Friday, May 06, 2005

Asheville-Waynesville church EXCOMMUNICATES all DEMOCRATS

Hey you guys -- this is amazing. We have offcially passed a milestone here -- a church in WAYNESVILLE, NC (just a short drive from JC) has EXCOMMUNICATED all the Democrats from the congregation.



I shit you not. Click the link under the title.

Here's the church:
East Waynesville Baptist Church
175 Woodland Dr
Waynesville, NC 28786
Denomination: Baptist
Phone: (828) 456-6841

here's the deal:

Before the election, the preacher told the congregation from the pulpit that if they didn't vote for BUSHITLER they had to come to the altar to confess their sins and repent.

Yea, verily -- all who are UNREPENTANT DEMOCRATS are no longer welcome in the chruch.

Separation of chuch and state? I say these guys need to start paying their damn taxes. What say you?


here's more links:
Democratic Underground Threads
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x3606871
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x3604552#3605570

Video of newscast:
http://www.timbuk3.com/wlos.wmv

Texas Church doing same thing:
http://www.mywesttexas.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14473329&BRD=2288&PAG=461&dept_id=475626&rfi=6

More video links:
http://www.christopherbair.com/dailykos/wlos.wmv
http://www.hoffmania.com/blog/files/wlos.wmv

Blog response:
http://hoffmania.typepad.com/blog

Daily KOS:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/5/211218/4946

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And just in case you think you don't know enough to comment on this, here's all you need. It's called The Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations. It is published by the Internal Revenue Service. Read it and ask yourself if your church is on the verge of losing their tax-exempt status. If you care about your congregation, wouldn't you want to make sure you play by the rules and set a decent example for your children? Isn't it your responsibility as a member of your church to REPORT any criminal activity in your CHURCH, for christsakes!

Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations
Publication 1828 (Rev. 7-02)
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224

Attn: Political Campaign Activity
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 taxes.

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, or (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.

The following are examples of situations involving endorsements by religious leaders.
Example 1: Minister A is the minister of Church J and is well known in the community. With their permission, Candidate T publishes a full-page ad in the local newspaper listing five ?prominent ministers who have personally endorsed Candidate T, ?including Minister A. Minister A is identified in the ad as the ?minister of Church J. The ad states, “Titles and affiliations of each individual are provided for identification purposes only.” ?The ad is paid for by Candidate T’s campaign committee. Since ?the ad was not paid for by Church J, the ad is not otherwise in an ?official publication of Church J, and the endorsement is made by ?Minister A in a personal capacity, the ad does not constitute ?campaign intervention by Church J.

Example 2: Minister B is the minister of Church K. Church K publishes a monthly church newsletter that is distributed to all church members. In each issue, Minister B has a column titled "My Views." The month before the election, Minister B states in the "My Views" column, "It is my personal opinion that Candidate U should be reelected." For that one issue, Minister B pays from his personal funds the portion of the cost of the newsletter attributable to the “My Views” column. Even though he paid part of the cost of the newsletter, the newsletter is an official publication of the church. Since the endorsement appeared in an official publication of Church K, it constitutes campaign intervention attributed to Church K.

Example 3: Minister C is the minister of Church L and is well known in the community. Three weeks before the election he attends a press conference at Candidate V's campaign headquarters and states that Candidate V should be reelected. Minister C does not say he is speaking on behalf of his church. His endorsement is reported on the front page of the local newspaper and he is identified in the article as the minister of Church L. Since Minister C did not make the endorsement at an official church function, in an official church publication or otherwise use the church's assets, and did not state that he was speaking as a representative of Church L, his actions did not ?constitute campaign intervention attributable to Church L.

Example 4: Minister D is the minister of Church M. During regular services of Church M shortly before the election, Minister D preached on a number of issues, including the importance of voting in the upcoming election, and concludes by stating, “It is important that you all do your duty in the election and vote for Candidate W.” Since Minister D’s remarks indicating support for Candidate W were made during an official church service, they constitute political campaign intervention attributable to Church M.

Inviting a Candidate to Speak
Depending on the facts and circumstances, a church or religious organization may invite political candidates to speak at its events without jeopardizing its tax-exempt status. Political candidates may be invited in their capacity as candidates, or individually (not as a candidate).

Speaking as a candidate. Like any other IRC Section 501(c)(3) organization, when a candidate is invited to speak at a church or religious organization event as a political ?candidate, the church or religious organization must take steps to ensure that:
• It provides an equal opportunity to the political candidates seeking the same office,
• It does not indicate any support of or opposition to the candidate (this should be stated explicitly when the candidate is introduced and in communications concerning the candidate’s attendance), and
• No political fundraising occurs.

Equal opportunity to participate.

Like any other IRC Section 501(c)(3) ?organization, in determining whether candidates are given an equal opportunity to participate, a church or religious organization should consider the nature of the event to which each candidate is invited, in addition to the manner of presentation. For example, a church or religious organization that invites one candidate to speak at its well attended annual banquet, but invites the opposing candidate to speak at a sparsely attended general meeting, will likely be found to have violated the political campaign prohibition, even if the manner of presentation for both speakers is otherwise neutral.

