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Religious groups have the right to speak out on political and social issues. Federal law, however, prohibits most tax-exempt bodies, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Churches are not political action committees and should not act like them. Religious leaders should abide by the law and refrain from turning their congregations into cogs in a political machine.

Project Fairplay

In 1996, Americans United launched Project Fair Play to educate religious leaders and other Americans about tax exemption and political activity. We send informational letters to clergy, and we file complaints with the IRS when there are egregious violations.

Please visit Project Fair Play to learn more.
 


 

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Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Roy Moore Just Keeps Going and Going and Going....

The tenacious former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore is continuing his quixotic quest against church-state separation. Rejected by every court that heard his Ten Commandments display case and kicked off the bench for spurning a federal court order, Moore is looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for his final reprieve.

Jonesing For Election Wins: The Truth Comes Out

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) says his proposed legislation to permit religious leaders to endorse candidates for public office is necessary to restore free speech in America's pulpits. He even calls his bill the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act" (H.R. 235).

But now the truth has come out. As it turns out, the bill really isn't intended to promote free speech at all. Instead, Jones sees it as a vehicle to elect more conservatives to public office.

Christian Harry Potter?

After years of trying to ban the Harry Potter books, the Religious Right is now pushing their own "Christian" alternative to the best-selling series.

TV preachers and the Religious Right have tried to undermine Harry Potter since the books first appeared on American shelves in 1998. In addition to being national best-sellers, the Harry Potter books hold the dubious distinction of being the most censored books in America, according to the American Library Association. Public schools and libraries have been under siege as the far-right demands that the books be struck from shelves.

Church Electioneering: What Is Illegal?

On a campaign swing through Ohio yesterday, John Kerry attended services at the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. The Democratic presidential candidate was introduced by the pastor and given an opportunity to speak to the overflow crowd. In light of so many recent controversies over church electioneering, isn't this another example of illegal activity?

Probably not, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Depending on the circumstances, the federal tax agency says, politicians may be invited without jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the religious organization.

Stars And Stripes And Crosses?: Florida's Clashing Symbols

All citizens who need to do business with Gov. Jeb Bush's top lawyer must walk past a small American flag that is a little different than the one you might be used to seeing. Superimposed over the stars is a white cross.

An aide to the governor claims that the card has been posted in the reception area of General Counsel Raquel Rodriguez's office for some time and was intended as "a tribute to those brave souls who were lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11."

Jewish Groups Stand Up For Church-State Separation

In the debates over school vouchers and President George W. Bush's so-called "faith-based" initiative, there is a constant dilemma for religious organizations: stand for the founding principles of our republic or accept government money. The suffering economy has hurt the coffers of many congregations and the promise of government dollars can be difficult to resist.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Roy Moore Just Keeps Going and Going and Going....

The tenacious former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore is continuing his quixotic quest against church-state separation. Rejected by every court that heard his Ten Commandments display case and kicked off the bench for spurning a federal court order, Moore is looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for his final reprieve.

Jonesing For Election Wins: The Truth Comes Out

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) says his proposed legislation to permit religious leaders to endorse candidates for public office is necessary to restore free speech in America's pulpits. He even calls his bill the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act" (H.R. 235).

But now the truth has come out. As it turns out, the bill really isn't intended to promote free speech at all. Instead, Jones sees it as a vehicle to elect more conservatives to public office.

Christian Harry Potter?

After years of trying to ban the Harry Potter books, the Religious Right is now pushing their own "Christian" alternative to the best-selling series.

TV preachers and the Religious Right have tried to undermine Harry Potter since the books first appeared on American shelves in 1998. In addition to being national best-sellers, the Harry Potter books hold the dubious distinction of being the most censored books in America, according to the American Library Association. Public schools and libraries have been under siege as the far-right demands that the books be struck from shelves.

Church Electioneering: What Is Illegal?

