Monday, September 08, 2008

In return for freedom from taxation in the USA, tax-exempt organizations must foreswear partisan politics. Now that ban is about to challenged.

Whether it is a synagogue, mosque or church, or a community arts center for that matter, long-established IRS rules prohibit partisan political activities by tax-exempt organizations. In a bid to politicize religion, a dangerous step in my view, religious leaders plan to challenge that standard.
No doubt, this initiative will be challenged, but right-wing Christian groups will portray their opponents as enemies of religion--proponents of "secular humanism". The IRS, which upon the establishment of proof that a tax-exempt group is flagrantly engaged in partisan politics should pull their tax-exempt status, will be assailed by the holy rollers as an agent of religious oppression. In turn, the issue will be used to mobilize "the base."
Put this stunt in the same league as the gay marriage issue, which was used so effectively to mobilize fundamentalist Christian voters in places like southern Ohio in 2004.

Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted

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