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

  1. #71
    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    And other charities don't pay a large portion of their donations to administrative costs? Think again.

    Charities With the Highest Admin Costs - MainStreet
    Yeah, but if I give $50 to the Red Cross I don't get to go and hang out in the Red Cross Building and get free entertainment and stuff. You giving your money to your church acts directly to make that church and it's services accessible to you. Which is why it's not really charity IMO.
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    And other charities don't pay a large portion of their donations to administrative costs? Think again.

    Charities With the Highest Admin Costs - MainStreet
    But other charities have to disclose information that churches do not. Its not just administration costs, the fact is, unless a church voluntarily discloses all that info, you don't really get to know anything much at all about what they do with their donated money.

  3. #73
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    What if the majority religion thought that it was against their religion for people to worship on Sundays, so they made a law that you couldn't go to church on Sundays, you just have to pick some other day.
    So if they put that law up for a vote, why should the church not be able to use donated funds to fight against it? That is why I think that churches should be able to use donated funds for moral issues.
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  4. #74
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    Yeah, but if I give $50 to the Red Cross I don't get to go and hang out in the Red Cross Building and get free entertainment and stuff. You giving your money to your church acts directly to make that church and it's services accessible to you. Which is why it's not really charity IMO.
    Really? Other charities don't have entertainment?

    Planned Parenthood: 'Sex, Politics, and Cocktails' DNC Party
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  5. #75
    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Really? Other charities don't have entertainment?

    Planned Parenthood: 'Sex, Politics, and Cocktails' DNC Party
    I don't think occasional fund raiser parties are the same thing as having weekly (daily even) access to a building and it's facilities. If members did not give money to the church, there would be no church to go to, which is, as I understand it, the main point of church in the first place. Churches exist so that the members can attend, hear the sermons, fellowship with each other, et cetera. When you donate to your church, that is what you get. Which is fine, that is exactly how it should be. But if your donations are going to fund a facility that you yourself use, I don't see how it's charity.

    So if they put that law up for a vote, why should the church not be able to use donated funds to fight against it? That is why I think that churches should be able to use donated funds for moral issues.
    I'm fine with churches using their money to fight any cause they want, but I think that money should be taxed, just like the rest of us are taxed with our political contributions.

    The point of that post wasn't really about taxes though, I was trying to explain why the separation of church and state -including not making purely religious laws- is important to religious freedom.
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    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    I've never heard about churches inviting candidates to speak, and I think that is a flagrant abuse of the law.
    Hey! Sorry that I did not get a chance to reply to you 'til now!

    Hearing of politicians speaking *during* religious services is a pet peeve of mine. There are many examples of churches and temples hosting campaign stops, town hall meetings, etc. While I'm not a fan, I don't find that nearly as objectionable as those which feel (to me) like a violation of the sanctuary/service.

    I did a quick search to pull up examples for you of politicians using the "pulpit" to offer speeches. I searched both sides of the political aisle and recognize from the news reports that it seems to happen at many levels of government offices down to local.

    Here are a few pulled from over the years:

    Republicans

    Herman Cain (Rock Springs Church)

    Gingrich (First Redeemer Church)

    Rick Santorum (Report on his schedule. You can find more clips from those stops mentioned.)

    Ronald Reagan (Campaign speech, Temple Hillel 1984)


    Democrats

    Bill Clinton (candidate 1996 -- St. Paul's AME Church)

    Barack Obama (Ebenezer Baptist Church -- 200

    Hillary Clinton (Decorah First Methodist Church -- 2007)

    Al Sharpton (Opposing SB 1070 in Phoenix, AZ during Wed. night services Pilgrim's Rest Baptist Church)

    Nancy Pelosi (Glide Memorial Church -- speaking after passing of Health Care Act during services )

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been reported to give a number of speeches at Jewish synagogues, but I do not know if those were during services or not. I only knew of the one that became a controversial news story after it her appearance during sabbath services were canceled at Temple Israel in Miami.