On a campaign swing through Ohio yesterday, John Kerry attended services at the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. The Democratic presidential candidate was introduced by the pastor and given an opportunity to speak to the overflow crowd. In light of so many recent controversies over church electioneering, isn't this another example of illegal activity?

Probably not, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Depending on the circumstances, the federal tax agency says, politicians may be invited without jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the religious organization.

Stars And Stripes And Crosses?: Florida's Clashing Symbols

All citizens who need to do business with Gov. Jeb Bush's top lawyer must walk past a small American flag that is a little different than the one you might be used to seeing. Superimposed over the stars is a white cross.

An aide to the governor claims that the card has been posted in the reception area of General Counsel Raquel Rodriguez's office for some time and was intended as "a tribute to those brave souls who were lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11."

Jewish Groups Stand Up For Church-State Separation

In the debates over school vouchers and President George W. Bush's so-called "faith-based" initiative, there is a constant dilemma for religious organizations: stand for the founding principles of our republic or accept government money. The suffering economy has hurt the coffers of many congregations and the promise of government dollars can be difficult to resist.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Roy Moore Just Keeps Going and Going and Going....

The tenacious former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore is continuing his quixotic quest against church-state separation. Rejected by every court that heard his Ten Commandments display case and kicked off the bench for spurning a federal court order, Moore is looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for his final reprieve.

Jonesing For Election Wins: The Truth Comes Out

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) says his proposed legislation to permit religious leaders to endorse candidates for public office is necessary to restore free speech in America's pulpits. He even calls his bill the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act" (H.R. 235).

But now the truth has come out. As it turns out, the bill really isn't intended to promote free speech at all. Instead, Jones sees it as a vehicle to elect more conservatives to public office.

Christian Harry Potter?

After years of trying to ban the Harry Potter books, the Religious Right is now pushing their own "Christian" alternative to the best-selling series.

TV preachers and the Religious Right have tried to undermine Harry Potter since the books first appeared on American shelves in 1998. In addition to being national best-sellers, the Harry Potter books hold the dubious distinction of being the most censored books in America, according to the American Library Association. Public schools and libraries have been under siege as the far-right demands that the books be struck from shelves.

Church Electioneering: What Is Illegal?

On a campaign swing through Ohio yesterday, John Kerry attended services at the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. The Democratic presidential candidate was introduced by the pastor and given an opportunity to speak to the overflow crowd. In light of so many recent controversies over church electioneering, isn't this another example of illegal activity?

Probably not, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Depending on the circumstances, the federal tax agency says, politicians may be invited without jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the religious organization.

Stars And Stripes And Crosses?: Florida's Clashing Symbols

All citizens who need to do business with Gov. Jeb Bush's top lawyer must walk past a small American flag that is a little different than the one you might be used to seeing. Superimposed over the stars is a white cross.

An aide to the governor claims that the card has been posted in the reception area of General Counsel Raquel Rodriguez's office for some time and was intended as "a tribute to those brave souls who were lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11."

Jewish Groups Stand Up For Church-State Separation

In the debates over school vouchers and President George W. Bush's so-called "faith-based" initiative, there is a constant dilemma for religious organizations: stand for the founding principles of our republic or accept government money. The suffering economy has hurt the coffers of many congregations and the promise of government dollars can be difficult to resist.

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
June 2017 Church & State

Out Of Order

Trump’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Directives Set The Stage For Attacks On Real Liberty, Says Americans United

February 2017 Church & State

Prayers Or Politics?

President Donald Trump Wants To Allow Houses Of Worship To Intervene In Partisan Elections Yet Remain Tax Exempt

January 2017 Church & State

Snake Oil Solution

Why Repealing The Ban On Pulpit Politicking Is A Colossally Bad Idea

December 2016 Church & State

Payback Time

Donald Trump Won the White House With Strong Support From Religious Right Groups. What Will They Get In Return?

November 2016 Church & State

Pulpit Politicking Panned

Americans United Reminds Faith Leaders To Focus On Issues, Not Candidates