Thursday, January 21, 2010


So the Mormon church has been exposed financing the Prop 8 anti-gay marriage campaign and trying to cover up it's involvement. And Cindy McCain hearts the gay. It's been all gay all day in the news today and I want to join in the fun while I drink my coffee.

One of the most interesting things about the Prop 8 trial is all the machinations that went into passing it in the first place. Even if I were to buy the Prop 8 premise that marriage inequality is the right policy because the majority of Americans are in favor of it, it's clear that the will of the people has been driven by a sophisticated advertising campaign. And while I appreciate the efforts of fair-minded people like Cindy and Meghan McCain, their paltry efforts can't compete in the spin battle with behemoths like the Mormon and Catholic Churches.

That's offensive on two levels. First, the churches are asking their members to turn their backs on their gay sons and daughters and friends and coworkers and keep us in a separate plane, living among, but not quite equal to, our friends and relatives. That's caused more than a little cognitive dissonance for straight people who clearly see the injustice for what it is.

Secondly those churches continue to enjoy their tax-exempt status in spite of the their involvement in political activity. They are clearly and demonstrably engaged in the financing of candidates, referendums, and "grassroots" organizations, as well as passing out "voter guides" on specific campaigns and speaking from the pulpit on political issues. Their 510(c)(3) status requires churches to abstain from political activity in exchange for preventing government involvement in their church affairs.

Of course if they want to be political they are more than welcome to give up their tax exemption and dive into the fray with the rest of us. But as long as they are receiving taxpayer support for their spiritual mission, they have to stay out of our secular political scrum.

So WTF Feds? Now that you have actual tangible evidence of illegal Mormon and Catholic political activity in the United States, isn't it time to get busy revoking their tax exempt status? Could it be any clearer? Do we need to wait for yard signs showing Brigham Young and the Pope arm in arm, saying "God Hates Gays, Vote Yes on Prop 8"?

1 comment:

Kwach said...

Many churches shouldn't be tax exempt in any case. If you cease to be quiet little havens for the soul and start becoming big-time money-makers, stealing from parishioners in the seats, online and through the media in order to house and clothe the "pastors" in high style, you are not a "not-for-profit" organization, and you're barely a religious one. You're a big fat corporation and you ought to pay taxes like the rest of us. Even moreso if you feel you have the right to tell taxpayers how to vote.