U.S. Tax Code 501 (c) (3) prohibits churches and other tax exempt organizations from engaging in partisan politics.
Susanne Jacobs Meyer, a member of the West County Assembly of God, voted for Bush 4 years ago, mostly out of loyalty as a Republican. This year she is a “team leader” in the Bush campaign’s effort to get the conservative vote out.
“This year I am voting for him as a man of faith,” she said over breakfast after an early service.
Jan Klarich, her friend and another team leader, agreed. “Don’t you feel it is a spiritual battle?” she asked, to nods around the table.”
Many conservative pastors bristled at the notion that they are being enlisted by a campaign, instead describing their voter registration efforts as fulfilling biblical obligations.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a theologian, but I’m pretty sure that the Bible doesn’t mention any obligation to get George W Bush or any other Republican elected to office. I am also no expert on income tax Law, but I don’t think one needs to be an expert to see that the spirit of the prohibition in the code against churches becoming involved in partisan politics is being violated all over the country by churches which have been enlisted by the Bush campaign.
I can understand why the Democrats aren’t making an issue of this. It isn’t good campaign politics, frankly. But it is way past time for a thorough evaluation of the tax exempt status of religious organizations that insist on holding large amounts of assets, and that meddle in politics in direct violation of both the U.S. Tax Code and the Constitution.