Comments about ‘IRS agrees to investigate churches that preach politics after settling with atheist lobbying group’

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Published: Thursday, July 31 2014 4:30 a.m. MDT

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Omaha, NE

"Teach people correct principles then let them govern themselves" should be thought of more in my opinion by those who think they need to use religious forums to teach their political views. If they want to influence someone one way or another. Do it by teaching truth and let the people make their own conclusions. After all... you might be wrong in how you are judging the other side! Teach truth and let the cards lay where they will.

Far East USA, SC

Easy fix.

Lower tax rates and lose ALL tax deductions.

Problem solved.

Here, UT

If you want to be a political organization then pay taxes. It's pretty simple.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Ranch, What is a "political" organization? Seems pretty vague in your description there.

seattle, WA

Why don't the fundamentalist churches emulate the LDS? Use the whisper campaign to channel contributions, and use social pressure to get adherents to vote "correctly".

Works in Utah pretty well.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Yes, ordinary, we are a secret society bent on world domination through whisper campaigns and social pressure. Groupthink is what we are all about. We don't have diversity of thought in our church. Oh, no. Harry Reid and Mike Lee are of the same mind. Their differences are all a smoke screen. Pathetic.

Here, UT

@Coach Biff;

"Render unto Caesar...". Playing politics is a "Caesar" thing, churches that want to play politics (preach from the pulpit) are acting as political organizations and not religious organizations.

As for your not being a "secret society", are you aware of the "secret" involvement of Utah's leading church in political maneuvers designed to deny one group of citizens equality under the law? They secretly acted in every single state that successfully passed amendments to that effect. I'd call that quite apparent as a "secret society" or as the BOM put it "secret combinations".

Salt Lake City, UT

If it's so "secret", then why do you know about it?

Please stop spreading lies, misinformation, and mistrust.

...unless you'd actually like to disclose some of your sources? (verifiable ones, please)

Phoenix, AZ

@Coach Biff,
If you are not aware of your church's desire for not only world domination, but also universal population and domination: then you just do not know your religion.

clearfield, UT

This should garner hundreds of posts, as it is one of the most dangerous policies I've yet heard of being done by our federal government. Under Obama, I might add.

So, what is supposed to happen? Government undercover cops (maybe you would want this job Ranch) go to churches, sit there and listen for someone saying something political? This strikes me as the United States getting closer and closer to totalitarian government. And the gaul of them, right after this IRS and Lois Lerner stuff. And by the way, if one were to really want to enforce this, the first churches they should look at are ones in which people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright go to. The point is, if they want to preach politics from the pulpit, then fine. Because there is no way to draw a line between pure religion and pure politics. They cross over all the time. Just read the scriptures, and you will see that.

Cedar Hills, UT

this is pretty funny stuff. You mean to tell me all the HATE conservative churches (Jerimiah Wright) are going to be targeting by the IRS now? Dream on. The ONLY churches that the IRS is interested in are those who even remotely speak against Barack Obama. Those churches that bash conservatives are just fine...no problem-o! This is all been seen before in Communist Russia and the USSR as well as other Communist countries where BIG Brother is always watching any sort of negative talk against their poltical leader at the top and will dish out terrible consequences to all those who dare to speak freely (The Hungar Games). Don't think for a second that America hasn't stooped to that same level - it has and the recent IRS targeting proves it.

clearfield, UT

P.S. to Deseret News. This story should be headline news. Not just put back in the Faith section.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ SCFan: It always amazes me how powerful Obama is - according to you, he is responsible for a policy adopted in 1954, 7 years before he was born.

As for how will the IRS know who to investigate - do you really think it will be that hard? Not everyone who attends a particular church has the same political leanings, and many who attend church feel the need to go home and post on Facebook or twitter what was discussed at church that day. All it takes is for one member to be offended and report it to the IRS or one person to post in public that the church leader said something related to who to vote for and that will be reported. If there is a significant number of complaints against one organization or individual, the IRS will investigate.

@ patriot: What evidence do you have the Reverend Wright ever told his congregation who to vote for?

Religion should be welcoming to all. Mixing politics with religion is a good way to drive people from religion.

Here, UT


Someone leaked a memo. I don't have the link on this computer but I do have it on another (I'll try to remember to find it later and post info on googleing it).

It is a memo that details minutes from LDS meetings relating to every single state where an amendment was passed. It clearly shows the local church's involvement for a very long time in each of these efforts.

Why don't you try to put aside your unwillingness to believe that your leaders may have been involved in shady dealings (secret combinations) and try to google it yourself. They're only men, after all. In a few years, the next generation of leaders will put out "essays" saying that the current crop was only expressing their "opinions".

Taylorsville, UT

The LDS Church to my knowledge has never told their members which candidates to vote for. Now if you are talking about beliefs regarding items that many feel are political. The church does encourage it's members to support views that are in harmony with gospel teachings - such as the sanctity of the family. If you want to know the church's views on the family, then read and study the Family Proclamation to the World. In every ward I have lived in around election time, a statement from the 1st Presidency is read over the pulpit encouraging the members to learn about the candidates and issues being voted on, and then to go and vote. Nothing is said specifically on how they should vote. And everyone is reminded that church buildings cannot be used for political gatherings.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Wow. I've heard some of the same critics of the church on these boards accuse those on the right side of the political spectrum of wearing tin foil hats. Sheesh. Pot, meet kettle.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Ranch, what else would you do from a pulpit? Isn't that the proper place for "preaching". Would you deny a church's 1st Amendment rights? Not very progressive of you guys to even suggest that. I've come to expect that from "progressives" though. Do as I say, not as I do. I'm tolerant of your views, as long as they coincide with mine.

Salt Lake City, UT

The LDS church does not take a stand on individual candidates, it only involves itself in particular ballot initiatives. Now, is there an LDS ward somewhere where a Bishop gives a sacrament meeting talk that includes urging people to vote for Mitt Romney? Probably, after all people are flawed and there's a lot of wards so law of averages I'm sure someone's going to do something against the rules.

It's much different than other churches where sermons can be a lot more political, and this goes both ways, with conservative evangelical churches, particularly the ones adamantly (to the point of organizing protests) against abortion telling people to vote for or against so-and-so, and you'd have to be naive to think the "souls to the polls" trips by black churches don't have some of them with preachers giving direction on how to vote. (By the way, when Democrats get angry about cutting early voting the sunday before election day, that's the reason, it's a popular day for black voter turnout).

There's surely some churches on both sides going against the rules for tax exempt status.

Phoenix, AZ

After it is all said an done; the bottom line is that churches are international business corporations and their tax exempt status means others have to be taxed to cover the churches not paying tax. And churches like the Mormon church that have so many buildings that all benefit from police, fire, street service, etc pass the cost on to others to pay the tax.

salt lake, UT

@SC Fan and others

So now a law passed in 1954 is all a big left wing conspiracy by Liberals and Obama? there is a very simple reason this is not front bag news this law and people challenging various churches status is old news.

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