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Bishops, That is a Pretty Nice Tax Exemption You Have There. Wouldn’t Want Anything Bad ...
The American Catholic ^ | June 13, 2012 | Donald R. McClarey

Posted on 06/13/2012 3:47:45 AM PDT by markomalley

Modern liberals are not noted for their subtlety.  Case in point is Melinda Henneberger.  A writer for the Washington Post, she is a liberal in good standing and a Catholic, a graduate from Notre Dame in 1980, who has written for the New York Times, Commonweal, a Catholic journal for those who like a dollop of incense with their leftism, and was a contributing editor for Newsweek, the magazine that is almost worth the buck its latest owner paid for it.  Henneberger is pretty ticked at the Church in regard to what she perceives as political attacks on the South Side Messiah.  Her column on this subject is deserving of a fisk, and I am happy to oblige:

The Catholic Church practically invented politics, so it may be asking too much to expect American bishops to steer completely clear of affairs of state.

Good, a snide start illustrates the fury with which this column was written as the good ship Obama begins to take on water.  Liberal writers are usually at their nastiest when they start to perceive that a political pasting of Biblical proportions is on the way for their team

There are times when they couldn’t if they wanted to, and they think this is one  of those times.

Ah, but you know better, don’t you Ms. Henneberger?

The upcoming “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign to push back against this  administration’s health-care mandate for contraceptives, however, sounds so much  like a “Fortnight to Defeat Barack Obama” that I’ve gotten to wondering what our  prelates would have to do to cost the church its tax-exempt status. (IRS rules  are pretty clear that churches have to give up their exemption if they campaign  for or against a political candidate.)
Please, that paragraph is a bad joke.  Democrat candidates for decades have campaigned in black churches and many of those same churches are quite forthright in their political advocacy.  Think of the Reverend Wright, the man who Obama, hilariously, claims led him to Christ, and his sermons which were merely long political diatribes.  The IRS has long turned a blind eye to this type of blatant political activity.

That is not going to happen, and I’m not suggesting it should. But as a thought exercise, what would it take to provoke such a thing?

She is certainly right that it is not going to happen unless the Democrat party has a true death wish. 

If a bishop compared Obama to, I don’t know, Hitler and Stalin, would that be campaigning against him?

Oh, but wait, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria tried that already. Jenky wasn’t exactly a household name before that tirade.

We can see from the above that whatever Ms. Henneberger studied at Notre Dame, reading comprehension was not high on the list.  What Bishop Jenky actually said was:

Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.

In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kultur Kamp,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.

Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.

In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.

This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries — only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.

No Catholic ministry – and yes, Mr. President, for Catholics our schools and hospitals are ministries – can remain faithful to the Lordship of the Risen Christ and to his glorious Gospel of Life if they are forced to pay for abortions.

What Bishop Jenky was doing Ms. Henneberger is called issues advocacy and is perfectly permissible under IRS regulations.  Nice try however to ignore the obvious.

What if, however, the best-known bishop in the country — and among the  most likeable — said “the White House is strangling the Catholic  Church”?

No again; Cardinal Tim Dolan of New York did that, too. And Bishop Salvatore  Cordileone of Oakland said we have reason to fear “despotism” under Obama.

What Cardinal Dolan actually said:

The exemption given to the church is so strangling and so narrow and it’s also presumptuous that a bureau of the federal government is attempting to define for the church the extent of its ministry and ministers,” said Dolan on CBS’s “This Morning.”

What Bishop Cordileone actually said:

My own experience, I sort of backed into this religious liberty debate by my involvement with her Siamese twin–the definition of marriage in the law. And I got swept up in that, not exclusively, but in large degree because I was enlightened by Dr. [Robert] George and other people of his kind as to the erosion of the rights of religious institutions to serve the broader community in accord with their moral principles precisely because of this issue. As well, the rights of individuals to have their freedom of conscience respected.

When I saw what was happening my eyes were opened, it made me fear that we could be starting to move in the direction of license and despotism.”

Once again, both examples of issues advocacy. 

