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October 8th, 2012
02:20 PM ET

Pastor heralds success of endorsing from the pulpit, challenging IRS

By Dan Merica, CNN

In a sermon that likely broke the law, Indiana pastor Ron Johnson told his 400 congregants Sunday that for those who believe in the Bible, the decision to vote against President Barack Obama “is a no-brainer.”

“For Christian people who believe the Bible is the inspired world of God, it is not rocket science,” Johnson told CNN after his sermon.

Johnson’s anti-Obama sermonizing likely violated the so-called Johnson Amendment, an Internal Revenue Service rule that forbids churches that receive tax-exempt status from the federal government to intervene in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

But Johnson appears comfortable with defying the IRS. His sermon was part of a national campaign by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organization that has organized Pulpit Freedom Sunday since 2008, encouraging pastors to flout the Johnson Amendment with political endorsements from the pulpit.

Alliance Defending Freedom said that more 1,500 other pastors across the United States participated Sunday. The goal: to force the IRS to come down on these churches so the organization, whose network includes 2,200 attorneys, can test the Johnson Amendment’s constitutionality.

“The IRS has the ability and the authority to regulate their sermons. We are giving them the opportunity to do that, and if they challenge that, we will challenge that in court,” said Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom's senior legal counsel. “It is all about creating a test case to find the Johnson Amendment as unconstitutional.”

With less than a month until the presidential election, what was said at this year’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday could hold more sway than in previous years.

Critics say the movement is a Republican front dressed up as an exercise in religious freedom, an allegation the event organizer rejects.

“The ADF wants to elect the next president. They want to elect Mitt Romney,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “This is not about some principle.”

Johnson denies that, noting on Sunday he did not endorse Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, but instead urged his congregation to vote against Obama, whose policies he called “un-American.”

He said the speech received a number of standing ovations.

When CNN asked to be put in touch with a church that plans to endorse the president, representatives from the organization said they don’t screen whom the churches plan to endorse.

The Alliance Defending Freedom has ties to other conservative Christian groups such as the American Family Association and Focus on the Family.

“I think there is a possibility that in some of these mega-churches, a pastor's saying it is OK to vote for Mitt Romney … could increase voter turnout,” Lynn said.

So far, the effort has received little to no response from the IRS.

The IRS did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Many of the sermons from Sunday will be sent to the nation’s tax collection agency, a move that organizers hope will make it easy for the IRS to come down on the churches. According to Stanley, the majority of the messages in past years have gone unnoticed, and only a handful of pastors receive letters, some of which threaten to revoke the churches' tax-exempt status.

This nonenforcement by the IRS has emboldened some pastors and the Alliance Defending Freedom, said Lynn of Americans United. According to pastors who have participated in the past, the fact the IRS rarely if ever comes down on these churches encourages them to keep endorsing.

Stanley and the Alliance Defending Freedom theorize that the IRS doesn’t want to be challenged in court and that the agency may be disorganized.

But the lack of enforcement stems from bureaucratic uncertainty about what rank an IRS official must be to initiate an investigation, Lynn said.

In the past, the IRS has investigated churches that it suspected of violating the Johnson Amendment.

Four days before the 1992 presidential election, the Landmark Church in Binghamton, New York, ran a full-page ad in USA Today that said, "Christians Beware," followed by a list of Bill Clinton's positions on homosexuality, abortion and the distribution of condoms. At the bottom, the church asked for donations to help pay for the ad.

According to Lynn, Americans United filed a complaint, and the church lost its tax-exempt status in 1995.

Landmark Church pastor Dan Little took the IRS to court, arguing the agency was violating the church's First Amendment rights and the agency was only able to revoke the tax-exempt status of a "religious organization," not an actual church.

Both a U.S. District Court judge and a federal appeals court rejected those arguments.

Johnson, the Indiana pastor, laughs when asked about those who question whether a pastor should be allowed to endorse from the pulpit.

“Pastors understand the so-called separation of church and state, as it is currently understood. We understand how marginalized we are becoming,” Johnson said. “We are supposed to be part of the community discussion about issues that matter.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Politics

soundoff (581 Responses)
  1. bolts

    Obama always breaks the law and nothing happens to him...

