|I signed, did you?
||[Nov. 8th, 2008|08:14 pm]
I have just read and signed the petition: "Review the 501(c)(3) status of The Church of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons)".
Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. They are trying to reach 10000 signatures - please sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/review-the-501c3-status-of-the-church-of-latter-day-saints-the-mormons
Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.
"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)."
The issue is that, without going too deeply into technical tax law, "substantial" is defined with reference to what percentage of the organization's total activities/resources goes to lobbying. Thus, for example, if an organization spends $10 billion on total activities, it can probably spend $1 billion on lobbying without the lobbying being considered "substantial."
In the case of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, the total activities are obviously substantial. (Just look at all those people coming around to bother you at home!) So lobbying could be a hefty amount without triggering this test.
I'm also concerned about the amount of attention that is being focused on the Mormon Church on this issue. The Catholic church, and many evangelical denominations, also lobbied heavily on this issue. If we are not examining all of the religions that lobbied (on both sides) on this one, I am concerned about the Constitutional issues if one particular church is targeted because it is a less "popular" religion.
I hate the fact that Proposition 8 passed. I hate the fact that there are religions out there that think that their resources are best spent on interfering with my family. At the same time, I am very wary of having our first reaction be to try to remove the tax exemption of specific churches.
My understanding is that the attention that is being focused on the Mormon Church on this issue is based on the time and "church" money that was was spent on their "lobbying" to have this bill passed. There are others on my friends list that live in CA that know way more about the work that the LDS did.
My understanding is that no outright lobbying is allowed. For example during services they are not allowed to tell you to vote [or not to vote] for Mr. Smith for example. This fact point was brought up by the Rabbi Kleinbaum during CBST
's Yom Kippur Services.
Signed and delivered, complete with an undeniably unbiased comment. Permission to link to this entry, rather than writing my own?