(Even Pope Benedict XVI has joined the fray – though the former Joseph Ratzinger is really not much of a fray-joiner. “Many of you, he told American bishops, “have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection…with regard to cooperation in instrinsically evil practices.’’ Abortion, he means. Birth control, which is barred under church teaching,  must be provided free to employees of Catholic institutions as part of their health care plans under the Affordable Care Act. Where does abortion come in? Some opponents argue that the Part B ‘morning-after pill,’ which is also provided as part of the bill, is an abortifacient, though science doesn’t support that claim.)

Ah, how Pope Benedict does set the teeth on edge of “progressive” Catholics!  Go here to read the Pope’s warning of the erosion of religious liberty in this country.  Once again, the Pope’s remarks would be considered issues advocacy.  The fact that Ms. Henneberger brings up these remarks indicates the depth of her ignorance on the subject of political activities deemed impermissible by the IRS regarding churches.


Surely if the church ran a massive PR campaign just ahead of a national election, calling for widespread civil disobedience and reading letters about it from pulpits across the nation, that would cross the line into campaigning?


Ixnay on that, too, because the “Fortnight for Freedom” set to run from June 21-July 4th, is just such an effort.

Once again classic issues advocacy.  Think of the churches back in the sixties of the last century who spoke out against segregation.  This argument doesn’t even rise to red herring status.

Just the other night on Twitter, the Archdiocese of Washington tweeted several messages that struck me as partisan: “Unconscionable #HHSMandate #Obamacare set to trample sanctity of human life,” said one of them, sent on June 5th.

In a press release, the bishops compared themselves to Martin Luther King writing his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and a priest in San Francisco called this “our Rosa Parks moment.’’

But that was nothing; a friend in Pennsylvania told me he recently heard a homily drawing parallels between the Catholic Church in 2012 under Obama and the persecution of Catholics in Mexico under Plutarco Calles, who between 1926 and 1929 systematically razed churches and executed priests.

The first two cited examples are clearly issues advocacy.  As to the hearsay report of the homily from an unnamed friend of Ms. Henneberger, this is the type of anecdotal tales that are evidence of precisely nothing since there are no facts given as to the text of what was actually said.

Maybe he got that idea from the May issue of Columbia, the magazine put out by the Knights of Columbus, which featured a rifle-toting, crucifix-wearing cowboy on its cover, and made the same comparison. Archbishop William E. Lori, of Baltimore, has suggested that Catholics should take a look at that issue of the magazine, which also published the bishops’s statement about religious freedom.

And as Catholic University’s Steve Schneck, a board member of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, pointed out in a recent piece on that group’s Web site, the whole issue is “devoted to mobilizing Knights to fight for religious liberty against the Obama administration. Cracking the cover, it turns out that the Cowboy With Rifle and Crucifix illustration is a stylization of General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde,’’ a leader in the Cristero uprising against Calles, which is the subject of a new movie, “For Greater Glory.’’ (Bad timing, liberal Hollywood?)

Actually liberal Hollywood, other than Eva Longoria, had absolutely nothing to do with For Greater Glory which was independently financed, partially by the Knights of Columbus, long before anyone dreamed that Obama would be stupid enough to pick a fight with the Catholic Church during a presidential election year.  Just as the Knights of Columbus in the US and Mexico stood for religious liberty during the Cristero War, they stand for religious liberty now.  Once again, issues advocacy.  It is hardly the fault of the Knights that Obama is on the wrong side of the first amendment at the same time that the film was released after it was delayed for technical reasons from last year.  As for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Ms. Henneberger neglects to mention that this organization is a George Soros funded group of left-wing Catholics dedicated to giving political cover to pro-abort Democrats.  Citing them is akin to attempting to wheel in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a debate on the foreign policy of Israel.

If you haven’t read Graham Greene’s ‘The Power and the Glory,’ you might not even know about this bloody chapter in history, though it was neither so long ago nor so far away. But in exactly the same way that that Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being made to marry her rapist put the so-called “war on women,’’ into perspective, so, too, does the slaughter of Mexican Catholics in the last century help us see the similarly over-hyped “war on religion” a little more clearly.

Then there is this: We’re so persecuted that when the issues raised by the more than 40 Catholic dioceses and institutions who’ve filed suit against the administration’s mandate make their way to the Supreme Court — and they will — history will note that six of the nine justices who heard the arguments were Catholic.

