During this hotly contested election year, some church pastors are deliberately promoting candidates, knowing that the Internal Revenue Service could remove their tax-exempt status as the result.

In Minnesota, Pastor Gus Booth, of the Warroad Community Church, not only promoted a candidate, but wrote to the Internal Revenue Service, told them what he was doing, and dared them to investigate.  He told his parishioners that a Christian could not in good conscience support somebody like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Pastor Booth would be well within his rights to participate in political activities at church, but only if he was willing to surrender his church's tax exempt status.  In other words, he could say whatever he wanted, but only if his congregants were willing to donate without expecting their donations to be tax-deductible.

It is indeed ironic that separation of church and state, so far as the church is concerned, ultimately is enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.

Read more about Pastor Booth and his challenge to the IRS at ABC News:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/story?id=5198068&page=1

See also Baptist Joint Committee:

http://www.bjconline.org/cgi-bin/2008/06/more_coverage_of_pulpit_initia.html#trackback

 
 

6 Comments

  1. Mike Harmon says:

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  2. Mike Harmon says:

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  3. Mike White says:

    While the main function of the church can and should be to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is in many other ways as well the light of the world. How can we sit and let abortion on demand, gay marriage, and other evils proceed and do nothing. Doing something for some may include promoting a candidate. Whether or not I agree or disagree, the IRS has no business getting into this. It only does when conservative ministers endorse a candidate. It ignores liberal ministers endorsing all the candidates they want to. That is a double standard.

  4. Mike White says:

    While the main function of the church can and should be to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is in many other ways as well the light of the world. How can we sit and let abortion on demand, gay marriage, and other evils proceed and do nothing. Doing something for some may include promoting a candidate. Whether or not I agree or disagree, the IRS has no business getting into this. It only does when conservative ministers endorse a candidate. It ignores liberal ministers endorsing all the candidates they want to. That is a double standard.

  5. Scott says:

    WHY are these churches getting away with this??? Why can churches break the law to promote their hate but if a normal company or citizen breaks the law they pay the legal price? There is such a double-standard in this country when it comes to Christianity that it is very disturbing and simply disgusting. I truly with that our country followed its own laws. Separation of church and state is important and necessary to protect the rights of all who live here.

  6. Scott says:

    WHY are these churches getting away with this??? Why can churches break the law to promote their hate but if a normal company or citizen breaks the law they pay the legal price? There is such a double-standard in this country when it comes to Christianity that it is very disturbing and simply disgusting. I truly with that our country followed its own laws. Separation of church and state is important and necessary to protect the rights of all who live here.

 
 
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