In order to receive a tax-exempt status, places of worship (churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.) have to agree not to engage in politics. They need to promise that they won’t use religious services as an opportunity to spread a political message.
If they did preach politics, they would be in violation of the law and lose their tax-exempt status.
This is the same sort of regulation that ensnared Conservative non-profit groups. There is only so much a non-profit can do politically before it loses its not-for-profit status. Churches are exactly the same.
This all stems back to the 1954 Johnson Amendment, a law that changed the tax code. Now, churches and religious non-profits “may not participate in, or intervene in … any political campaign.”
But the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is suing the IRS to try to force them to punish churches, which, in the past, have mixed politics and religion.
Now, I can agree that there are many topics in which religion and politics should be separate. But there are an equal number of topics where the two should be combined!
When it comes to topics like abortion, there is without a doubt a connection between the politics outside the church and the sermons within. And atheist groups are trying to force the IRS to penalize churches and rescind their tax-exempt status!
The atheist groups involved in the suit love to say that they just want the churches to “follow the law.”
The problem is that these atheists have already shown their hand. Earlier this year, three atheist groups – American Atheists, Atheists of Northern Indiana, and Atheist Archives of Kentucky – sued to remove all tax-breaks given to churches. They argued that the tax-code unfairly benefitted churches and religious leaders.
Luckily, the judge threw the case out. But now, the atheist groups are back trying another strategy to rescind churches’ tax-exempt status!
The greatest irony is that while atheists are suing to try to shut churches down, they are also looking to receive the same exact benefits! Atheism is a religion. It is an organized faith and would therefore qualify for the same benefits and tax-breaks that churches receive.
But that isn’t the point. The atheists aren’t interested in equality under the law. The only thing they want is to tear down churches and force the IRS to cancel their tax-exempt statuses!
Ironically, the IRS isn’t allowed to target churches yet. There is a moratorium on targeting in place while Congress investigates the IRS targeting of conservative groups.
But a judge has just cleared the Atheists’ lawsuit to continue, setting up an October court date to decide whether over 1,500 churches will be able to keep their tax-exempt status.
The faith is under attack! Whether it is the IRS targeting conservative political groups or Atheists forcing the IRS to do the same to churches, the message is still the same: if you disagree with the IRS (politically), they will go after you.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a joke. There is no “freedom from religion” in the constitution. Somewhere along the line, people have become convinced that they have a constitutional right to go through life without ever being offended. And if someone’s religious belief stands in the way of that, groups like the FFRF will file lawsuits to put the religious out of business.
What these atheists don’t understand is that YOUR freedom of religion cancels out their desire to be free from religion!
The last time the IRS went after a church in this manner, Congress amended the law to provide pastors and priests more leeway. But now, atheist groups are suing the IRS to once again target religious organizations and punish them for mixing politics and religion.
Congress can stop this! All it takes is an amendment to the law and churches can be protected from these frivolous lawsuits. But the only way Congress will act is if We the People bring this to their attention and force them to!
So on this Sunday, I ask you to please take the time to fax Congress and DEMAND that the rights of religious institutions be protected against these vile attacks from atheist groups. If even one church shuts down from this lawsuit, that would be a travesty. Join me in making sure that doesn’t happen!