Ms. Henneberger, counting the religious preference of Supreme Court justices says precisely nothing about the policies of Obama under debate.  Additionally, if the Church ever does come under the sort of persecution that led to the Cristero War, I have no doubt that there would be quite a few “Catholics” on the politcal Left in this country cheering the government on.

This is not to say that the bishops have no valid complaints. The  Health and Human Services definition of a religious institution is indeed problematic. As Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bishops, points out, “It says you have to hire your co-religionists and serve your co-religionists’’ to qualify as such. “We help people because we’re Catholic; not because they are.’’

There are also some legitimate outstanding issues — and not as in ‘excellent,’ either — over the contraceptive coverage, with the White House insisting that self-insured Catholic institutions will not have to pay for the contraceptive coverage. In yet another irony, those institutions are deriding the proposed alternatives as magical thinking.

“Some other organization could come in and do it, but who?” Walsh asks. “Thinking insurance companies would do it for nothing is absurd; I haven’t noticed they are so magnanimous. These ideas are being thrown around, but it would be foolish to sit around like Little Mary Sunshine and hope things change.’’

(Have I mentioned that I love Sister Mary Ann? Yes, I do, even when we disagree.)

Big of you Ms. Henneberger.  Of course, the Bishops would have loved to avoid this fight, but Obama refused to budge, assuming that the Church would be impotent in its opposition.  That you wrote this column is a demonstration of just how big a miscalculation this was by the President.


But this is one of those times.

A bishop who spoke to me on the condition that I not quote him by name said of his brother bishops that while “there are some people who welcome it being political, that’s a small number. It’s not a small number of our allies on certain questions’’ — abortion, mostly — who welcome the partisanship, though. Which is why, as he acknowledged, “How this doesn’t become defacto political is a huge dilemma’’ — and one that will be Topic A at the upcoming meeting of American bishops in Atlanta June 13-16.

Meanwhile, he said, most bishops are embarrassed by excesses like the Hitler comparison, and see the timing as “terrible in a political year. Or in a presidential year, I should say, since every year is a political year now.’’

Citing an unnamed Bishop as a source is terribly convenient, although I have little reason to doubt the veracity of Ms. Henneberger’s statement.  I am sure that there are Bishops who long for the days when the Catholic Church in this country was largely the Democrat Party at Prayer.  One of the main accomplishments of Obama as President is to convince many more bishops that those days are dead, and that his administration poses a deadly threat to the religious liberty of the Church and all Americans.

The HHS mandate goes into effect in August, though, and there’s been even less message control than usual because the church isn’t very good at rapid response, the bishop said. (That’s for sure; the recent Vatican criticism of Sister Margaret Farley was aimed at a book published six years ago.)

I rather think that in this case the critics of the bishops are concerned that their response to the HHS Mandate has been too rapid and too effective.  (I love the reference to the heretical tome by Sister Farley.  Progressive Catholics are often nothing if not predictable!)

Ahead of the presidential election in 2004, we similarly had the “wafer wars,’’ over whether pro-choice Catholics – like John Kerry, and also John Kerry – should be able to receive Communion. That issue suddenly became such a big deal that in Denver, someone in a Kerry t-shirt was turned away by a lay Eucharistic minister. (The candidate himself was never refused.) The difference between then and now, though, is that then, only a  handful of bishops spoke out.

“Wafer Wars.”  Most progressive Catholics are definitely progressive first and Catholics fifth or sixth. 

On Wednesday, Archbishop Lori insisted,  “We’re not trying to throw an election.’’ But as the bishop I spoke to said, “It’s impossible that there won’t be some partisan implications.’’

No doubt.  I expect an increasingly desperate Obama campaign to reach for the anti-Catholic card several times before this campaign is done, and I expect that most progressive Catholics will be cheering lustily as they do so.

TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
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Full title: Bishops, That is a Pretty Nice Tax Exemption You Have There. Wouldn’t Want Anything Bad to Happen to It.
1 posted on 06/13/2012 3:47:51 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

And if any denomination thinks they are safe, think again.

2 posted on 06/13/2012 3:53:22 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Romney scares me. Obama is the freaking nightmare that is so bad you are afraid to go back to sleep)
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To: markomalley; Mrs. Don-o


With this amount of incoming flak, one concludes that the Bishops are right on target. Note, esp, the reference to the Knights. (I have a suggestion about the local situation with them.)

