Yesterday's Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad that was an open letter from Pastor Kenneth D. Taylor of Calvary Assembly of God in Algoma, Wisconsin, to the IRS regarding its enforcement of the ban on electioneering activities by tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations as that ban applies to churches. The letter was sponsored by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Here's how the letter begins:
I am the pastor of a small church in northeastern Wisconsin that is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. We're writing today to call your bluff.
The IRS has said for years – based on what we believe is a mistaken interpretation of the tax code – that preachers can't support particular political figures or political positions in their sermons.
I'm not going to comment on the theatrics, but I will comment on some of the legal issues the letter discusses. It is true enough that the IRS has said that leaders of any tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (including, but certainly not limited to, churches) cannot ...1