Tag Archives: church and state

Occupy Wall Street Protesters, Even in Churches, Can’t Escape Watch of Police – NYTimes.com

19 Nov

Several area churches have been sheltering protesters in the days since the city banned sleeping in Zuccotti Park, and church officials said they were alarmed by the idea that the police might be monitoring their conduct.

“It is disconcerting that they would actually enter the sanctuary,” said the Rev. James Karpen, known as Reverend K, senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, on West 86th Street. “Here we had offered hospitality and safety, which is our business as a church; it just felt invasive.”

via Occupy Wall Street Protesters, Even in Churches, Can’t Escape Watch of Police – NYTimes.com.

Flouting the Law, Pastors Will Take On Politics – NYTimes.com

1 Oct

Hmmmm. . . .

The alliance and many other advocates regard a 1954 law prohibiting churches and their leaders from engaging in political campaigning as a violation of the First Amendment and wish to see the issue played out in court. The organization points to the rich tradition of political activism by churches in some of the nation’s most controversial battles, including the pre-Revolutionary war opposition to taxation by the British, slavery and child labor.

The legislation, sponsored by Lyndon Baines Johnson, then a senator, muzzled all charities in regards to partisan politics, and its impact on churches may have been an unintended consequence. At the time, he was locked in a battle with two nonprofit groups that were loudly calling him a closet communist.

Thirty years later, a group of senators led by Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, passed legislation to try to rein in the agency a bit in doing some audits. While audits of churches continued over the years, they appeared to have slowed down considerably after a judge rebuffed the agency’s actions in a case involving the Living Word Christian Center and a supposed endorsement of Ms. Bachmann in 2007. The I.R.S. had eliminated positions through a reorganization, and therefore, according to the judge, had not followed the law when determining who could authorize such audits.

via Flouting the Law, Pastors Will Take On Politics – NYTimes.com.