ADF Advice to Churches: "Violate the Tax Law!"

We couldn't help but notice that the folks over at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) are encouraging pastors and preachers to violate federal tax laws by engaging in political activities that are now prohibited by the tax code.

Under current law, non-profit organizations, including churches, are not required to pay taxes if they refrain from those political activities that are now prohibited by the tax code. (Some activities are permitted while others are not. We will spare you the details.) Donors to tax-exempt organizations also get a tax break. (For inquiring minds, see what the IRS says.)

Of course, any organization that does not want to be tax-exempt is perfectly free to endorse political candidates and to engage in lobbying (as long as they don't violate other laws like campaign finance). But under current law, you can't have your cake (tax-exempt status) and eat it, too (violate provisions of the tax code).

But rather than explain this trade-off, ADF uses the word "intimidation" to describe the law that gives churches tax exempt status if they agree to comply with the same rules that apply to all other non-profit organizations.

Intimidation?

Really?

How many other laws that apply equally to churches and to everyone else does ADF consider to be "intimidation"? Speeding laws? ("But I'm late for church, officer.") Child-abuse laws? Assault and battery laws? ("The heathen deserved it!") Is it "intimidation" when churches are required to pay for electricity and water just like everyone else?

It needs to be added that ADF has generously offered to provide free legal representation to any church that takes its advice and violates the tax code by engaging in prohibited political activities.

To see just how serious ADF is, we have three little questions for them and one little question for any church that might be thinking of relying on ADF's advice.

First, did ADF decide that it would itself violate the tax code to show solidarity with others, or is it only recommending that someone else violate the law and take the risk? ("Why don't you jump into the crocodile pit and I'll call the doctor!")

Second, why doesn't ADF offer to pay the criminal fines of anyone convicted of following its "legal advice" to violate the tax code? (Hint, hint for anyone thinking of taking up ADF's offer.)

Third, has ADF's "crack" legal team fully considered its own liability under federal conspiracy laws in conjunction with its efforts to encourage others to violate the law? (We thought not! Here are some helpful cites: 18 U.S.C. § 371; 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2). We find. You decide.)

And finally, for well-intended churches out there who really want to do the right thing, what quality of legal representation could you reasonably expect to receive from someone encouraging you to violate the tax laws?

As they say, with friends like ADF . . . .

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Dan

I'm sure the ACLU knows all about intimidation as they use it all the time to try and manipulate people!

David C. Kanz

It appears the ADF is attempting to guarantee a set of clients----donations must be down.....

I have to say to Dan in the comment above: take your blinders off. I was part of the christian broadcasting world for years, am intimately informed as to the formation of the ADF, and the people behind its formation. Turn off the NASCAR race and start using your brain.

Puh--lease....

texas_libertarian

Churches should be able to engage in political activites. Everybody should. That's why we need to abolish the IRS>

ikahnoclast

DAVID C. KANZ

Why did you have to throw in a NASCAR cheapshot? Turn off your blinders. Not everybody who is a NASCAR fan is an idiot.

Bonnie

Do you know the Preamble of your state constitution? . . . interesting:

Be sure to read the message at the bottom!

Alabama 1901, Preamble

We the people of the State of Alabama , invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution..

Alaska 1956, Preamble We, the people of Alaska , grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.

Arizona 1911, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arizona , grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...

Arkansas 1874, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arkansas , grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...

California 1879, Preamble We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...

Colorado 1876, Preamble We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.

Delaware 1897, Preamble Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.

Florida 1885, Preamble We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution...

Georgia 1777, Preamble We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...

Hawaii 1959, Preamble We , the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance ... Establish this Constitution.

Idaho 1889, Preamble We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings.

Illinois 1870, Preamble We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil , political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.

Iowa 1857, Preamble We, the People of the St ate of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.

Kansas 1859, Preamble We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...

Louisiana 1921, Preamble We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.

Maine 1820, Preamble We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity .. And imploring His aid and direction.

Maryland 1776, Preamble We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble We...the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction .

Michigan 1908, Preamble le. We, the people of the State of Michigan , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom establish this Constitution.

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:

Mississippi 1890, Preamble We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Al mighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845, Preamble We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness . Establish this Constitution...

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution ..

Nebraska 1875, Preamble We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom . Establish this Constitution.

Nevada 1864, Preamble We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution...

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

New Jersey 1844, Preamble We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

New Mexico 1911, Preamble We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..

New York 1846, Preamble We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.

North Carolina 1868, Preamble We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...

North Dakota 1889, Preamble We , the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...

Ohio 1852, Preamble We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common.

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance....

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing...

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

South Dakota 1889, Preamble We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties .

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...

Texas 1845, Preamble We the People of the Republic of Texas , acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.

Utah 1896, Preamble Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.

Vermont 1777, Preamble Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man .

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other

Washington 1889, Preamble We the People of the State of Washington , grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution

West Virginia 1872, Preamble Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ...

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble We, the people of Wisconsin , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility...

Wyoming 1890, Preamble We, the people of the State of Wyoming , grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution..

After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong! If you found this to be 'Food for thought! ' copy and send to as many as you think will be enlightened as I hope you were.

(Please note that at no time is anyone told that they Must worship God.)

'Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.' - William Penn

BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD ... PSALM 33:12 GOD BLESS AMERICA

F2XL

God (oppps!!), you guys are full of it. The ADF has always told churches and pastors not to violate the law and what they are legally allowed to do:

http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/GuidelinesforChurchesandPast...

http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/PoliticalActivityofPastors.pdf.

http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/userdocs/StudentRightsHandBook.pdf

Cj2

I think, if a locality wants to put the comandments up it has the right. Puting the commandments up in no way prevents a person from excerising his right of freedom of religion. As long as the locality does not prevent a person from following his own beliefs why does it matter. If someone wants to work on sunday let them. If a person has to take a day off during the week for religious beliefs he should be allowed to. Should there be a seperation of church and state, yes and no, if the government chooses to operate by a set of codes from a religion let it, as long as the people deem those codes equal and fair it shouldn't matter if they are from the koran or the bible or the book of satan, but neither can they tell a person to believe in a certain faith. It's a fine line that has to be walked carefully.

vallor

Speaking of anti-establishment clause -- we know the U.S. Constitution is a _limit on government_, right?

So why do we allow our tax dollars to be used to fund theocracies?

Start with Saudi Arabia: we should be using our foreign aid to leverage our own (supposed) ideas on human rights. Let's see them shape-up, or we pull all our foreign aid to those clowns.

And so on, and so forth.

-vallor

Keith

I'm confused as to why some churchs (usually black supporting Democrats) are allowed to endorse candidates while white churchs (usually Republicans) aren't and why the ACLU attacks one and not the other and why ACLU donations are tax deductible while churchs are not.

KNY

"(Please note that at no time is anyone told that they Must worship God.)"

Mm, no, but "we the people" presumes to be speaking for everyone in the State, which of course most of those comments do not. At least using the term "supreme ruler" is more vague and doesn't seem to specifically name the Judeo-Christian "God". By the way, did you know that the authors of the Constitution battled with church leaders of their day over wording in the Preamble? But the founders did NOT intend to establish a "Christian nation," which is why the more vague term "Creator" is used rather than a specific reference to "God", "The Lord" or Jesus as some were calling for.

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