A man from Chicago, Illinois, is petitioning the White House to force the IRS to strip churches and other religious institutions of their tax exempt status if they are violating the law by mixing religion and politics. The petition, which has already met the initial threshold required to move forward, needs about 4400 more signatures before the White House is obligated to review and respond.
Currently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the IRS for the same purpose, citing Billy Graham’s endorsement of Mitt Romney as but one example of thousands of violations.
“Religious institutions across our great nation serve an important role in community building & out reach, helping the poor & disenfranchised, among many other noble actions,” the petition begins, adding America’s forefathers “understood the imperative need for a legal separation between church & state.”
In recent years, the IRS has turned a blind eye to offending Religious institutions that mix religion with politics. By not enforcing the qualifications & disqualification’s of 26 U.S.C. § 501(c) of the United States tax code, the IRS is doing a diservice to both the American people & the vision of our forefathers.
No doubt the Citizens United case that flooded this election year with untold millions — if not billions — of dollars has agitated many. But many are also angered that the religious right has been flaunting their total disregard for what is known as the Johnson Amendment, a half-century old law that prohibits tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profits from advocating for or against a specific candidate.
IRS regulations state that all tax exempt “churches and religious organizations, are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”
You can sign the petition here.
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