3 posted on 06/13/2012 4:19:38 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: netmilsmom

For many decades inner city churches have been used to stump for democrats. If anyone should lose tax-exempt status, they should lead the way.

4 posted on 06/13/2012 4:20:32 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: markomalley
There is a brand of tribal Christian that has given up the faith, but who clings to the outward culture. This is same as “secular” Jews.

When these secular Christians come from protestant backgrounds they tend to lose their denominational identity. However, when they come from a Catholic background, they cling to that identification.

These people are irreligious, but refuse to admit it, instead claiming to be religious authorities based on their cultural identity.

5 posted on 06/13/2012 4:31:58 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

-—These people are irreligious, but refuse to admit it, instead claiming to be religious authorities based on their cultural identity.-—

Good analysis.

It’s tempting to create your own religion, if you love some ideology or sin more than the Truth.

6 posted on 06/13/2012 4:42:19 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: SampleMan

You must remember that some “cultural Catholics” (I am one), are very conservative and want to see the Church return to its pre-Vatican II “values.” Cultural Catholics can go two ways - conservative or left-wing. I’m in the conservative camp.

7 posted on 06/13/2012 4:48:20 AM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: markomalley

Reason #1 to eliminate the income tax. Gives politicians a huge tool to whip tax exempt religious into line.

Course the religious don’t have to put their heads into the Federal noose. Voluntarily give up the tax exemption. Trust God to make up the difference.

8 posted on 06/13/2012 4:54:00 AM PDT by DManA
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To: markomalley

Let’s horse trade here....I suggest the Unions lose their tax exemption as well...

Yes corp are taxed...but unions are businesses and are tax exempt

9 posted on 06/13/2012 5:06:20 AM PDT by Popman (When you elect a clown: expect a circus...)
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To: markomalley

No Church has EVER lost its tax exempt status for politicing. In fact no such case has ever even gone to trial. It would be completely unconstitutional and any verdict against the Church would easily be overturned on appeal. That’s why the govt. and IRS has dismissed every single case it has ever initiated in this regard. The last thing they want is a trial.

10 posted on 06/13/2012 5:10:46 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: miss marmelstein
I would not use the term “cultural” to describe a Catholic, or any other Christian, who is driven by faith. I suggest “traditional” might be a better choice of word.

By cultural Catholic, I am talking about people who can't part with the coming of age and celebratory aspects of Catholicism (Christening, Confirmation, church wedding, Christmas carols), but who otherwise reject the tenants of the faith.

11 posted on 06/13/2012 5:21:37 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan
tenants of the faith.

Are they just renting the tenets of the faith until they find a permanent set of beliefs?

12 posted on 06/13/2012 5:44:56 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson)
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To: arthurus
Are they just renting the tenets of the faith until they find a permanent set of beliefs?

Actually, that is a very good description. Perhaps I misspelled myself into something there.

13 posted on 06/13/2012 5:48:01 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: markomalley

Speaking of not exactly being a household name before…who, now?

14 posted on 06/13/2012 6:19:22 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: markomalley

I fear the Church as a whole will have to chose between the tax exemption and the Gospel.

15 posted on 06/13/2012 6:21:20 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: markomalley
Obama's war on the Catholic Church was not a miscalculation--it was a deliberate initiative to gin up women voters' support for his re-election.

Unfortunately, he could minimize the damage to himself by pretending to give in before the election, then double-crossing the bishops afterwards if he wins.

Bishop Jenky should know about Bismarck's Kulturkampf. There is a large Catholic hospital in Peoria founded by nuns who fled Bismarck's persecution.

16 posted on 06/13/2012 7:20:40 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: markomalley

It’s been my understanding that the Catholic Church can address issues, but no church is allowed to endorse a candidate.

It’s the endorsing a candidate that takes away the tax exemption. Is this correct?

17 posted on 06/13/2012 1:27:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

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Evangelical Leaders Call for Civil Disobedience Against U.S. Government
Liberal Jews Speak Against HHS Mandate
Top nun who supported Obama mandate thanks pro-choice group in private e-mail
Catholic Health Association collaboration with Obama admin on mandate a ‘scandal’: Catholic leader
Obama's revised HHS mandate won't solve problems, USCCB president says
Fr. Frank Pavone: No compromise - the mandate has to go, period
Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control
Culture with Local Bishops and Issues a Call to the Laity [Ecumenical]
Bishops Reject Obama's 'Accommodation' - President's political hemorrhaging to continue.

