IRS case could impact electioneering by NC churches

Raw Story has info on a case that might have an impact on NC evangelical churches that engage in direct electioneering. In the past few years, the IRS overlooked this type of activity and direct involvement in campaigns for candidates and coordination between candidates and churches has exploded.

A judge has ruled that a case by Freedom from Religion Foundation to force the IRS to enforce the laws and regulations can move forward.

Some of the big evangelical outfits, like Focus on the Family, established separate organizations focused on political activism and lobbying to get around the laws, but they're just a formality with close coordination and staffing sometimes share between the religious group and the political organization. Smaller churches haven't even bothered with that and just jumped into the political fray.

You can expect fights over church involvement in campaigns to be one of the big issues that Congress, state legislatures and the courts look in the next couple of years as Republicans, with demographics making it harder for them to win majorities, start looking for any angles to get out extremist conservative voters.

Comments

Churches

There are a lot of things government should not be involved in. Gambling, selling alcohol, and corporate bribery come immediately to mind. Religion is another. I favor a complete separation of church and state. Religious organizations should receive no preferential treatment by government in any way. From zoning concessions to tax benefits to special accommodations related to hiring and discrimination, churches should NOT be treated any differently than any other organization in terms of government policy. Said another way, government should be blind to the nature or mission of an organization when it comes to public policy.

Souls to the Polls?

Does Souls to the Polls count as electioneering?

Unused buildings

I get it but there are just so many unused church buildings available during the week, its hard to find suitable locations in some rural areas of the counties to set up a polling place. I felt funny about my polling place in a local church at first, but when they moved it to a community center way out in the country, it's a lot more of a hassle for me to get there, and it was much harder for me to find as well. I never had any trouble at the church, and this one was nowhere near my personal comfort level in their doctrines. Precinct officials didn't appear to have an affiliation with the church -- that's what would be a conflict of interest.