    I know that I could find more but am short on time. Did stumble upon this tidbit of advice from Michelle Obama (addressing AME's conference this year): "To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better,? Obama said at a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee."

  7. #77
    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    What about like if a husband told his wife who he expected her to vote for, or parents told their young (but old enough to vote) kids who to vote for? Sure, the wife in this scenario can vote for whoever she wants once she's in the voting booth and no one will ever know, but I still think it's gross for someone to try to use their power over you to basically turn your vote into an extra vote for themselves. Again, I think pastors should be allowed (legally) to say whatever they want.....but it still seems like an abuse of power to me.
    Alissa, playing devil's advocate here, as again, I don't have a church pastor doing this, but the flip side of what you stated would be that many church goer's tend to view their pastor as a "leader"... someone that they could trust for advice and guidance. As was pointed out within this discussion, attendance at a particular church is voluntary. You can elect to go/not go; give donations or not; spend time volunteering -- or not; etc. It is never mandatory... nor is it mandatory to accept whatever that person has to say. Example, someone attending a church that hear a sermon on being prolife. They may still opt to either listen to the message and accept to follow it or -- if they were prochoice they have that option to remain prochoice. Others may appreciate having some guidance on understanding a pov -- from their chosen faith/belief that they are *opting in* to attend. Another example, based on what you offered -- what about the old enough to vote kids that *turn* to their parents to hear their pov on the candidates. It is not, in that case, forced.. kwim? Wish I had more time! ~Missy

  8. #78
    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissyJ View Post
    Alissa, playing devil's advocate here, as again, I don't have a church pastor doing this, but the flip side of what you stated would be that many church goer's tend to view their pastor as a "leader"... someone that they could trust for advice and guidance. As was pointed out within this discussion, attendance at a particular church is voluntary. You can elect to go/not go; give donations or not; spend time volunteering -- or not; etc. It is never mandatory... nor is it mandatory to accept whatever that person has to say. Example, someone attending a church that hear a sermon on being prolife. They may still opt to either listen to the message and accept to follow it or -- if they were prochoice they have that option to remain prochoice. Others may appreciate having some guidance on understanding a pov -- from their chosen faith/belief that they are *opting in* to attend. Another example, based on what you offered -- what about the old enough to vote kids that *turn* to their parents to hear their pov on the candidates. It is not, in that case, forced.. kwim? Wish I had more time! ~Missy
    I don't think that's the flipside at all Missy. My point was that if the person has power over you (including power that you give to them willingly) then it's kind of an abuse of that power to try to use that power to their advantage to basically your vote into their own. Sure, in the end you never have to actually do what they say (just like the wife in my scenario who votes for her own candidate once she's in the voting booth) but I still think it's wrong. It's wrong precisely because he's considered the leader; the people he leads probably want his respect and may not feel comfortable going against what he has to say.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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  9. #79
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Missy, you're right about Obama at the Ebenezer Baptist Church; that was a gutsy move on his part and he (rightly) caught some heat about it. I told my DH at the time that if it was any other church but MLK's it wouldn't have been considered acceptable. I don't believe either of the Clintons or Mr. Sharpton actually spoke during services at those churches; they attended services as private individuals, which is perfectly legal, and they spoke at forums, conferences or rallies that were put on by the churches, which is also perfectly legal under the 501(c)3 guidelines. And Nancy Pelosi did speak during a service at Glide Memorial, but it's important to note that that was *after* the legislation she supported had passed.

    I haven't been able to find much information about Mr. Reagan at Temple Hillel except that he made "remarks to Temple Hillel and Community Leaders in Valley Stream, New York," and that it was a Friday morning. But I did find that part of Mr. Reagan's speech included this little tidbit: "We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate." He actually went on to defend a court case that totally contradicted this notion, but that doesn't surprise me much about Reagan.

    And to this:
    "To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better."
    I agree with this. Talk about the issues, not about the candidates and not about the legislation. The issues. That's the right way to do it.
    Last edited by Spacers; 10-12-2012 at 04:07 PM.
    70% of the U.S. population now lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. At 36 and counting!

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