HHS Mandate - Nothing Has Changed (Donald Cardinal Weurl)
Obama Chief of Staff: New Pro-Abortion Mandate Here to Stay
WH: We Are Done Negotiating With Catholics
Opponents launch new White House petition rejecting Obama rewrite of birth control mandate
Did the Leaders of the Catholic Church Make a Deal with the Redistributionist Devil?
Archbishop Chaput: HHS mandate insulting and dangerous
Cardinal-Designate Dolan no longer trusts Obama
American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil
Notre Dame Faculty to Obama: ‘This Is a Grave Violation of Religious Freedom and Cannot Stand’
White House: No More Compromise on Contraception
Obama's anti-religious implosion
Lew: Obama's latest stance on birth-control mandate final, puts issue to rest (CAPTION)
Pat Buchanan: 'Obama is trampling on God's turf' (Video)
W.H. official: Contraceptive rule stands
Obama chief of staff: No more compromise, contraceptive rule is done deal
Bishops Reject White House’s New Plan on Contraception (Obama continues his "War On Religion")
Faith/Pro-Life Leaders to Challenge Mandate by Praying and Risking Arrest in Front of the WH
Catholic Bishops: Don't Revise, Rescind
Obama's contempt for the Constitution
How the Catholic Church Became Cool Overnight

Chuck Colson Reacts to Obama’s “Compromise” on Required Abortion Care for Church Employees
US Bishops: Obama's 'Compromise' Has No Clear Protection...(Needless Government Intrusion)
Protests Continue Over Insurance for Contraception, Abortifacients (Feds Under Increasing Pressure
Bishops to Obama: No dice
Paul VI: “danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities ...”
Michael Moore Goes On Anti-Catholic Twitter Rant, Distorts Contraception Debate
Religious controversy burns Obama again (the rookie Hussein is in WAY over his pay grade)
Another Catholic college vows it will ‘not violate conscience’ on Obama mandate
Lutherans join chorus of voices slamming HHS contraceptive mandate
The Obama HHS 'Compromise' Switches the Tiger for the Lion (Not all Catholics buying Obama's bull)
Hannity on now with Priests, Pastors and Rabbis. Please watch
EDITORIAL: Obama’s free abortion pills
U.S. bishops ‘express concerns’ about Obama mandate ‘accommodation’
What Compromise? This Policy Leaves Religious Liberty in Peril and Planned Parenthood Smiling (Albert Mohler Opinion)
Bishops Renew Call To Legislative Action On Religious Liberty
Southern Baptist leader: Obama gave Christians ‘the dismissive back’ of his hand
Obama's Act of Tyranny
Bishops Were Prepared for Battle Over Birth Control Coverage
'Accounting gimmick' -- Obama compromise still threatens religious liberty, leaders say
Bishops ‘concerned’ over reworded mandate; other Catholic leaders slam as ‘insult to injury’
Obama Bows to Pressure, but His Religious 'Accommodation' Even Worse

Don't Be Deceived! Evil Obama Policy Now Even MORE Evil!
Obama’s Contraceptive 'Compromise' Doesn't Pass the Smell Test ("It doesn't change a thing")
Compromise or Accommodation, it’s still unacceptable. (updated from Catholic Vote)
Pres. Obama’s “Plan B” compromise, Sr. Keehan, and the Magisterium of Nuns
Land Says Obama Mandate Most Anti-Catholic Government Action in 150 Years
Motive, Means and Opportunity: Obama’s Assault on Catholics
(Exempt Catholics) Joe Biden, Bill Daley warned of contraceptive backlash
(Tim) Thomas makes second political statement (Stands With Catholics)
Southern Baptist leader: If Obama mandate isn’t changed, Christians will go to jail
Over 150 congressional leaders demand repeal of HHS mandate
Boehner vows to overturn Obama’s birth control coverage rule
Boehner: Congress to overturn birth control policy if Obama does not reverse course
O'Brien says Archdiocese of Baltimore won't offer birth control coverage
Archbishop of San Francisco says Obama ruling strikes at religious freedom
How Obama Lost the Catholic Vote
‘I am going to stick with fellow Catholics’ in Pres. Obama’s war on Catholics. Wherein Fr. Z rants.
Unholy War
Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate
Santorum: Obama Hostile to Christians
Understanding Oppostion to the HHS Mandate (Part 1): Why the Church Won’t Pay for Contracept

