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Does The IRS Really Take Political Activity By Churches As ‘Seriously’ As It Claims?

It seems in recent years that whenever churches break the federal law prohibiting houses of worship and other 501(c)(3) non-profits from endorsing or opposing candidates, the Internal Revenue Service treats those violations with a shrug. And with all the talk this election season about repealing that anti-politicking law, Americans United felt it necessary to ask the IRS what it plans to do going forward to enforce a law that is good for both democracy and faith.    

Americans Really, Really Don’t Like Partisan Politicking From The Pulpit

There has been more debate than ever this campaign season about whether or not houses of worship should be permitted to endorse or oppose candidates for office. This is mostly thanks to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly said that if he is elected he will end legal restrictions that keep churches from acting like political action committees.

N.Y. Democratic Candidate Thinks Same-Sex Couples Should Be Barred From Public School Textbooks

A Democrat running for state office in New York said if elected, he’ll work to ensure that photos of same-sex couples do not appear in public school textbooks.

S.J. Jung is challenging incumbent state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) for her seat. Stavisky, who defeated Jung back in 2014, voted to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. It seems that move didn’t sit well with Jung, who is hoping to rally anti-gay voters to his cause.

Bad Idea: Trump Repeats Call To Let Churches Endorse Candidates

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reiterated his desire to change a federal law that prohibits houses of worship from endorsing candidates during his speech last night at the Republican National Convention (RNC).  

Trump said:

“At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.

GOP Call To Repeal Ban On Church Politicking Is ‘Reckless And Corrosive To Religious Life,’ Says Americans United’s Lynn

Changing Federal Law Could Dramatically Escalate Partisan Activity In Houses Of Worship, Church-State Watchdog Says

The Republican Party platform approved yesterday includes a call for altering federal law to allow houses of worship to jump into partisan politics. This change threatens religious life in America, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The platform advocates repeal of the Johnson Amendment, a provision adopted by Congress in 1954 that prohibits 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from intervening in partisan politics by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

Tax Troubles: Trump Claims IRS Targeted Him Because Of His ‘Strong Christian’ Faith

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is awfully good at picking fights, and his latest opponent seems to be the Internal Revenue Service.

All high-profile presidential candidates are expected to release their tax returns at some point during the campaign, but Trump has yet to do so. He claims he can’t because he is a frequent target of audits, though it’s unclear why that would prevent him from showing his return to the public.

We’ve Got (Hate) Mail!: Right-Wing Pastors React To AU’s Pulpit Politicking Letter

Every other year during election season, Americans United reminds clergy nationwide to stay out of partisan politics.

Most religious leaders have no problem respecting the federal tax code’s prohibition against campaign intervention by houses of worship and other non-profits that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.