It seems in recent years that whenever churches break the federal law prohibiting houses of worship and other 501(c)(3) non-profits from endorsing or opposing candidates, the Internal Revenue Service treats those violations with a shrug. And with all the talk this election season about repealing that anti-politicking law, Americans United felt it necessary to ask the IRS what it plans to do going forward to enforce a law that is good for both democracy and faith.
Given the events of the past few days, there was relatively little hope that last night’s presidential debate would turn into a substantive discussion of policy issues. Indeed, The Washington Post noted that the night was dominated by insults, and its print edition called the event a “dark, bitter faceoff.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) had a major ethics lapse recently when he advised clergy to break the law.
In an address to a group of pastors at the governor’s mansion, Bevin told them that even though the federal tax code prohibits houses of worship (and other 501(c)(3) organizations) from endorsing or opposing candidates for office, the Internal Revenue Service is just a “paper tiger” so there’s nothing to worry about.
Last night’s vice presidential debate covered several issues pertaining to the economy, foreign policy, immigration and even faith – for a brief moment.
When debate moderator Elaine Quijano asked, “Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position?” both U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) talked about reproductive rights.
As we mentioned earlier today on this blog, yesterday was “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event during which Religious Right groups try to persuade religious leaders to break federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.
Yesterday was “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a large Religious Right legal group, during which members of the clergy are urged to violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office from the pulpit.
Americans United in September mailed letters to 100,000 houses of worship nationwide, reminding religious leaders that it is a violation of federal law if they use church resources to endorse or oppose candidates for office this election season.
In the letter, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn explained what houses of worship can and can’t do when it comes to political activity.
Staring out over a crowd of 3,000 far-right evangelical Christians in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump assumed an unusual mantle: defender of America’s “Christian heritage.”
“Our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended like you’ve never seen before,” Trump told attendees of the annual Values Voter Summit (VVS). “Believe me. I believe it and you believe it and you know it.”
By The Rev. Dr. Rollin O. Russell
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has been telling audiences for months now that he wants to abolish the federal law that says non-profit, tax-exempt organizations can’t engage in partisan political activity by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.