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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pastors Involved in Politics

Pastors win challenge to political involvement

A Houston based non-profit foundation held issue education and voter registration promotion meetings in Texas was investigated by the IRS. The IRS found their activities to be legal.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the Institute, further explained to WND the ramifications the ruling holds for churches.

"The Niemoller Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, just like a church," Sasser explained. "So by the Niemoller activities being granted as lawful, then any church that engages in the same kind of voter education combined with voter registration drives on the moral issues of the day is perfectly fine with the IRS regulations, according to the IRS itself."

Sasser reiterated, "The whole point was to educate everyone about the important social issues and get them to go vote and register others to vote, and the IRS said this was perfectly okay."

It seems that since the foundation was not promoting any ideology, candidate, etc. that their activities were legal. The important issue for church leaders is: they could do the same thing without fear of losing their tax exempt status. However, they cannot cross the line from education to candidate campaigning or issue promotion.

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