Gay Marriage Supporters Threaten to Strip Churches of Tax Exemption

More than 75,000 Americans have joined an online movement seeking the revocation of tax-exempt status from churches that were involved in the repeal of Maine’s gay marriage law.

“It’s no secret that the Catholic Diocese led the ‘Yes on 1’ effort in Maine, among many other churches encouraging their congregations to vote ‘Yes,’ handing out signature forms and collection plates during service, and constantly asking for ‘sacrificial contributions’ from churchgoers,” Maine Marriage Equality charges.

“The IRS clearly forbids churches from participating in political campaigns in any form,” the group asserts.

Maine Marriage Equality is urging supporters and gay rights advocates to file an IRS complaint against churches that were a part of the effort in passing the ballot measure, Question One, which rejected the state’s same-sex marriage law.

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Except that they are WRONG. IRS rules prohibit churches with tax exemptions from participating in campaigns for or against any individual. Issue oriented “campaigning” is specifically allowed. That’s not to say that “you know who” can’t get the IRS to change its rule or its interpretation. :shrug:

I am not losing any sleep over it. The idea seems rather half cocked. On moral issues as Gay Marriage the Church is well within its rights to hold a moral teaching. The courts will typically avoid involvement even if needed. The reason of no concern is the church has always taught the same on the subject, even before any of today’s living humans were born(!) so the church is not campaigning for one against another, it is continuing to espouse a consistent position.

Churches shouldn’t be tax-exempt anyway. Romans 13:6,7 tells us to pay our taxes to those whom we owe taxes. Jesus Himself told us to render unto Caesar that which was Caesar’s.

Meh. Every election cycle we hear this gas. What I can’t figure out is why they think it scares anyone. Take away our tax exemption and guess what? The gag comes off and so do the gloves. Also, it bears repeating that it is an IRS regulation, not a law. Thanks to Corki for adding the caveat that issue-oriented campaigning is explicitly allowed. I didn’t know that. And finally, however unlikely, there remains the possibility that if it did get to the legal system that the current ban on candidate endorsement could be ruled unconstitutional. Imagine that–we can endorse AND keep our tax exemption. Church haters should be careful what they wish for.

Imagine the boldness and truth that can be preached from all Christian pulpits without fear over the tax issue? To remove the tax exemption would be a difficult blow to the Catholic Church, but it would likewise ring in a new reformation that would allow the homilies on “sin” to be as they should be. It would be the worsed of times and it would be the best of times.

Like none of us seen this coming>>>??

You know what drives me crazy? is how quickly they forget their own words.

First it was ‘let us do what we want, in the privacy of our own homes’

now its ‘let us redefine marriage’…

first it was, ‘we wont teach homosexuality in schools…theyre lying to you to keep you from allowing same sex marriage…’

then, couple months after prop 8 didnt pass…‘were going to incorporate a same sex learning program into some alameda county schools later this year, in the interest of equality and fairness’

then its ‘lets us get married, we wont impose on you, we wont demand that priests perform same sex marriages…you can keep your tax exemption…’

now its ‘oh you wont let us get married, were takin’ down the church!’

I sincerely hope, that those who arent…religious…or in the church, you know…just normal everyday people (<— lol, not that WERE not) i hope they are keeping a track record on what these people are saying versus what they are doing.

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Here is a link to the actual IRS regulations re: lobbying for/against legislation:,id=163392,00.html

It seems that “some” lobbying is allowed (how much lobbying is that???) and educational efforts with regard to specific legislation are allowed.

And re: political activities:,id=163395,00.html

I really am beginning to think that chucking the tax exempt status might not be a bad thing, all in all.

Also…the double standard is at work here: does the outright campaigning in African-American churches come to mind? That always seems to be given a pass.

You’re forgetting about self-determination. There is no Caesar anymore. We decide what taxes are, and how they are used.

Self determination doesn’t have anything to do with it. And regardless of whether there is a “Caesar” or not, the meaning of the Lord’s words are still true…give to the government leaders what they are owed, and give to God what He is owed. It’s quite clear from Scripture that we are to pay taxes.

Isnt it also from scripture, or from church teachings- I am POSTIVELY SURE I heard it on CAF before-

Forgive me if I butcher the thought…

Someone was saying that, with the abortion mandate in the new healthcare bill, do we have to continue paying taxes, being that these taxes are being used in an immoral way…

(something to that extent)

and the response was that, as for now, yes, we have to pay taxes…like the previous poster said its a church/bible teaching that we have to pay taxes…its the right thing to do…

BUT- there IS a point, that when the government is not acting in the best interest of its people- oh gawsh i wish i had a link or something to cut n paste…but yes, there is a point in which we would be called to withold taxes…

I’ll do some homwerk n get back to you :slight_smile:

Right. And, our government leaders determined that churches are tax-exempt. We are giving the government “what they are owed.” We determined what we owe the government. It’s called a democratic republic.

Ok the term is ‘tax resistance’ and while NOT paying your taxes is illegal, the federal courts protect tax resisters, and the IRS does not keep track of them. Resisters who file their taxes, but instead of including a check- mail a letter stating that they ‘resist’ paying their taxes due to how the government is going to spend the money due to religious etc reasons…

a link to some

“I see the military getting more and more funding while education and healthcare get less and less,” he says. “As Roman Catholics, my wife and I know that is wrong and immoral.”

“In good conscience I cannot pay this money to the US government,” Ms. Benn wrote in a letter to the IRS that accompanied a completed, but unpaid, 1040 form. “I do not want my tax dollars to be used for killing and war.”

IMO- So what if they lose their exemption. I’d much rather have my taxes out of my checks go straight to the church, which is what I’d do :slight_smile:

They’re mad at the Catholic Church, huh?

Well, they’re in good company. Nero tried to destroy the Church; so did Diocletian. So did the Muslims, so did the Reformers, so did the French Revolution, so did Hitler, and Stalin, and Mao.

None of them got anywhere. In fact, they’re all gone, and the Church is still right here. So I guess they can tie right in and do their worst. All it means is that they’ll disappear----and the Church will still be right here.

The Muslims disappeared?:confused:

The purpose of the tax exemption here is two-fold: first, to block the state from interfering with a church by taxing it to death, or threatening to tax it to death; second, most reasonable folks have believed that social institutions such as churches create positive non-market social goods.

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The Seljuk Turks did, you betcha.

The thing is the church has no “profit” and thus would not pay taxes anyway, the only real difference is how much and what types of paperwork would the church would have to file with the US government. You would probably have some foreign aid issues however the congress would end up modifying the IRS rules over it.

That will of course depend on which church. Plenty of televangelists and their churches have churned out a steady profit over many years.

So only in America are the Lord’s words nullified?

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