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Thu Sep 6, 2012, 01:56 PM

religion and tax exemptoins

The other day a "pastor" who is a facebook friend of someone I know posted "I can't believe that the DNC is quoting scriptures!"

It bothered me when my friend told me, because the implication was that the bible wasn't for democrats, that this preacher was saying that Democrats couldn't be Christians. It is an implied political message - if you are a Christian, you can't vote for Democrats. I wondered how that fit with church's and tax exemption- can a preacher post political messages on their facebook? I mean, isn't that a way of communicating with parishners? And where is the line with a political comment? A lot of the churches here are covered with political signs during election season, and I wonder if that is permissible?

Then today I saw this article that I thought was interesting - it is an attempt to estimate the amount that churches are subsidized through tax breaks. I think some of he assumptions were off base (for example, because the amount that church's hold in trusts isn't reported, it was estimated by taking the amount the Presbyterian church holds, but I doubt that the little church's are comparable). Anyway, I wanted to share it here because I thought it was interesting:

"Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States"

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=cragun_32_4

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Reply religion and tax exemptoins (Original post)
d_r Sep 2012 OP
dimbear Sep 2012 #1
cbayer Sep 2012 #2
Leontius Sep 2012 #3

Response to d_r (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 04:40 PM

1. Some small comfort--as those megachurches you and I helped build get sold and

converted to casinos, they come back onto the tax roll.

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Response to d_r (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 04:59 PM

2. Churches are permitted to advocate for causes but not for candidates.

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Response to d_r (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 05:20 PM

3. It may be used as a dodge but I believe pastors are allowed

 

outside of their ministry to have political opinions without jeopardizing their churches tax exempt status so if it's his own personal page and not a church page it probably falls outside of IRS oversight.

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