Churches in Detroit taking sides in politics
I thought that Congress approved an amendment that prohibited 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity.
Was I wrong?
No I was not, the following is from the IRS’s own website:
In 1954, Congress approved an amendment by Sen. Lyndon Johnson to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity. To the extent Congress has revisited the ban over the years, it has in fact strengthened the ban. The most recent change came in 1987 when Congress amended the language to clarify that the prohibition also applies to statements opposing candidates.
Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one "which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."
So why is it that the Detroit News is reporting that Detroit pastors, thus their “churches”, are going to be in violation of IRS laws, thus committing tax fraud? If they do break them then they should have their non-profit 501(c)(3) status taken from them, should they not? What is also interesting is the author of the piece, Bankole Thompson, does not even bring up their non-profit status and the very good possibility that they are going to be in violation of IRS laws, thus committing tax fraud?.
The Pastors and their protectors will attempt to say that their organizations are not endorsing one candidate over another but we all know what is happening here. When is are government going start upholding all the laws not just the laws they want to against groups they want to.
In the article they quote one Reverend Steve Bland Jr. who is the first vice president of the Detroit Council of Baptist Pastors and senior pastor of Liberty Temple Baptist Church. The Detroit Council of Baptist Pastors has a membership of several hundred churches. Reverend Bland Jr. stated:
We are not taking anything for granted in this election. We are hoping to get people out to vote and increase voter participation by 30 percent…Our efforts right now are going to be voter turnout. We cannot afford to ignore the issues that our people are dealing with like livable wage, good schools, etc.
The article talks about these Pastors endorsing either Schuette or Whitmer in the fall election for governor of Michigan. They should not be endorsing either of the candidates unless they want to give up their non-profit status.
We need to start enforcing these IRS laws against everyone not just the groups frowned upon by the bureaucrat’s in government.
Take away any groups non-profit 501(c)(3) status if they start getting into advocacy politics and endorsing candidates.