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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: November 26, 2017 09:57PM

If the Johnson Amendment is overturned (that's the law that prohibits non-profits from taking sides in partisan elections), what will happen to the LDS church?

Will your tithing dollars go to political parties? If so, which one(s)?

And: will General Conference turn into a political rally?

Thank you.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: November 26, 2017 10:35PM

Honestly, I hope the current administration thinks this over. It could only be a matter of time before Muslims and others are using this amendment to push THEIR religious wish list.

They (Christian majority) seem to have their usual narrow-minded view that only Christians are the ones who will use this effectively.

I say tax the hell out of religion. They are businesses working with politicians just like any other corporate lobbyist.

I suspect that the LDS church will take a side on issues and make it every clear which candidate "the brethren" favor.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 27, 2017 04:08AM

The present administration doesn't care about the future. The president has reversed himself on broad principles--being a Democrat and pro-choice until 8 or 9 years ago--and on "smaller" issues like universal healthcare, which he applauded during the campaign. He is not a man driven by abiding principle.

The two driving forces in administration policy are reversing things that Obama did and gratifying the president's (shrinking) political base. Since Christian . . . I am reaching for the right word. . .fundamentalists have suddenly decided that politics is more important than such moral issues as pedophilia, removing the barrier to their direct involvement in party politics makes sense. The president will please those people, perhaps solidify their support for him for another year or two, and move on.

The paradox, as you indicate, is that those Christian fundamentalists will be on the other side of the fence and may then recall that they too benefited from the Johnson Amendment. Recall in this context that the Southern Baptists long prided themselves on advocating and protecting the separation of church and state--their movement was founded on that principle, for heaven's sake.

The LDS church is even more short-sighted. The fundamentalists dislike Mormonism as much as they hate atheism, Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism. Again during the campaign Trump criticized Utah and its Mormons when he wanted to appeal to the evangelicals. So Mormons would not benefit from the repeal of the Johnson Amendment: they would suffer as their enemies gained influence.

But the president and his aides won't care much either way. Their time horizon is short--seven more years at the outside. What happens after that won't detain the president in the least.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: November 27, 2017 05:21PM

I heard a discussion on PBS abouth this today.

The restrictions are not about churches but non profits in general. So it is a much larger group. There are 1.8 million 501 (c) (3) organizations listed with the IRS.

So Boy scouts, girl scouts, charitable foundations, arts and humanities, human services, save the animals etc etc.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: November 27, 2017 06:37PM

Correct.
And what the churches pushing to dump the Johnson Amendment don't seem to realize is that it's part of the justification for those groups getting non-profit, no-tax status in the first place.

And that dumping it may well result in all of 'em losing no-tax status.

They want to have their cake and eat it, too. It's not likely to turn out that way.

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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: November 28, 2017 10:29PM

No, they will not lose their tax-exempt status. That's the whole idea behind the repeal, which is to let them be political institutions and still be tax-free.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: November 29, 2017 09:28AM

slskipper Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No, they will not lose their tax-exempt status.
> That's the whole idea behind the repeal, which is
> to let them be political institutions and still be
> tax-free.

Yes, that's the idea.
Historically in the US, though, that idea doesn't fly. And it won't going forward.
The religious right might get their wish temporarily, but it wouldn't be long until the nation realizes that churches doing politics aren't "charities" in any sense of the word, and dumps the tax exemption. What can be legislated can be un-legislated -- and taking away the Johnson amendment will likely engender so much disgust of political "churches" that backlash will be inevitable.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 11, 2017 02:55PM

If this is a way for future admins to then tax churches like LDS and scientology and prevent a church from being built every 4 blocks in the south -- Go for it.

Conservatism is blasted from the pulpit every Sunday at LDS gatherings anyway -- so not much will change for you liberals that still attending and just puke in your mouth when you hear it.

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Posted by: Chicken N. Backpacks ( )
Date: November 27, 2017 08:49PM

My Johnson has a bit of a curve to left, but I don't feel the need for an amendment.


Wait. What?

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: November 27, 2017 09:11PM

Use the other hand now and then...:)

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: November 29, 2017 10:57AM

The money wouldn't be allowed to funnel through directly to political parties or candidates. But the repeal of the Johnson amendment would allow churches to engage in direct partisan political activity such as endorsing candidates, directly promoting candidates and organizing on behalf of political candidates and parties while maintaining tax-exempt status.

Right now, the churches can be involved in issues but not in support of particular candidates and parties and remain tax exempt organizations for which contributions are tax deductible.

BTW- many churches and religious leaders are also opposing this effort to repeal the Johnson Amendment arguing that it incentivizes the church, synagogue and mosque to move outside of their traditional role as community, spiritual and charitable organizations.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: November 29, 2017 11:50AM

snowball Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BTW- many churches and religious leaders are also
> opposing this effort to repeal the Johnson
> Amendment arguing that it incentivizes the church,
> synagogue and mosque to move outside of their
> traditional role as community, spiritual and
> charitable organizations.

Yep. The smart ones, who see the big problems with repealing it, and how it could open up "political" churches to both huge criticism and possibly the total loss of tax-exempt status.
They're also mostly the ones whose focus is church/spiritual work (you know, what churches do), not rabid political invective.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 11, 2017 02:58PM

Do you want churches to be tax free?


Or should we say, cults should be taxed and regular churches can be tax free?


ANyway -- Trump is going for 8 years so that's enough time for changing a lot of minds.

I don't think the repeal of the Johnson amendment will get us any closer to taxing the churches. They can still revise laws to prevent political churches from popping up to get an advantage over other groups.

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