US goverment says Christians can't preach

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Matt Black, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/07/antiwar.sermon.ap/index.html

    It's official, the government, in this case the IRS, has decided that a Christian church cannot preach peace and retain its status as a charitable organization. The IRS has notified All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena that its tax status is in peril because a guest preacher gave an anti-war sermon.

    I can't decide which is more unsettling. The fact that the law apparently states that Christian churches can't preach peace, or that the IRS turns a blind eye to Baptist churches that blatantly campaign for the Republican agenda or Catholic churches that forbid Democrats from taking communion.
     
  2. Bro. James

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    Is it possible that the reporting medium is injecting a bias? Are all the groups crying "foul" getting reported?

    The IRS is a government/enforcement agency within itself--along with many other "Services". Apparently, "Due Process" does not apply to their activities. Internal Revenue has been an interesting phenomenon--ever since The Boston Tea Party. Nothing new--they are not as bad as they once were.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  3. guitarpreacher

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    okay, get the facts right. Nobody ever said the church can't "preach peace" whatever that means. The law very clearly states that you cannot take part in political campaigns or endorse candidates for office and still maintain a tax exempt status. If it's a conviction, give up your tax break and free speach rules the day. And it's not just a liberal thing. There is a church here in Arkansas where the pastor was accused of endorsing W in the last election, and there was a thorough investigation. So regardless of your political stripe, you have to keep it out of the pulpit if you want to be a tax exempt organization.

    My opinion - It's a good rule that should be enforced way more than it is.
     
  4. Phillip

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    I agree, the IRS cannot tell a church whether or not they can preach and if they attempt to pull the tax exempt status, you can bet there are other issues involved. Besides, if there weren't, due process has to be followed and it is doubtful this would stand even the first level of the judicial process.

    Sorry, but I get tired of these chicken-littles. It reminds me of the piece of paper they passed around to us as kids that had the ten items the Communists were going to use to take over the US. You know---get their minds on sports, blah, blah, blah. All of it made up.

    Watch the source on a lot of these stories. How many TV preachers do you know that screamed that invading Iraq (the FIRST time) was a prelude to the end of the world?
     
  5. Brother James

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    This is what happens when your church applies for a 501c3 tax status. You get your hands tied by Babylon.
     
  6. guitarpreacher

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    Only if you think preaching the Gospel includes telling people who to vote for.
     
  7. hillclimber

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    Only if you think preaching the Gospel includes telling people who to vote for. </font>[/QUOTE]You're right gp, but I firmly believe the Lord wants us involved in choosing our rulers. I believe the church should be responsible to inform its parishioners of the various candidates, their stance on the issues, and the issues themselves. We years ago fought it out to get rid of our 501c status but lost to the bean counters in the our church.

    The Hang em High Christian Church is sponsoring a debate between the two candidates for Governor. I think that would be great.
     
  8. Johnv

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    All Saints in Pasadena has a reputation for being rather liberal, often "preaching" politics. Some have complained that they don't know if they're at a church or a political rally. This is not an isolated incident.

    Tax exampt rules are clear: If you're acting primarily as a political organization, then you should file for tax exempt status as a political not-fot-profit organization.

    If All Saints continues to operate promarily as such, they will be allowed to keep their tax exempt status by filing as the proper type of organization.
     
  9. hillclimber

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    Our church wasn't trying to be primarily a political entity, but to incorporate politics into the mix. Equiping the saints for their walk would have still been 99% of the message. Our understanding at the time was that in order to use the phrase "Vote for so and so" would have violated our charter, so too many of them wanted to be sure politics were not talked about at all so the Feds wouldn't confiscate each and everyones home and first born child.
     
  10. guitarpreacher

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    Hillclimber,

    Teaching good citizenship is not a problem. Taking a stand on issues is not a problem. The problem comes when you endorse a particular person or party. Here in AR, we have wet/dry elections all the time as well as gambling elections. The churches generally take the lead in defeating (so far) these things. Not a problem.

    I think you would even be okay with your hang'em high sponsored debate, as long as both candidates were allowed to speak and the church/pastor made no endorsement.
     
  11. Rocko9

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    ---------------------------------------------
    I agree with you GP
    You can be compelled to vote in the wrong way for a candidate. A pastor can have a tremendous amount of influence in these matters. Then to complicate it more with the left leaning Churches and the right leaning Churches, right and wrong can get pretty muddled up in a hurry.

    Put out the issues and complete info on what candidates are for and or against but don't bring it into God's house of worship.
     
  12. hillclimber

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    Agreed.
     
  13. gb93433

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    Aren't the Amish and Mennonites anti-war?
     
  14. El_Guero

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    Matt

    Did you read the link you posted?

    . . . If you did, then the following was knowingly in error:

     
  15. Ben W

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    Along with the Brethren, Seventh Day Adventists and a whole host of others - Even some Baptists!
     
  16. Matt Black

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    El_Guero, judging by the vast majority of the posts on this board, I would hazard a guess that a heck of a lot of Baptists endorse the Republican agenda. I was just attacking the apparent hypocrisy of the IRS' apparent silence on that, rather than saying the IRS should investigate Republican-leaning Baptists.

    To those who say religion and politics don't mix, I wonder what version of the Bible you are reading? To my mind, what All Saints was preaching ws perfectly in line with Jesus' command to love our enemies and turn the other cheek, a sentiment which many of His followers endorse, as gb93433 and BenW have pointed out; inevitably that endorsement will tend to have the effect of criticising and not voting for people who think otherwise...I'm not sure what the IRS' problem is with that?
     
  17. Daisy

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    From the article: The Rev. George F. Regas did not urge parishioners at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena to support either President Bush or John Kerry, but he was critical of the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts.

    So the preacher did NOT endorse a candidate but WAS against the Iraq war, ie - pro-peace.


    In this case, no candidate was endorsed.

    That's probably true, but it seems wrongly enforced in this particular case.
     
  18. guitarpreacher

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    To attack one candidate is basically the same as endorsing another. If there are only 2 candidates, Bush and Kerry, and you speak out publicly against Bush, that's stepping over the line. I agree that enforcement seems to be a little lax. From the left, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton probably cross the line every time they step in a pulpit. From the right, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson do it often enough.
     
  19. Matt Black

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    So what are you supposed to say from the pulpit: "According to my interpretation of the Beatitudes, the war in Iraq was wrong, but Bush is a cool guy if you want to vote for him and oh yeah so is Kerry"?
     
  20. El_Guero

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    Matt

    Your intent was to mislead with your link to the article.
    From the article itself:

    The conservative Christians have taken their fair share of investigations. To allege that they are receiving prefferential treatment when your article CLEARLY stated otherwise is intentionally misleading.

    You mislead other Christians to believe in falsities. And that is truly unsettling.
     

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