Alas I am not (officially) American, so this petition cannot be signed by yours truly, but when I saw it posted on Pharyngula I thought FINALLY we're discussing this seriously! I've been blabbing about this for ages, and people either didn't believe it was happening or knew it was happening and didn't think anything could be done about it. I'll let PZ Myers explain:
You know, if I violated tax law and then flaunted the fact to the IRS, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll get slammed down hard and fast. So why do churches get a free pass?
Since 2008, pastors of some churches have openly supported and advocated specific political candidates in sermons to members in early October in an event referred to as "Pulpit Freedom Sunday". According to Reuters, videos of these sermons are sent to the offices of the IRS.
According to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the provision of the tax code from which these churches derive their tax-exempt status, a compliant organization must not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of … any candidate for public office."
The IRS has failed to remove the tax-exempt status of these churches despite their violations of tax code. This must change, and the law must be applied equally to everyone.
Don’t you suspect that many of the officers obligated to enforce the law are also members of these same kinds of churches, and are motivated to neglect their duties by a conflict of interest?
Maybe there should be a requirement that all IRS agents be atheists. That would certainly improve the popularity of atheism!
I am fully aware that PZ has a gargantuan following and does not need my help, but this glaring hypocrisy and injustice is something I care about and I want to spread the word as much as I am able to:
SIGN THE PETITION! (If you believe in the cause, of course)
Oh, and read Pharyngula (if you don't already do), tis awesome