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:
See also Baptist Joint Committee: