Priest defrocked for blasphemous communications on social media

At least once - Branch Ministries vs. Rossotti resulted in a ruling that the Johnson amendment is not unconstitutional.

Here’s a Congressional Research Service report. Scroll down to " IRS Political Activity Compliance Initiative" and make your own judgement.

The R’s have tried to eliminate the JA. The most recent I can find is a House vote in 2018.

I got those links from this article, which seems pretty good Churches are endorsing in elections while the IRS looks the other way | The Texas Tribune

IMO, contributions to religious organizations shouldn’t be tax deductible because they amount to “Establishment of Religion”, and it’s just a bad idea. Of course, I wouldn’t have any tax deductions for any contributions, so maybe that’s my basic opinion.

Fun political trivia: Politifact claims Johnson’s intent was to punish a “conservative nonprofit” that opposed his election in 1954. It wasn’t about religious organizations.

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I closed the article at that point. That was disturbing.

I thought we were talking about Churches losing their tax exempt status for political action?

This link is just a list of all charitable organizations that lost tax exempt status for any reaskn, and doesn’t even have a category for churches or religius institutions.
It does have the weakly tangential category of “Religion Related”, which only was 16,930 fake charities.

Seems like this doesn’t actually happen to churches with any regularity, considering how political they consistently act.

Yes, well I didn’t find precise stats on churches engaging in prohibited political activity. I suspect that you are correct when you say

It is perhaps worth noting that 501c3 organizations can and do take positions on causes such as abortion, alcohol/prohibition, drug use, gambling, gay marriage, prostitution, taxation, and more. That is allowed and not cause for losing 501c3 status.

What is not allowed is promoting or discouraging particular parties or candidates. Father Pavone’s comments about Biden voters would fall afoul of that, although the abortion position is allowed.

I’ve very commonly seen sermons around election time with language like, “There are people in this country who are okay with killing the unborn, okay with ungodly marriages (etc.), and many people want to put them in power!”

Technically not an endorsement. Enough that it made me leave the Christian church long ago.

i wish there were a more reliable way to know whether sermons are becoming more overtly political.

i do have an anecdote. i knew a woman who was very conservative, and an adult during world war 2. she temporarily stopped attending her church during the 2004 re-election of george w bush, because she thought sermons had become more overtly political than she had ever seen, including during ww2. i am sure she supported W, but did not like that in her sermons.

that said, as i understand it, the liberal church was instrumental in creating the depression era reforms that created the welfare state. the mobilization of the conservative churches, historically, was in part a reaction to this, funded by big business.

and of course the church was also very important to the civil rights movement.

so maybe the increased politicization of the church service is just an illusion.

I voted for Trump in 2016, but did not vote in 2020 and mentioned this on Facebook. Someone I haven’t seen since college told me I would be held accountable to God for not voting against abortion.

Lots of people falsely prophesied that Trump would win. If we read Romans 13:1 it says “There is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God”. Could we then argue retrospectively that everyone praying for a 2nd term for Trump was praying outside the will of God since He didn’t make that happen? Of course Christians such as myself pray for all sorts of things unaware of God’s plans, that’s doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray. But I think the church as a whole has missed the mark if they are planning on a political solution.

Nothing wrong with voting, but I shy away from politics nowadays. Jesus was much more interested in ministry.

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Did the sermons in these churches tell people to vote for certain candidates, or say that some of the candidates (the ones not to vote for) were Satan’s children?

Asking for a friend.

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The first sentence in the link says:

Over 275,000 nonprofit organizations have lost their tax-exempt status for failing to file an information return with the IRS in the last three years.

That seems pretty clear.

Also, the first paragraph says

it was unclear how many of them were still operational and how many of them had become defunct.

This was the first year of the new reporting requirement. I’m going to guess that a lot simply aren’t active anymore.

I don’t see any indication that this is related to political activity.

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I really don’t know how this support was historically experienced.

And there are subtle differences that may be important.

The “god damn america!” speed that endangered obama’s candidacy used very strong language in support of political change. but as i recall, it did not support specific politicians.

Also, mass media did not exist in the same way 100 years ago. So i’m not sure the same politicization could have been achieved even if anybody wanted to.

But i think we should be careful about drawing conclusions with really knowing the historical evidence.

There was the nazi sympathizer and anti-semite catholic priest (Coughlin) pre-war, according to the “Holocaust and America” documentary by Burns. Again, not sure if he specified any particular politician as evil and that it would be a sin to vote for them.

wiki (wow, what an a-hole):

I remember learning about him in high school history class.

He seems to be an ancestor of Rush Limbaugh, and thus of all modern “conservative” media, doesn’t he?

Except that Coughlin was ultimately forced off the air in disgrace, while limbaugh was awarded the presidential medal of freedom.

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Yeah, IMO that’s skating on the edge of what should be allowed.

When our church had three candidates on the ballot for various offices (including Governor) the pastor was very careful in discussing it saying something along the lines of “Now I am NOT telling you to vote for them. You vote for whichever candidates you want to vote for. But I am asking you to pray for them and their families, who are all part of our church family.”


Churches were also very involved in the abolitionist movement, prohibition, laws against gambling and prostitution, and I believe also restrictions on child labor. (Probably more that I’m not thinking of)

I think at least some churches support medical marijuana. Probably at least some oppose decriminalized recreational marijuana too.

It’s definitely common for them to take positions on issues; some of which I agree with and some of which I don’t.

Yeah, that’s a good example… they were in no danger of losing their 501c3 status (IMO) over that because they did not endorse or denounce specific parties or politicians. Just positions, which is allowed.

It was only a danger to Obama to the extent that the rhetoric would potentially turn off voters.

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Someone pointed out before that there’s a recent Rachel Maddow set of podcasts that covers Coughlin, Nazis, Congressmen on the Nazi payroll, blowing up power plants, etc. Pretty interesting.

Can’t I just read something?


I hate it when people trying to prove a point tell me to listen to a podcast or watch a video. Unless there’s a transcript I can read, forget it.

You can find transcripts here

Yes, it’s the same link that @vjvj posted

OK, smart guy!!
I have no excuse now.

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