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Partisan Pulpits? House race in Chicago brings candidates to church

Partisan Pulpits? House race in Chicago brings candidates to church

The American people overwhelmingly tell pollsters that they do not want houses of worship to be politicized. And federal law forbids churches, like other tax-exempt nonprofits, to intervene in partisan campaigns. Yet some misguided clergy keep bending the rules.

FFRF sues IRS over preferential treatment of churches

The FFRF filed a lawsuit last week challenging the Internal Revenue Service’s preferential treatment of churches in applying for and maintaining tax-exempt status. The IRS requires non-church tax-exempt non-profits to file “detailed, intrusive, and expensive annual reports to maintain tax-exempt status, but such reports are not required for churches and certain other affiliated religious organizations,” the complaint notes.

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MPs have backed a bid by Conservative MP Peter Bone to amend the Charities Act to restore the presumption that all religious groups are for the public benefit and therefore can be charities.

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Congress advised not to change tax rules for houses of worship

Back in 2007, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) got concerned that some evangelical mega-ministries might be abusing their tax-exempt status by doing things like giving employees enormous salaries and housing allowances as well as ownership of huge houses, private jets and fancy cars. He requested information from six ministries, but little came of the effort because four of them flat-out refused to cooperate.

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There is no reason for religious groups to retain their special tax-free existence.

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“Churches have gained an unfair advantage … over law-abiding 501(c)(3) groups,” the letter states.

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Nick Hurd, the Government minister for civil society, fended off a barrage of criticism this week over the Charity Commission’s decision not to grant charitable status to the Plymouth Brethren.

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Italy’s Catholic Church will be forced to pay taxes starting in 2013 after the EU pressured the country’s government to pass a controversial law stripping the Church of its historic property tax exemption.

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking the Internal Revenue Service to court over its failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations, calling it a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and of FFRF’s equal protection rights.

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Fundamentalist Football: Liberty University ‘champions’ have a game plan to run your life

I’m not really a fan of professional or college sports, and don’t normally look at the Sports page of the newspaper. But a recent New York Times piece about Liberty University’s football program did catch my eye.

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