Should Churches Have To Stay Out of Politics to Remain Tax Exempt - Page 5
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Thread: Should Churches Have To Stay Out of Politics to Remain Tax Exempt

  1. #41
    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    I bet they would itemize the heck out of it if groups found a way to donate money to their political causes tax free. How fast would those Super-Pacs find partner churches to partner with?

    Anyway, just because people might not take advantage of it doesn't mean that it's fair. Gloria, do you really think it would be fair to allow political donations to be tax free if funnelled through a church? Is that really what churches are for?
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  2. #42
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    So because you would not personally go to such a church, no one can?

    "Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    It is clearly unconstitutional to make laws limiting what a pastor or church can or can not preach on.

    I just did some more looking, and it appears that you can lose your tax exempt status for endorsing a particular candidate. I think this is very wrong and unconstitutional. I think it would be better to just say if the tax exempt status is going to make the government think they have the right to tell a church what to preach on, then they should take it away. I mean from everyone including the United Way and any other organization.

    ~Bonita~

  3. #43
    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Bonita - if you're talking to me, I didn't say that no one can go to such a church. I've actually said explicitly that I think pastors should be legally allowed to say whatever they want, and that it's up to the church goers to decide if they want to put up with what they have to say.

    There are a lot of things that I think are wrong but I still think should be legal.
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    Sorry, no I was not talking to you. We must have been typing at the same time because your post was not there when I started typing. I actually agree with your stance.

    ~Bonita~

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    I must have taken a long time in my post, because there are actually several posts after I started writing mine.

    ~Bonita~

  6. #46
    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Gotcha - that happens!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Just want to add if 70% of taxpayers don't itemize than everything those 70% of people donate has been taxed once already.


    Who Itemizes Deductions?
    Can I ask how we "know" that Republicans donate more than Democrats if 70% of donations aren't itemized?

  8. #48
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    Can I ask how we "know" that Republicans donate more than Democrats if 70% of donations aren't itemized?
    Not 70% of donations, 70% of taxpayers. I don't know what percentage of donations aren't itemized, I doubt anyone could figure that out. But I guess we only "know" for the one's that do itemize. It would be pretty hard to track data they don't have unless they just take people at their word.

    One limitation on the study is that it is based only on IRS data for those earning $50,000 or more and who itemize deductions. This leaves out a lot of taxpayers and many lower income and lower middle class people. In Milwaukee, traditionally, giving has been more broad-based and not as dominated by large individual gifts. In that sense, the rankings may punish Milwaukee and understate its generosity.
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  9. #49
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    Again, I think pastors should be allowed (legally) to say whatever they want.....but it still seems like an abuse of power to me.
    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in what kind of political activities they may conduct. That's the law, and it's the right law. It's intended to prevent such abuse of power as telling the homeless you feed lunch, to go vote for your candidate or you won't feed them anymore. As a charitable service organization, you provide a service to those in need with no expectation of anything in return; the "in return" is that the organization gets tax-exempt status.

    Churches can't talk, it's the people who do the talking. And when a person is acting as the official representative of that church, i.e. when they are preaching or using church facilities to hold a fundraiser dinner or using church letterhead to write a newsletter, then they absolutely should be restricted to religion, not politics. When that same person is acting as Joe Blow, plain old human being, that's when he can say anything he wants or support anyone he wants. And it's not just churches, any other 501(c)3 organizaton is held to the same standard. A professor at USF was recently disciplined for using his position in a statement supporting a candidate, and Stanford University got an ad about Proposition 37 pulled off the air, partly because it featured a photo of the University. Here's some information from the IRS website: The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Not 70% of donations, 70% of taxpayers. I don't know what percentage of donations aren't itemized, I doubt anyone could figure that out. But I guess we only "know" for the one's that do itemize. It would be pretty hard to track data they don't have unless they just take people at their word.


    Murphy
    Sorry, I typed that wrong, but even better...if 70% of TAXPAYERS don't itemize, then we have no way of ever knowing accurately at. all. What was interesting about the article you posted is that if they take out religious donations some of the states catapult to the top (PA from 40 to 4; NY from 18 to 2).

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