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Churches, politics and the IRS

July 23, 2006

Re "IRS Warns Churches to Stay Neutral on Politics," July 18

I wonder if the Internal Revenue Service is following its own advice to stay neutral. Is the IRS also investigating tax-exempt organizations and churches that are taking a stand on stem cell research, gay marriage or abortion? Does the political position of the organization affect the probability of an investigation?




Pulpit pronouncements to go out and vote for (whomever) clearly place churches in the campaign as political operatives. They should indeed lose tax-exempt status for making such statements as well as for licking campaign mailer envelopes or running political phone banks.

Merely speaking out about an administration policy, however, is protected speech under the 1st Amendment whenever it occurs, just before an election or at any other time. I wonder how many conservative churches got IRS letters for praising President Bush or the Iraq incursion.


Studio City

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