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IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Sermons And Homilies

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posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Stormdancer777

How anyone can do actual historical factual research and still believe the "Christ story" is beyond my understanding.

However, believing in the message, supposedly the actual words from Christ is entirely different.

I think there have been several great philosophers of life throughout history that "man" should pay closer attention to.

End of this thought. Back to IRS

Politics needs to be secular. I'm a full on supporter if separation of church and state. Religious belief is too personal to be just to all.




posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:52 AM
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originally posted by: Annee

I was looking for factual history


I think "factual history" is a bit of an oxymoron.


Not something you want to discuss with me


To be fair, that is the thread topic and we both chose to participate.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: NavyDoc

originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: Serdgiam

Regardless, would you explain your history with Christianity?



I was born (actually assimilated) in the Christian faith. My gramma was Irish Catholic and made every effort to raise me Cathokic. At age 5 I stood up on the pew and loudly asked: "Does God really need all this"? Even at that young age I could not comprehend the gold ornateness and pomp and circumstance. It was phony.

I had a single disabled mom who believed in finding your own path through personal experience. I went to various churches with neighbors.

I actually wanted to be a minister when I was a teenager. Lots of reading and searching for factual history and information led me to my truth. In other words, my search for God led me to atheism.


It's not that unusual to "grow out" of religion. I was from a pretty devout Catholic family too. I wasn't abused or mistreated or anything like that. As I got older and started reading things for myself and asking questions, I found that there just wasn't any evidence support what was being taught. I didn't have a bad experience with religion or the religious, it just ended up not being for me. This is why I think I consider myself an atheist, not an anti-theist.


Exactly.

I don't consider myself anti-theist either.

However, when it infringes on me, my life, that's different.


I guess it depends on what you consider an infringement on your life. Religious people have the same right to be politically active as non-religious people and them being so, does not infringe upon your life necessarily.

My concern is that such a law would not be enforced equitably among religious institutions and that equally politically active secular organizations get a pass even though they push for things that do effect my life, such as gun control or higher taxation.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 10:10 AM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: NavyDoc

One issue I see is that "political activism" can be very subjective. A sermon against abortion, for example, would be very much a religious sermon to the people there . . .


I agree with everything you said, except: religion should have no political power over personal choice.

Would Planned Parenthood have need to politically fight against religious belief if that belief didn't infringe in the first place.

The American Atheist focus is separation of church and state. Not anti theism.


Doesn't matter why they do what they do nor what their focus is, they are politically active non-profits, one of which uses taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars. Why should one non-profit lose it's tax exempt status and another does not for doing the same thing--political activism?



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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originally posted by: NavyDoc

originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: NavyDoc

One issue I see is that "political activism" can be very subjective. A sermon against abortion, for example, would be very much a religious sermon to the people there . . .


I agree with everything you said, except: religion should have no political power over personal choice.

Would Planned Parenthood have need to politically fight against religious belief if that belief didn't infringe in the first place.

The American Atheist focus is separation of church and state. Not anti theism.


Doesn't matter why they do what they do nor what their focus is, they are politically active non-profits, one of which uses taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars. Why should one non-profit lose it's tax exempt status and another does not for doing the same thing--political activism?


Because religion is a belief.

Planned Parenthood is not trying to restrict personal choices via a forced ideology.

And didn't someone post that it is stated that in the tax deduction requirements churches can't be political, or something like that.

Sorry, I'm on Xbox kid duty. Only a quickie post to keep my brain fom being eaten by Pacman



edit on 4-8-2014 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: Annee

I looked for facts historical, scientific, archaeological and weighed the evidence.

I choose to embrace the the holy spirit and a creator.

I do not deny history or science either, it is s matter of faith, inevitably it boils down to what you chose to put your faith into.

Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.





edit on 123131p://bMonday2014 by Stormdancer777 because: (no reason given)

edit on 123131p://bMonday2014 by Stormdancer777 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: Stormdancer777

I choose to embrace the the holy spirit and a creator.

I do not deny history or science either, it is s matter of faith, inevitably it boils down to what you chose to put your faith into.

Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.


I would choose logic and love.

I do consider myself a Spiritual Atheist, as from birth I've had too many "paranormal" (for lack of a better word) experiences to discount that there is nothing beyond this physical dimension. However, in no way do I believe in a religious god.

If anyone is monitoring humans, I'd guess more evolved then us off planet beings.

And they probably stay off planet to avoid the IRS



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 04:44 PM
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Thank you to those that saw beyond the "thought police " and explained so I could understand. When the bible thumpers are taking over and imposing their morals and values on others they should not have a tax exempt right to assist them to do so.

Separation of church and state is very blurred. This should help some.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 05:09 PM
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OK sorry if this has been covered I read up to page 7 and couldn't take the bickering anymore.

