The Politics of Religion
Key activities church leaders should watch in an election year.

Key Activities Church Leaders Should Watch in an Election Year

Article summary. In order to maintain their exemption from federal income taxes, churches and other religious organizations must comply with several requirements specified in section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. One of these requirements is that the organization not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. Many churches have violated this requirement in the past with no adverse consequences. However, the landscape is changing. Recent pronouncements by the IRS suggest that this election year will not be "business as usual." It is now more important than ever for church leaders to be familiar with the consequences of political involvement. This article explains the campaign limitation in detail, drawing upon key IRS rulings and court decisions. It also evaluates the application of the limitation to several common church practices.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Posted: September 1, 2008
View All
from our store
2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide

2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide

Find comprehensive help understanding United States tax laws as they relate to pastors and churches.
Church Governance

Church Governance

What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition

Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition

Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

State by state laws to report child abuse.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Let ChurchSalary do the work. Get personalized compensation reports for staff and pastors.