates this implicit agreement not to interfere with those of us who do not want or need anything their faith has to offer. We, the undersigned, ask you to introduce, co-sponsor or at the very least vote "yea" for legislation to revoke all federal tax exemptions for religious organizations which advocate for or against any legislation or candidate for office, at any level of government from local to national.

In the 18th century, the Founders of the United States took government out of churches. Now, we need to take theocrats out of our government.  A necessary first step is to improve the tax code to make the limitations on tax-exempt status meaningful.  Currently, no church may take any position on candidates, but on the more important matter of shaping legislation, the laws of the land, they are governed only by a weak, vague rule that "they must not devote a 'substantial part' of their activities to attempting to influence legislation."  No part is acceptable.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf page 5 (7 of 32)
All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules: ­
their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual,
they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests,
they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation,
they must not participate in, or intervene in, any ­political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, and
the organization%u2019s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

Laws are generally longer-lived than politicians' careers, and have more impact than any single politician.  It is therefore more important, not less, to prevent "charitable" organizations from abusing their tax-exempt status to influence legislation than to influence which individuals get elected from one state or district to take part in drafting legislation.  We are petitioning our members of Congress to correct the tax law, to make the prohibition against church interference in the state as strict for legislation as for candidates for public option, by amending the third IRS requirement for tax-exempt status as follows:

they must not participate in, or intervene in, any ­political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any legislation or proposed legislation.
In the 18th century, the Founders of the United States took government out of churches. Now, we need to take theocrats out of our government.  A necessary first step is to improve the tax code to make the limitations on tax-exempt status meaningful.  Currently, no church may take any position on candidates, but on the more important matter of shaping legislation, the laws of the land, they are governed only by a weak, vague rule that "they must not devote a 'substantial part' of their activities to attempting to influence legislation."  No part of the activities of a tax-exempt organization is an acceptable part to involve in shaping the laws that rule us all.
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