Look, in my insane year or so the church I went to was full on political pushing for one person or another referendum or another and I thought that was all kosher but as I understand it now, it wasn't???

Are there rules that churches must follow when i comes to politics??? If so I had no idea. I honestly thought they were immune and could push whatever bull crap they wanted. Someone please explain this to me as I am immensely interested where their rights end and begin with the issue of politics.

Thank you in advance to those who honestly answer.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 05:39 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

According to the IRS tax guide for religious organizations:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all IRC section 501(c)(3)
organizations, including churches and religious organizations,
are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating
in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or
in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.
Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements
of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of the
organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for
public office clearly violate the prohibition against political
campaign activity. Violation of this prohibition may result in
denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition
of certain excise tax.


What the OP is talking about is that the IRS has not been enforcing this, as you seem to have experienced firsthand. This isn't a new requirement, this is something that's been law for many, many years. The IRS has willfully been ignoring the political activities of religious organizations and have now been ordered by the courts to enforce the law.

Many people seem to have taken that as 'an IRS agent in every church!'



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: links234

OK well that certainly has enlightened me. Thank you for finding and posting that.

If the IRS is starting to enforce the rules for which have been in place for a long time then I don't see where anyone can bitch about it but I am sure there will be those hypocrites that will bitch about it the same hypocrites that will claim something is law and then want an exception made for this one.


Those I am referring to know who they are.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi


If the IRS is starting to enforce the rules for which have been in place for a long time then I don't see where anyone can bitch about it

I don't, either -- I have no problem with saying that churches should not endorse specific candidates. And according to the law cited above, that is what is prohibited.

However, that is not what this case was about. It was predicated on the objection of the FFRF that an Anglican Church bishop in Wisconsin had told followers that the church was opposed to abortion and gay marriage and that practicing Anglicans should not vote for anyone who was pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage. The bishop endorsed no candidate. Apparently the FFRF objected to the Billy Graham organization doing the same thing.

In reading the dismissal documents, I'm not really sure that this is quite the "victory" that the FFRF is spinning it to be. The terms of the IRS monitoring are not public (at least not that I can find, if anyone has a link, it would be appreciated,) but whatever it is, it allowed them to get out of a case that they would likely have lost, and lost bad.

From the dismissal:


The Freedom From Religion Foundation brought this action against the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, alleging that the IRS maintained a policy of refusing to enforce § 501(c)(3)’s electioneering restrictions against churches and religious institutions. The Foundation sought an injunction requiring the IRS to abandon the policy. Once discovery began, Holy Cross Anglican Church and Father Patrick Malone filed a motion to intervene, which I granted. In granting the motion to intervene, I determined that the intervenors should be permitted to argue that if the IRS has a policy of non-enforcement against churches and religious institutions, that policy is compelled by the Establishment Clause and other laws protecting religious liberty.

Before me now is a motion to dismiss this case without prejudice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2), jointly filed by the Foundation and the IRS. The reason the parties seek the dismissal is that the Foundation “is satisfied that the IRS does not have a policy at this time of non-enforcement specific to churches and religious institutions.” (Source)

What I read there is that the FFRF claimed that the IRS had a policy in place to allow churches to violate the rules regarding endorsing candidates. The church responded, and the judge agreed, that if the trial went forward the FFRF would have to prove that the law against candidate endorsement was not an infringement of religious liberty, and if they couldn't do that (which they probably couldn't) the whole law would be declared unconstitutional. They'd also lose on the basis of the fact that the law wasn't even being broken, because the bishop was talking about an issue, not a candidate.

So it is not surprising that the FFRF and Obama administration found common ground in the face of this case going south, rather quickly, hence the rather milquetoast "the IRS doesn't have a policy" statement and the agreement to dismiss.

I cannot find anything to indicate that the IRS will actually be going after churches that talk about policy, though it would be great if they would, as it would bring this case back to the court and the question would be answered once and for all. Even so, I imagine that there is a church somewhere that is planning on challenging the candidate endorsement law on a Constitutional basis, and I think that they would win (though, again, I do not support churches endorsing candidates for office.)


edit on 4-8-2014 by adjensen because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: adjensen

Well that helps a bit. Now my experience with church as brief and limited as it may be has been the politics were mostly discussed outside of the sermon. I will say that is partially what turned me away from it. Now many times the sermon did touch on the subject which the congregations hierarchy was more than happy to elaborate on afterwords. which now that I look back must have been to skirt the the law in some form or fashion.

You know "we are against ____ and candidate blah s for this so don't disgrace our lord...yada yada. Then afterword candidate blah blah will uphold our beliefs any good christian will vote for him/her.

I swear there was more politics being talked about at church than anything else. Were they doing something illegal??? I don't know but it sure seems shady to me now but at the time it seemed like business as usual.

