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AU Sends Letters Reminding Churches To Remain Non-Partisan

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.

Pulpit Politicking – A Threat To America’s Houses Of Worship

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.

The Persistence Of Pulpit Politicking

During a sermon in May 2008, the Rev. Gus Booth made absolutely sure his congregation knew precisely which presidential candidates he did not want them to back.

“If you are a Christian, you cannot support Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.…Both Hillary and Barack favor the shedding of innocent blood (abortion) and the legalization of the abomination of homosexual marriage,” Booth, senior pastor of Warroad Community Church in Minnesota, said at the time.

Church-Based Politicking: It’s Time For The IRS To Enforce Our Nation’s Laws

The Internal Revenue Service has hit a rough patch lately.

The agency, never anyone’s favorite to begin with, has been slammed by congressional conservatives who have cut funding and made it difficult for the IRS to reach full staffing levels.

A few years ago, reports circulated that the IRS had unfairly targeted Tea Party groups for heightened scrutiny. As it turned out, there was less to the story than was reported, but the matter exploded and one top official, Lois Lerner, was forced to step down.

Trump Says IRS Out To Get Him For ‘Strong Christian’ Beliefs

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said recently that the Internal Revenue Service is targeting him because of his religious beliefs.

All high-profile presidential candidates are expected to release their tax returns at some point during the campaign, but Trump had not yet done so as of early March. He claimed he wasn’t able to because he is a frequent target of audits – although it’s unclear why that would prevent him making his returns public.

A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids

The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 rightfully declared this provision unconstitutional.

In the United States, pretty much all adults, with very few exceptions, have the right to run for public office. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If democracy means anything, it means the right to choose our own leaders. Disqualifying people from the ballot because of their race, gender or religious beliefs is un-American.

No Persecution Here: IRS Commissioner Says Tax Agency Has No Plans To Punish Christian Colleges That Reject Marriage Equality

The far right makes no secret of its hatred for the Internal Revenue Service, but recent comments by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen should earn the agency a few brownie points with fundamentalists who fear that Christian colleges will be forced to extend benefits to married same-sex couples or risk their tax exemptions.

As 2016 Presidential Campaign Gets Under Way, IRS Should Act To Enforce Non-Profit ‘No-Politicking’ Rule, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Liberty University May Have Violated Federal Law By Hosting U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

The Internal Revenue Service should make it clear that houses of worship and other tax-exempt, non-profit groups have no right to engage in partisan politicking, Americans United for Separation of Church and State told the tax agency today.

In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn urged the agency to act now, since the 2016 presidential campaign is getting under way.

Religious Right’s Prodding Of Churches To Violate Federal Law Pays Off Politically, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Calls On IRS To Enforce ‘No-Politicking’ Rule

Religious Right activists are bragging about their success in the 2014 mid-term elections, but there’s one thing they’re not telling the American people: Increasingly, their strategy relies on convincing houses of worship to violate federal law.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today noted that groups like the Faith & Freedom Coalition, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association and others urged houses of worship to distribute “voter guides” in houses of worship prior to the election.