Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When a church agrees to be tax exempt

The other day I posted Readers comment on Obama's Revs' tax exampt status. It's drawn a number of comments. I urge you to read the thread, if you haven't already done so.

I want to comment here on two of the comments.

Here are the comments in italics, with my responses in plain.

First Commenter - - -

The Black church has been a place for preaching on politics and social issues for a long time. History and tradition support this. If America wants to challenge this they will have to do so in a whole lot of churches, not just Trinity.

There's been politics preached in churches with black and white congregations for a long time. But that doesn't make it right, especially when a church accepts tax exempt status with the expressed understanding and agreement it will avoid political activity.

There's nothing preventing a church which fore goes tax exempt status from engaging in political activity.

You can call it a double standard if you want but I hope that there is not an attempt to take the discussion of politics out of the HBC.

I just explained above how any church can engage in "the discussion of politics," if it wishes.

What you seem to be advocating is a situation where certain churchs can violate their agreement to stay out of politics in exchange for tax exempt status.

Do I have that right?

Just a big can of worms. It is what it is. In my opinion it is not so much a democract vs republican double standard. The fact is most Black churches are made up of democrats and the discussion from the alter of politics is the norm.

The next commenter very effectively refutes the key points in your last sentences so I'll yield to that commenter.

Second Commenter - - -

Would you care to explain why "it is what it is" is any different from the old segregationist refrain "we've always done it like that?"

This double standard flies in the face of every principle this nation was founded upon. What would be your reaction to a White racist rant from the pulpit of a church? Would you feel that was harmless and supported by "history and tradition?"

The Second Commenter's reference to the "history and tradition" of pulpit politics which has included white racist rants as well as black racist rants, is a reminder of why we should keep politics out of the pulpits.

Also - if I may put it this way - for God's sake the American public shouldn't support any pulpit politicking by granting tax exempt status to churches and other house of worship which do it.


Anonymous said...

Amen Johnny!!

Anonymous said...

John: The KEY word in your heading is AGREES. Apparently, agreements don't mean all that much anymore, at least not when there is an agenda to promote. Steve in New Mexico

Anonymous said...

None of those arguments worked too well for Bob Jones University

Archer05 said...

Re: “Democrats hold political rallies in churches and that’s just fine with most MSM.”

It also seems to me that a questionable alliance has grown between some churches and environmental organizations.

I questioned a church, that held a forum to discuss “Pressing” environmental problems, and one’s Christian duty to “Save Our Planet.”

The seminar’s focus featured [political] discussions concerning philosophies to achieve the necessary goals.

A closer look at the forum agenda, revealed radical environmentalist speakers, and cleverly, a Democrat running for office.

These tax exempt, so-called 'Christian Alliance' organizations, that hold their forums in churches, also bear watching in my opinion.

RedMountain said...

While we are at it, John, this church needs it's Tax exemt status taken away as well:


Quote: "Kmiec, who served both in the Reagan and the first Bush administrations, was asked in April by a conservative Catholic business group to talk about why he chose to endorse Obama. Kmiec told NPR that, at a Mass service before he spoke to the group, the priest began talking about him during the service. He was talking, "in quite explicit terms," Kmiec told NPR, "about the only choice for a faithful Catholic, was one of a pro-life candidate, a fully legitimate pro-life candidate, and that anyone who would contemplate voting for or endorse a candidate otherwise was participating in a grave moral evil."
When Kmiec presented himself for communion, the priest, whom the law professor told the Washington Post he did not want to name for fear of retribution against the cleric, refused.

Kmiec told NPR that his wife, Carol, had fled the church in tears, and those in attendance "were mortified by what they had witnessed, as they should be because faith isn't a weapon."

A can of worms ON BOTH SIDES.

Thunder Pig said...

My church is not tax exempt, and we have still been threatened by lefties who wandered in and heard the sermons. After our pastor tells them that we pay taxes, we have still been reported to the IRS, and have been audited.

I think you ask the wrong question; the issue is about the left shutting the right up.

I see no problem with even tax exempt churches preaching on politics, and hold that a Christian Pastor who doesn't preach politics doesn't serve the Christian God first.