It all just makes me glad for yet another reason that I will never be counted as part of any groups flock again.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi


Now my experience with church as brief and limited as it may be has been the politics were mostly discussed outside of the sermon. I will say that is partially what turned me away from it.

I don't know what denomination you belonged to, but my experience in the Methodist and Catholic churches over the past twelve years is that I have never heard any sort of political endorsement. Yes, we hear about the church's stance on gay marriage and abortion, but those are viewed as social issues, not political ones.

It would be a rather chilling prohibition on free speech for all of us, including the FFRF, if the court ruled that tax exempt organizations were banned from speaking on social issues. But I do not believe that would have happened. It is far more likely that § 501©(3)'s electioneering prohibitions would have been ruled as being unconstitutional, which is something that neither the FFRF or the Obama administration would want to happen.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:08 PM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: NavyDoc

originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: NavyDoc

One issue I see is that "political activism" can be very subjective. A sermon against abortion, for example, would be very much a religious sermon to the people there . . .


I agree with everything you said, except: religion should have no political power over personal choice.

Would Planned Parenthood have need to politically fight against religious belief if that belief didn't infringe in the first place.

The American Atheist focus is separation of church and state. Not anti theism.


Doesn't matter why they do what they do nor what their focus is, they are politically active non-profits, one of which uses taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars. Why should one non-profit lose it's tax exempt status and another does not for doing the same thing--political activism?


Because religion is a belief.

Planned Parenthood is not trying to restrict personal choices via a forced ideology.

And didn't someone post that it is stated that in the tax deduction requirements churches can't be political, or something like that.

Sorry, I'm on Xbox kid duty. Only a quickie post to keep my brain fom being eaten by Pacman




But they are still a politically active non-profit and still use taxpayer dollars to do it to boot. Is it that non-profits being politically active when they shouldn't that bother you or just Christians?



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: adjensen

Oh I don't know what denomination it was to be honest I don't think it claimed one. Open to all.. the acclaimed surfers church of Cocoa Beach. Either way it is hard for me to believe any congregation can avoid the pitfalls of human nature which seems to encompass politics. Could it be you just haven't noticed your own congregation involved in politics?



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:35 PM
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originally posted by: Stormdancer777
a reply to: NavyDoc

Anyone that thinks making a deal with the devil/IRS, wont come back and bite them some day is delusional, everyone should be appalled that this sort of thing is happening.

It is always fine when it aint your head on the chopping block.

What goes around comes around, we should be protecting one another.


it's unconstitutional and hopefully it will go to the SC.

monitoring churches by the IRS?

can anyone believe this can happen?
separation of what, again?

big brother much? that's your progressives for you.

totalitarian racist nazi's.

i wonder if the monitors will be armed?

maybe the state should just do what china does and make the churches state run.

appoint there own pastors.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi


Could it be you just haven't noticed your own congregation involved in politics?

Nope. Like I said, I'm opposed to a pastor/priest endorsing a political candidate for office (for reasons that I've been pretty public about lately, but which are beyond the scope of this thread.) So I'm pretty sensitive to the matter and would actually yell at my priest/pastor if they did do that.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: adjensen

Good I am glad to hear that.

As I said I could only relay my own experience but I am very glad that experience isn't universal.

So those churches violating the law need to straiten up and those who are not and have not have nothing to straiten out.



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 09:51 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: ketsuko

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: neo96
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Did you read the topic ?

Atheists went to the IRS to make them churches 'behave'.

They were not just talking about one.



They also weren't talking about all either like your sweeping generalization implies. Some != All.


Many of the early colonists came here to escape oppression by the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church who only wanted to make those offshoot religious groups "behave" properly just like the atheists want the IRS to do.


Behave in this case means obeying the law and not abusing their tax exempt status and putting political speech in their sermons. Or are you saying that it is ok for Christian churches to break the law? I mean it is literally a requirement for tax exempt status that you can't be a politically active organization and maintain the 501(c) tax exempt status. So unlike you example of Puritans fleeing England for religious persecution, this is just getting the churches to obey state laws. No one is infringing on their religious worship. Like in my first response, strip tax exempt status from all churches and you won't have this problem.


I guess things finally come full circle and the 1st Amendment no longer means what it says it does or all religions are equal but some are more equal than others.


I missed the part where they were saying that Christians couldn't worship how they pleased. Is infringing on your tax exempt status a religious right of Christians or something? I think you are just upset that someone finally called the churches out on something they've been doing for a while to the point you think it's become allowed.



GD fools, if they think talking politics is bad now, wait til the monitors sit down and a church looses it status.
i would not want to be one of them dudes.

i can see a huge blowback if this ever went through.
and i'm not talking about lawyers and courts.

let's see, IRS, ACA and religion added to their control they already have.
i see a bleak future for the progs.



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