    October 9, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  2. Chad

    This is silly. The article incorrectly uses the term "forbids" in relation to the IRS rule. Pastors and preachers are free to endorse whomever they want. Unless, of course, they also want to turn around with that same mouth and drink from the trough of a tax exemption, or church welfare from the government. Endorse whomever you want to, but don't turn around and whine about it when you lose your federal government handout as a result.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  3. al

    I prey, Dear Lord, give us freedom from those who would manipulate religion to elect their candidate. Hate is easy to spread, more have been killed in the name of God. How would Jesus treat this, would he turn over the tables?

    October 9, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  4. Scholar

    The rules are not meant to be broken. Testing these rules is dangerous to churches both because they could lose and because, once established in a legal test before the courts, the churches could lose much larger issues as the courts could draw a very narrow line around religious organizations that is far closer to the doors of the churches in limiting the power of the religions to extend their influence into the political and business arenas.

    The First Amendment protections of religious freedom go only so far and are not indefinitely extendable into areas that are not a "proper" venue for religion. What is "proper"? Only court cases will draw that distinction and that is risky for churches to enter into a conflict that could cost them far more than they realize.

    What is at stake and at risk in such ventures cannot be known until the courts decide.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  5. Seyedibar

    We've had several large churches lose their tax exempt status this way in my city, which is justly deserved. My city's largest denomination may be shutting down after owing the IRS something around $8 million in unpaid taxes for endorsing political candidates.
    So thumb your noses all you want, religious nuts. The last laugh is on you and your crooked tax-dodging business.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • James

      AMEN.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Michele

      Glad they stepped up in your city – never happen here in Okeyhomie. Church and state need to seperate, but these crafty pastor's are just waiting to start a lawsuit.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • chuck

      It's about time they paid up !!!!!!!!!

      October 9, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  6. zapper

    The screeches of a few religious bigots won't stop Obama. Nor will the "under-the-table" political proselytizing of the Mormon Church, which should have started paying taxes long ago.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  7. Ninth Life

    Romney = False Prophet, and may actually be the anti-christ. Of course, our selfish iSociety deserves no less.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  8. jdoe

    I agree with the pastor. Churches should be able to endorse any politician they want. They also need to pay their taxes. This could be a great way to reduce the deficit.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  9. belle

    Why would Christian pastors be encouraging people who believe in the Bible to vote for someone that follows a false prophet since I doubt those remarks were meant to encourage people to vote third party.

    Maybe instead less fear mongering, more John 16:33.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  10. Bill Brown

    This is absurd. Have you EVER, EVER once, in an election year, not seen the pulpits of every black church in the country jam-packed, on the two Sundays prior to Election Day,with Democrat candidates from one end of the country to another?
    Take a look on the two Sundays before Election Day this year. Will Barack Obama, the Clintons,and the entire Democrat senior leadership, not be in pulpits all across the country?

    October 9, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Gadflie

      I seriously doubt any of them will be in the pulpit. They will likely be in the pews though. So, what's your point?

      October 9, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • chuck

      as long as they pay their taxes, they can preach 24 hrs a day. Demo or Repub MAKES NO DIFFERENCE.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  11. john

    When a pastor stops preaching about religion and starts preaching about politics then he had gone outside his domain. I believe that there are laws or statutes which say that when they cross that line that they can be investigated and if proven that then lose their coveted tax exempt status and rightfully so. We need to understand as our forefathers did, the power of religious leaders in shaping thought. They lived closer to the reformation and inquisition and saw what that power could and did do to the whole world. they wanted to protect our infant nation from that kind of power as it could have taken us down the same path that caused so much suffering. they were very wise–while we seem to be very, very unwise.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Scholar

      The IRS rules and regulations were drawn up to execute the laws made by Congress, to enforce the definitions of what Congress intended when creating charitable organizations that can receive donations which donations are tax deductions for donors when those taxpaying donors make contributions. Included in that designation of a charitable organization is a different and favorable treatment under tax laws. Losing that designation means paying taxes on income and that donors lose their donations made to that organization as deductible donations.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  12. midwestmatt

    Zero taxes for the church. That would make them the ultimate 47 percenters out there.

    By their own logic and constant spewing of BS, the churches are leeches living off the government.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Scholar

      It would be interesting to have reported the percentage of income received that churches pay out in charitable works.