The Bishops Chickens Coming Home to Roost.
65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate
Doug Kmiec Writes Obama: 'Friendship Will Not Permit Me to Disregard Duty to Faith and Country'
Catholic Outcry Over Obama Administration's Birth Control Decision Could Factor In Presidential Race
Standing with the Bishops [Catholic Caucus]
Updated: *167* Bishops (More Than 90% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
Outrage!… Military Tells Chaplains What They Can and Can’t Say About HHS/ObamaAssault on Religion
Updated: *153* Bishops (Over 80% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
href="">An Affront Catholics Agree On [Liberal and Conservative Catholics Against Obama Mandate]

Army Silenced Chaplains Last Sunday
Catholic Military Archdiocese & Chaplains interfered with last Sunday by Pres. Obama’s Admin
The Anti-Catholic President v. the Catholic Bishops
Sen. Rubio introduces bill to reverse Obama birth control mandate
Churches balk at birth control rule - Catholics won’t comply, Bishop Kevin Rhoades says
Protestants and Jews declare to White House: We stand with Catholics
Checking the Air Outside [Bp. Zubik's follow up to Obama's “To Hell with You”]
Mohler [Southern Baptist] Says Insurance Mandate Not Just 'Catholic' Issue
An Open Letter to President Barack Obama Concerning Recent Tyranny (With Pictures!)
Lincoln bishop: prepare for 'suffering' under HHS mandate
Bishop David Zubik confronts Obama
Obama’s ‘war on the church’

Pope hits out at 'radical secularism'
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
‘We Will Not Comply’: Catholic Leaders Distribute Letter Slamming Obama Admin Contraceptive Mandate
Bruskewitz: Fight Insurance Ruling [Sebelius a "bitter, fallen away Catholic"]
Letter from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Bishop Olmsted's Letter to Catholics [Catholic Caucus]
Liberty for the Amish & Quakers but not Catholics. . .
Contraception mandate prompts Peoria bishop to instate St. Michael Prayer (Catholic Caucus)
Phoenix bishop (Olmstead): defy feds on birth control
A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr concerning HHS edict
Speak honestly: abortion is ‘the killing of tiny human beings in the womb’ – Denver bishop
Bishop [Daniel Jenky] Blasts Secularist Intolerance, Calls For ‘Assertive Action’ to Defend Church
(Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik comments:) HHS delays rule on contraceptive coverage
Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred
Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate
Mandated Contraception, Sterilization: Caesar Demands Church Violate Conscience
OBAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors’ group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say

18 posted on 06/13/2012 1:39:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
It’s been my understanding that the Catholic Church can address issues, but no church is allowed to endorse a candidate.

It’s the endorsing a candidate that takes away the tax exemption. Is this correct?

Well, per IRS Pub 1828:

In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive offices), or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

Churches and religious organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, churches may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

So I think the key here is "excessive" (unfortunately, "excessive" is squishy and is subject to interpretation by the IRS)

On the other hand,

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.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including the presentation of public forums and the publication of voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not constitute prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner. On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that: (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

Individual Activity by Religious Leaders

The political campaign activity prohibition is not intended to restrict free expression on political matters by leaders of churches or religious organizations speaking for themselves, as individuals. Nor are leaders prohibited from speaking about important issues of public policy. However, for their organizations to remain tax exempt under IRC section 501(c)(3), religious leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official church functions. To avoid potential attribution of their comments outside of church functions and publications, religious leaders who speak or write in their individual capacity are encouraged to clearly indicate that their comments are personal and not intended to represent the views of the organization...

And there are a bunch of other rules listed in that publication.

19 posted on 06/13/2012 3:04:50 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: DManA
Reason #1 to eliminate the income tax. Gives politicians a huge tool to whip tax exempt religious into line.
Hear, hear!

20 posted on 06/13/2012 4:49:22 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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