Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Render unto Caesar...

IRC 501 (c) (3): In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501 (c) (3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying).

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, will be a leader of Saturday's (5/1/10)march in downtown Los Angeles, where tens of thousands of people are expected to protest Arizona's new immigration law.

Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation or appointive offices), or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure.

On Thursday, the archdiocese started a website, Faces of Immigrants, based on a concept by Cardinal Mahony that "personal stories from immigrants will give a face, or faces, to immigration and show people the effect our broken immigration system has on their lives."

A Church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

Displayed prominently on the Faces of Immigrants website is the link to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Justice for Immigrants website urging us to send a JFI postcard to Congress accompanied by the quote "every man and woman may be regarded as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father" - Pope Benedict XVI.

Under the substantial part test, a church or religious organization that conducts excessive lobbying activity in any taxable year may lose its tax-exempt status resulting in all of its income being subject to tax. In addition, a religious organization is subject to an excise tax equal to five percent of its lobbying expenditures for the year in which it ceases to qualify for exemption. Further a tax equal to five percent of the lobbying expenditures for the year may be imposed against organization managers, jointly and severally, who agree to the making of such expenditures knowing that the expenditures would likely result in the loss of tax-exempt status.

Previously Cardinal Roger Mahony electrified the US immigration reform debate by announcing on March 1, 2006 (Ash Wednesday), that he would instruct archdiocesan priests and lay Catholics to ignore provisions in a House-passed "enforcement only" bill (H.R. 4437) - were they to pass - that would make it a crime to assist unauthorized immigrants.

In an April 18th post on his blog, Cardinal Mahony describes the bill passed by the Arizona Legislature as "the countries most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law born of the assumption that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources." "I can't imagine," the cardinal wrote, "Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation."

Bishop John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, Chairman, US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration: "Specifically, we have emphasised the need for a pathway to citizenship (read amnesty - Finntann) for the 11-12 million undocumented in the country.

When I was a member of the US military, I was free to exercise my constitutional rights in regards to participation in the US political process. There was one caveat however, I could not participate in the process in uniform or utilize my rank. Identifying myself as a member of the United States Air Force was forbidden, lest the public perceive my political activities as an official endorsement of a particular candidate, issue, or party.

In my opinion... these activities constitute participation in the US political process in an attempt to influence legislation , not by Roger Mahony, or John Wester, but by the Catholic Church.




Most Rev. Gregori said...

OH, Boo Hoo. Cardinal Balony and his "Social Justice" communist teaching.
He is just one more leftis moron that loves to confuse people when it comes to legal and illegal immigration.

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