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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

Darby, Mont., Voters Get An 'A' In Science

Residents of Darby, Mont., have just put a stop to an attempt to teach religion in science classes.

On Tuesday night, voters in the small town overwhelmingly chose two school board candidates who support teaching evolution. They rejected one board incumbent and another candidate supported by a local minister who proposed teaching "intelligent design." (One of the defeated candidates was Gina Schallenberger, the board chair and a vocal supporter of creationism.)

"Promise Keepers" Find Politics -- Realize They Had It All Along

The mid-'90s evangelical men's group Promise Keepers is attempting to come back from its downward slide by transforming itself from a movement to a mission, according to the April 29 Denver Post. Dr. Tom Fortson, the new PK president, expressed concern about what he sees as "society's decaying moral values," as evidenced by the increasing acceptance of abortion, same-sex relationships and pornography.

Juvenile Injustice: Florida Promotes Day Of Christian-Only Prayer

With Religious Right forces poised to use this week's National Day of Prayer to push their radical agenda, many local communities are swept up in the fervor. In Florida, an enterprising staff member of the state Department of Juvenile Justice decided to post a link about the event to the Department's home page. The link led readers to the home page of the Florida Prayer Network, an organization that uses its site to encourage people to be baptized, to profess their faith in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.

IRS Reminds Churches To Avoid Politics

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding churches and other charities to avoid partisan political actions. Because churches and charities are exempt from income tax, they are prohibited from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, raising funds or distributing campaign materials. While houses of worship may address political and social issues, federal tax law bars tax-exempt organizations from electioneering.

Sore Loser: 'Commandments Judge' Seeks Help From Congress

Roy Moore isn't Moses, and Capitol Hill sure isn't Mt. Sinai. But the theocracy-minded former Alabama chief justice wandered in from the political wilderness yesterday to lobby Congress for his Ten Commandments bill. Ever since being ordered by federal courts to move his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore has found it easy to keep his Religious Right crusade alive.

Memo To Rep. Hostettler: Thou Shalt Obey The Law

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has waged a long-time crusade to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He seems to want everyone to read the Decalogue and obey it. Apparently, however, he's not too keen on obeying U.S. law. Hostettler was detained at Louisville's International Airport April 20 after security screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase.

Pages

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

Darby, Mont., Voters Get An 'A' In Science

Residents of Darby, Mont., have just put a stop to an attempt to teach religion in science classes.

On Tuesday night, voters in the small town overwhelmingly chose two school board candidates who support teaching evolution. They rejected one board incumbent and another candidate supported by a local minister who proposed teaching "intelligent design." (One of the defeated candidates was Gina Schallenberger, the board chair and a vocal supporter of creationism.)

"Promise Keepers" Find Politics -- Realize They Had It All Along

The mid-'90s evangelical men's group Promise Keepers is attempting to come back from its downward slide by transforming itself from a movement to a mission, according to the April 29 Denver Post. Dr. Tom Fortson, the new PK president, expressed concern about what he sees as "society's decaying moral values," as evidenced by the increasing acceptance of abortion, same-sex relationships and pornography.

Juvenile Injustice: Florida Promotes Day Of Christian-Only Prayer

With Religious Right forces poised to use this week's National Day of Prayer to push their radical agenda, many local communities are swept up in the fervor. In Florida, an enterprising staff member of the state Department of Juvenile Justice decided to post a link about the event to the Department's home page. The link led readers to the home page of the Florida Prayer Network, an organization that uses its site to encourage people to be baptized, to profess their faith in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.

IRS Reminds Churches To Avoid Politics

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding churches and other charities to avoid partisan political actions. Because churches and charities are exempt from income tax, they are prohibited from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, raising funds or distributing campaign materials. While houses of worship may address political and social issues, federal tax law bars tax-exempt organizations from electioneering.

Sore Loser: 'Commandments Judge' Seeks Help From Congress

Roy Moore isn't Moses, and Capitol Hill sure isn't Mt. Sinai. But the theocracy-minded former Alabama chief justice wandered in from the political wilderness yesterday to lobby Congress for his Ten Commandments bill. Ever since being ordered by federal courts to move his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore has found it easy to keep his Religious Right crusade alive.

Memo To Rep. Hostettler: Thou Shalt Obey The Law

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has waged a long-time crusade to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He seems to want everyone to read the Decalogue and obey it. Apparently, however, he's not too keen on obeying U.S. law. Hostettler was detained at Louisville's International Airport April 20 after security screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase.

Pages

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

Darby, Mont., Voters Get An 'A' In Science

Residents of Darby, Mont., have just put a stop to an attempt to teach religion in science classes.

On Tuesday night, voters in the small town overwhelmingly chose two school board candidates who support teaching evolution. They rejected one board incumbent and another candidate supported by a local minister who proposed teaching "intelligent design." (One of the defeated candidates was Gina Schallenberger, the board chair and a vocal supporter of creationism.)

"Promise Keepers" Find Politics -- Realize They Had It All Along

The mid-'90s evangelical men's group Promise Keepers is attempting to come back from its downward slide by transforming itself from a movement to a mission, according to the April 29 Denver Post. Dr. Tom Fortson, the new PK president, expressed concern about what he sees as "society's decaying moral values," as evidenced by the increasing acceptance of abortion, same-sex relationships and pornography.

Juvenile Injustice: Florida Promotes Day Of Christian-Only Prayer

With Religious Right forces poised to use this week's National Day of Prayer to push their radical agenda, many local communities are swept up in the fervor. In Florida, an enterprising staff member of the state Department of Juvenile Justice decided to post a link about the event to the Department's home page. The link led readers to the home page of the Florida Prayer Network, an organization that uses its site to encourage people to be baptized, to profess their faith in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.

IRS Reminds Churches To Avoid Politics

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding churches and other charities to avoid partisan political actions. Because churches and charities are exempt from income tax, they are prohibited from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, raising funds or distributing campaign materials. While houses of worship may address political and social issues, federal tax law bars tax-exempt organizations from electioneering.

Sore Loser: 'Commandments Judge' Seeks Help From Congress

Roy Moore isn't Moses, and Capitol Hill sure isn't Mt. Sinai. But the theocracy-minded former Alabama chief justice wandered in from the political wilderness yesterday to lobby Congress for his Ten Commandments bill. Ever since being ordered by federal courts to move his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore has found it easy to keep his Religious Right crusade alive.

Memo To Rep. Hostettler: Thou Shalt Obey The Law

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has waged a long-time crusade to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He seems to want everyone to read the Decalogue and obey it. Apparently, however, he's not too keen on obeying U.S. law. Hostettler was detained at Louisville's International Airport April 20 after security screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase.

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Press Releases
Church & State
October 2017 Church & State

Singing From A Different Hymnal

Trump’s Church-State Policies Are Spurring Dissenting Religious Groups To Stand Up To The Extremism Of The Religious Right

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