Public Forum. Sometimes a church or religious organization invites several candidates to speak at a public forum. A public forum involving several candidates for public office may qualify as an exempt educational activity. However, if the forum is operated to show a bias for or against any candidate, then the forum would be prohibited campaign activity, as it would be considered intervention or participation in a political campaign. When an organization invites several candidates to speak at a forum, it should consider the following factors:
• Whether questions for the candidate are prepared and presented by an independent nonpartisan panel,
• Whether the topics discussed by the candidates cover a broad range of issues that the candidates would address if elected to the office sought and are of interest to the public,
• Whether each candidate is given an equal opportunity to present his or her views on the issues discussed,
• Whether the candidates are asked to agree or disagree with positions, agendas, platforms or statements of the organization, and
• Whether a moderator comments on the questions or otherwise implies approval or disapproval of the candidates.

The following are two examples of situations where a church or religious organization invites a candidate(s) to speak before the congregation.
Example 5: Minister E is the minister of Church N. In the month prior to the election, Minister E invited the three Congressional candidates for the district in which Church N is located to address the congregation, one each on three successive Sundays, as part of regular worship services. Each candidate was given an equal opportunity to address and field questions on a wide variety of topics from the congregation. Minister E’s introduction of each candidate included no comments on their qualifications or any indication of a preference for any candidate. The actions do not constitute political campaign intervention by Church N.

Example 6: Minister F is the minister of Church O. The Sunday before the November election, Minister F invited Senate Candidate X to preach to her congregation during worship services. During his remarks, Candidate X stated, “I am asking not only for your votes, but for your enthusiasm and dedication, for your willingness to go the extra mile to get a very large turnout on Tuesday.” Minister F invited no other candidate to address her congregation during the Senatorial campaign. Because these activities took place during official church ?services they are attributed to Church O. By selectively providing church facilities to allow Candidate X to speak in ?support of his campaign, Church O’s actions constitute political campaign intervention.

Speaking as a non-candidate. Like any other IRC Section 501(c)(3) organization, a church or religious organization may invite political candidates (including church members) to speak in a non-candidate capacity. For instance, a political candidate may be a public figure because he or she: (a) currently holds, or formerly held, public office, (b) is considered an expert in a non-political field, or (c) is a celebrity or has led a ?distinguished military, legal, or public service career. When a candidate is invited to speak at an event in a non-candidate capacity, it is not necessary for the church or ?religious organization to provide equal access to all political candidates. However, the church or religious organization must ensure that:
• The individual speaks only in a non-candidate capacity,
• Neither the individual nor any representative of the church makes any mention of his or her candidacy or the election, and
• No campaign activity occurs in connection with the candidate's attendance.

In addition, the church or religious organization should clearly indicate the capacity in ?which the candidate is appearing and should not mention the individual's political ?candidacy or the upcoming election in the communications announcing the candidate's attendance at the event.

Below are examples of situations where a public official appears at a church or religious organization in an official capacity, and not as a candidate.

Example 7: Church P is located in the state capital. Minister G customarily acknowledges the presence of any public officials present during services. During the state gubernatorial race, Lieutenant Governor Y, a candidate, attended a Wednesday evening prayer service in the church. Minister G acknowledged the Lieutenant Governor’s presence in his customary manner, saying, “We are happy to have worshiping with us this evening Lieutenant Governor Y.” Minister G made no reference in his welcome to the Lieutenant Governor’s candidacy or the election. Minister G’s actions do not constitute political campaign intervention by Church P.

Example 8: Minister H is the minister of Church Q. Church Q is building a community center. Minister H invites Congressman Z, the representative for the district containing Church Q, to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the community center. Congressman Z is running for reelection at the time. Minister H makes no reference in her introduction to Congressman Z’s candidacy or the election. Congressman Z also makes no reference to his candidacy or the election and does not do any fundraising while at Church Q. Church Q has not ?intervened in a political campaign.

Voter Guides

Like other IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations, some churches and religious organizations undertake voter education activities by distributing voter guides. Voter guides, generally, are distributed during an election campaign and provide information on how all candidates stand on various issues. These guides may be distributed with the purpose of educating voters, however, they may not be used to attempt to favor or oppose candidates for public elected office.

A careful review of the following facts and circumstances may help determine whether or not a church or religious organization’s publication or distribution of voter guides constitute prohibited political campaign activity.
• Whether the candidates’ positions are compared to the organization’s position,
• Whether the guide includes a broad range of issues that the candidates would address if elected to the office sought,
• Whether the description of issues is neutral,
• Whether all candidates for an office are included, and
• Whether the descriptions of candidates’ positions are either: The candidates’ own words in response to questions, or A neutral, unbiased and complete compilation of all candidates’ positions.

The following are examples of situations where churches distribute voter guides.

Example 9: Church R distributes a voter guide prior to elections. The voter guide consists of a brief statement from the candidates on each issue made in response to a questionnaire sent to all candidates for governor of State I. The issues on the questionnaire cover a wide variety of topics and were selected by Church R based solely on their importance and interest to the electorate as a whole. Neither the questionnaire nor the voter guide, through their content or structure, indicate a bias or preference for any candidate or group of candidates. Church R is not participating or intervening in a political campaign.

Example 10: Church S distributes a voter guide during an election campaign. The voter guide is prepared using the responses of candidates to a questionnaire sent to candidates for major public offices. Although the questionnaire covers a wide range of topics, the wording of the questions evidences a bias on certain issues. By using a questionnaire structured in this way, Church S is participating or intervening in a political campaign.

1 Comments:

Blogger Nicky said...

In a sane world, any individual of any polital persuasion would have huge fucking red flags popping up concerning this. What a very interesting time we live in.

Friday, May 06, 2005 2:25:00 PM  

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