Monday, February 27

Churches Overstepping into Politics -- Whats the story?

The AP has a story on a new task force the IRS set up in 2004 to review allegations of improper political activity by churches and non-profit charities. Of course, the headline is deceptive, as it declares "IRS: Charities Overstepping Into Politics." It makes it sound like a systemic problem among the church and faith community. You got to go down to the 6th paragraph to get the proper context for what the IRS actually discovered.

Those referred to the IRS represent a tiny fraction of more than 1 million tax-exempt organizations organized under section 501(c)(3) of the tax law.

The IRS examined 110 organizations referred to the tax agency for potentially violations, and 28 cases remain open.

Among the 82 closed cases, the IRS found prohibited politicking and sent a written warning to 55 organizations and assessed a penalty tax against one group. Those organizations included 37 churches and 19 other organizations.

In the three additional cases in which the IRS recommended revoking tax-exempt status, none of the organizations were churches. The agency did not identify the three.

The IRS found tax violations unrelated to politics in five cases. Examinations of the 18 remaining groups did not turn up any wrongdoing.

I wonder if they looked into Sharpton, Jackson, or the countless other Democrats that go around speaking in liberal churches. A quick search at Technorati found the crazies running scared of the pending theocracy. Perhaps the blog knows what the AP missed--there is no story here.

They might have a more newsworthy piece if they did an investigative article on Democratic speaking engagements at Church events. Watch for it in 2006--after loosing to the "value voters," they just won't be able to resist coming into the churches. Specially the large black and Hispanic churches.