Sunday, May 08, 2005
N.C. Church Kicks Out Members Who Do Not Support Bush
And in other news:
German authorities on Sunday averted the spectacle of thousands of neo-Nazis marching past the capital's most visible monuments, including a new Holocaust memorial, as police and counter-demonstrators bottled up a rally by skinheads and other extremists on the 60th anniversary of the country's surrender in World War II.
Update: Rat adds the following:
The NC Democratic Chair criticized the pastor, "saying Chandler jeopardized his church's tax-free status by openly supporting a candidate for president. 'If these reports are true, this minister ... [is] potentially breaking the law,' Chairman Jerry Meek said."Chairman Sissy makes it sound like a close question. It's not. Religious organizations, including churches, are among those that are tax-exempt under IRS Code 501(c)(3). Under this section, according to the IRS, "Even activities that encourage people to vote for or against a particular candidate on the basis of nonpartisan criteria violate the political campaign prohibition of section 501(c)(3)." The federal courts have upheld this prohibition.
See, e.g., Branch Ministries v. Rossotti (D.C. Cir. 2000).
In cases of a "flagrant violation," as here, "the IRS has specific statutory authority to make an immediate determination and assessment of tax. Also, the IRS can ask a federal district court to enjoin the organization from making further political expenditures."
I'm not holding my breath.