Thursday, July 27, 2006

Religion and Politics -- LDS Church and Party Affiliation RELOADED

I was busy not working yesterday, and I came across a comment in Rob Miller's "Sacrament Meeting" piece that made a very palpable point regarding politics being preached from the pulpit.

JTH said "Although I believe that politics from any party should not be discussed or preached, in a place of worship. I find even more disturbing when one party is given preference over others. Thanks for an excellent post. After reading all the comments in reference to this post, I have one question. Where is the IRS when you need them?"

While the LDS Church as an organization has come out year after year with statements of neutrality, members who preach political rhetoric do run the risk of getting the LDS church in hot water with the IRS as I discussed in a previous post.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Under Internal Revenue Code such an organization would and could lose tax exempt status if they are caught openly endorsing parties or campaigns....... This matter is one that the IRS watches very diligently and accusations are investigated regularly. If there was so much as a campaign poster seen on church property there would be consequences.

Food for thought for anyone who mingles their party affiliation with preaching form the pulpit, you maybe causing some headaches for the organization you profess to love. The IRS does encourage these types of infringements to be reported, and in severe cases an organization could lose exempt status. Although I'm guessing the church's legal department has had to deal with IRS inquiries of this manner many times.

Moral: Don't preach politics at church!

4 comments:

Bev said...

Interesting information. Why do we need laws on what to speak of or not to speak of in church? Is it strickly about the matter of losing a tax free status? So we are paid by the government not to speak certain things or lose the money. I think before long we won't even be allowed to speak. If the FairTax Bill is ever brought to vote, we wouldn't have to worry about the IRS at all. I like that thought better.

pramahaphil said...

The laws I referred to are "strickly about the matter of losing a tax free status". if a religion weren't worried about tax free status they could be as openly political as they like.

Anonymous said...

Think about this....The Advesary will taint any situation.....

Which is better...

A tax exempt LDS church that lets you deduct your tithing from taxes but is strictly Neutral on almost all political matters (See D&C 134).

A non tax exempt LDS that can talk about whatever it wants.

The first means greater prosperity for the members but in many ways can cause the First Presidency to at least be...cautious about how it says things.

The second means that the powerful force that is revelation can begin yet again to decry all unholy and evil acts within the world.

As wonderful as the second is, remember the Primary mission of the church...to spread His word. And that is, according the the current policy of the church anyway, more effective when members of the church are able to support themselves, missionaries etc.

That may...in fact...will...change. But the time is not yet at hand.

Diamondback Jack said...

Anonymous:

Thanks for the prophecy, Yoda.

You should probably just stick to the hecklers row in sunday school.