      Under the ACHA rules, all health insurance companies must use 80 percent of their premium income for medical care costs. Perhaps we should expect churches to report on their charitable works and find out just how their expenses add up.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  13. Robert Harvey-Kinsey

    I have no problem doing this as long as they give up their special tax status which was created for the sole purpose of them never doing this.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Ryan

      No. Go back and look at your history. The freedom of speech and freedom of religion was not a "you swap your speech for no taxes deal." For 170 years before the Johnson Amendment of '54 churches enjoyed the freedom to engage in politics and any other cultural issue in the church houses without any threat of government interference, because that is what the founders fought for and emphasized so much that they made it their first priority...1st Amendment! You have to rewrite a lot of history to come to the conclusion you just did!

      October 9, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ryan,

      nevertheless, the Johnson amendment was passed during he Eisenhower administration. They clearly had a purpose at that time. It would be interesting to understand why it was thought NECESSARY at the time.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  14. rob

    The religious nuts in this country are getting crazier by the way. We need to eliminate this dangerous vermin from society.

    October 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • midwestmatt

      Amen. Enough with these people. If they think they're going to, "Take their country back", they'd better realize there will be plenty of us to go up against them.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Susie

      You sound just like Stalin and Goebbels

      October 9, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  15. noillusion

    Not surprising that a pastor would get involved in political endorsements; both politicians and the clergy are full of sh!t.

    October 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      October 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  16. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Putting the final kibosh on religion and therefore activating the "pink slipping" the topic pastors:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    October 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      October 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As does Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

      October 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Apostle4Peace

      John 3:16-18 (NKJV) "16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
      Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) "20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

      It is not wise to judge something you have yet to experience. Love, Hope, Faith! These never fail.....

      October 9, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Reality

      All of John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      October 9, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  17. TM

    This issue is not new. Neither is the answer. It starts 'render unto Ceasar...." Politics and elections are the LAST thing that these pastors need to concern themselves or their congregations with. Their plates are full enough already.

    October 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • mendacitysux

      They're plates are never full. They empyy them and pass them around again.

      October 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  18. Sam235

    Let me tell you what you sound like when you talk about taxing churches by flipping it around for you: Churches should tax Obama for using the words "tax the rich" too much. Congress does not have the authority to tax churches, and churches do not have the authority to tax Obama.

    October 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • mendacitysux

      Quite possibly the dumbest statement you've made yet. And that is saying something

      October 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • old ben

      wow. ok i get the part where it would be very difficult to get around the current law and "no law" thing as you said earlier, but you really threw me with this one. your scenario is absurd.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • TX

      Tax them then. Period.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  19. Sam235

    Taxing churches is a violation of the "separation of church and state". The government can't say what a church can and can't say unless it is inciting violence, PERIOD!!!!!

    October 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What on earth are you worked up about. Despite what some people on internet comment boards might prefer there is zero attempt being made here to tax churches.

      October 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • PallasAthene

      According to separation of church and state, churches should be taxed. By allowing them tax exemption, we are favoring them based on religion. PERIOD. They don't pay taxes because it's just an 'understanding' that since they do good things (well they used to), they would be exempt from taxes. It's just not that way any more. Once upon a time, churches helped, now they just build huge megamillion dollar buildings while people starve, go homeless, and go jobless.

      October 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Tyler

      @PallasAthene
      Last I checked churches DO help. I don't know what kind of bubble you're living in. It's not the churches driving people into starvation, homelessness and joblessness like you claim. It's Obama and his failed policies. And he wants to continue "Forward" with his same level of failure. Romney is hitting the nail on the head....we can't afford 4 more. Also, is it just me? Or has anyone else noticed that as this country gets less religious it's becoming less of a world leader. As this country has begun to attack religion it has slipped from the world ranks to a point where we are on the brink of a total collapse.Funny how those two correlate (religion and success).

      October 9, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  20. PWard

    Tax these morons. You wanna play? Pay your admission fee like everyone else.

    October 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Rebekah

      As a Christian, I agree with PWard. I don't agree that "they're" morons, but I think most Christians and other churches have not thought deeply about the tax-exempt issue. They want to have their cake and eat it, too.

      October 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      I agree that they are morons. I don't have any other word for people who believe in a 6000 yr old earth populated by talking snakes and donkeys, winged men, zombie sorcerers, and magical underground fire prisons.

      October 9, 2012 at 12:22 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.