Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What is it with Pastors and Taxes?

Molly Ball scoops (via Mark Stricherz):

Obama had a full Sunday in Southern Nevada, first making a surprise appearance at a downtown black church, where he spoke at the end of the service.

Before he arrived, the pastor of the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, speaking from the pulpit, advocated for Obama, possibly breaking the law. Pastor Leon Smith told the congregation that "the more he (Obama) speaks, the more he wins my confidence, and ... if the polls were open today, I would cast my vote for this senator."

He urged them to do the same, saying, "If you can't support your own, you're never going to get anywhere. ... I want to see this man in office."

Under federal tax law, nonprofits such as churches are prohibited from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that the forbidden partisan activity includes speech from the pulpit that indicates the church favors a particular candidate.

The campaign said the pastor simply had made supportive statements about Obama's record. The church could not be reached late Sunday.

I recently posted about another pastor in conflict with taxes.

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