HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The House just passed a b...

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 06:30 PM

The House just passed a bill that could politicize churches

JACK JENKINS at Think Progress



The U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a spending bill on Thursday that could transform churches and other houses of worship into entities more closely resembling SuperPACs.

When House members passed a $1.2 trillion “megabus” spending bill yesterday in a 211-198 vote, media attention largely focused on the proposal’s high cost and potential challenges in the Senate. But according to the House Appropriations Committee press release, the bill contains a rider with a provision that would make it difficult to enforce the so-called Johnson Amendment, a part of the tax code that prohibits churches and other houses of worship from endorsing political candidates.

“Members of Congress had ample opportunities to strike [the provision] from this bill; when it was debated at the sub-committee level, at the full committee level, when Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz offered an amendment to cut it from the bill, and when it was on the floor of the House of Representatives,” Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, said in a statement. “At every point, Congress failed to stand up for a law which has helped maintain the separation of church and state for more than 63 years.”

The provision, which is nestled within the “2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill” that was attached the larger House spending bill according to the press release, would stop funding most attempts by the IRS to penalize churches that violate tax law by engaging in explicit political action. Rather, the provision states any funds used to enforce the Johnson Amendment on churches would require agents to notify two congressional committees, endure a 90-day waiting period, and obtain sign-off from the IRS commissioner (nonprofits that are not faith based would still be subject to enforcement).


3 replies, 1115 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply The House just passed a bill that could politicize churches (Original post)
applegrove Sep 2017 OP
BigmanPigman Sep 2017 #1
unblock Sep 2017 #3
unblock Sep 2017 #2

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 06:50 PM

1. I still do not understand why they never have to pay taxes.

They sure rake in enough money. If they were fairly taxed our government would be able to afford single payer healthcare.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 07:08 PM

3. it really has nothing to do with church per se, they're just another form of non-profit.

the real question is why doesn't the irs revoke non-profit status for insanely profitably non-profits, particularly ones who spend lavishly on their top officials.

mega-churches aren't the only ones who abuse the non-profit provisions of the tax code.

of course, the irs will go after the tiny community non-profit but leave the mega-churches alone....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 07:06 PM

2. the johnson amendment needs to be greatly enhanced, it's nearly a joke as it is.

so a church can't explicitly endorse a candidate.

but it can talk at great length about how god cares deeply about a certain issue.
and it can go on and on about how people who take certain other positions are doing the devil's work.

then a lay member of the congregation can get up and say oh by the way, candidate x cares deeply about that certain issue and candidate y takes that certain other position.

so, ok, it prevents a religious official from outright saying god commands you to vote for candidate x, but the effect is not much different.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread