Discrimination | Gay Marriage | Gay Rights | Iowa | News

Will IRS Answer Anti-Gay Pastor's Political Prayers?

Church-state-1 Iowa next month will vote on whether to retain or oust three of the State's Supreme Court Justices who approved gay marriage. Pastor Cary K. Gordon knows where he stands: against, and he used his church to distribute 1,000 mailers letters urging voters to sack the Justices. Gordon's position's more than just "one man, one woman," however; he's waging a full scale attack on the IRS.

The IRS prohibits religious organizations that receive tax-exempt status to participate in the political realm, a law that puts the Mormon Church, with its work against gay marriage, in a sticky situation. While that Church wants to avoid controversy, Gordon prays for it, reportedly uttering the same appeal over and over, "Dear God, please allow the IRS to attack my church, so I can take them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Though advocates of church and state separation are naturally wary of Gordon's position, the pastor takes a less legal perspective and alleges that the IRS actually approves of his involvement: "[The law's] wrong. It needs to be challenged, and I don't think the IRS will do anything about it, because I think they know it's wrong."

Gordon goes on to say that the IRS would "rather let me blather about this and leave me alone than risk losing their intimidation power over thousands of other churches."

The IRS insists it does indeed look into church/state complaints, and have investigated 44 cases from the 2006 election cycle. Twenty-six incidents involved "improper political activity," so they clearly aren't afraid to take church's to task.

Gordon's taunts and challenges are part of a broader religious movement, like the Alliance Defense Fund's "Pulpit Free Sunday," aimed at thrusting the church further into the political process via a "free speech" argument.

So, now the IRS has a decision: make Gordon's prayers come true, or allow him to disregard the law, perhaps sway an election and make the G-Men look like fools in the process. Of course, if the government goes after Gordon, they're almost guaranteeing he becomes a best-selling figurehead for the right wing cause, so maybe they should just leave him alone...

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  1. Strip his Churuch of tax-exempt status and send his sorry, criminal, douchebag ass to jail.

    After all, if we all decided not to pay taxes because we do not get equality in the military, housing, employment, marriage and insurance because of our sexual orientation, shouldn't the IRS understand that that is not fair nor American?

    Posted by: Bart | Oct 11, 2010 9:11:56 AM

  2. No way this asshat should get a pass. No church should.

    Posted by: ichabod | Oct 11, 2010 9:25:21 AM

  3. I say call this fool's bluff and tax the hell out of his Church. If it's the law it needs to be done! What a sorry excuse for a pastor... churches have lost all moral credibility. They preach nothing but politics and hate and it's hard to find anything compassionate or caring ANYWHERE in their miserable bleating!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Oct 11, 2010 9:35:13 AM

  4. "(IRS) have investigated 44 cases from the 2006 election cycle. 26...involved "improper political activity," so they clearly aren't afraid to take church's to task.

    Are you kidding me? 26 of 44 cases (only 44?) from 2006, no less??? That's nothing!

    And what they omit is that THOSE cases involved pastors speaking out against George Bush!

    Some smart minds need to get on this- our nation is being overtaken by zealots.

    Posted by: pete | Oct 11, 2010 11:13:20 AM

  5. Simple, take away the tax exempt status of all churches and tax them to oblivion. Make the world a safer place for 'the children'

    Posted by: Rich | Oct 11, 2010 12:05:54 PM

  6. IRS, tax all these bigoted churches please.

    Posted by: Theo | Oct 11, 2010 1:36:53 PM

  7. Now that corporations are legally "persons," it's not too much to imagine extension of that status to churches. That looks to me like the path this issue may logically take.

    If he wants to push it, Gordon ought to recall that corporations pay taxes--not enough, but they do pay.

    Gordon is going to get his tits caught in a big wringer.

    Posted by: Soren456 | Oct 11, 2010 1:46:06 PM

  8. Why isn't there a gay lynch mob? Or if the government wants to get involved, hire another person to get through the church/state file backlog? Either will likely result in the a-hole being hanged.

    Posted by: Garst | Oct 11, 2010 4:03:13 PM

  9. The most frightening film I've seen recently is "Prop 8," detailing the political machinations of the mormon church(I know, I know, mormon should be capitalized but I don't think they deserve it). The federal government needs to follow the law and withdraw the tax-exempt status of mormons and catholics. My government should not be a theocracy.

    Posted by: mad1026 | Oct 11, 2010 6:29:40 PM

  10. "The IRS prohibits religious organizations that receive tax-exempt status to participate in the political realm..."

    Law, not the IRS prohibits this. In fact, the IRS generally breaks this law, as holding American churches accountable for anything at all is professional, political, and social suicide.

    Posted by: Bryan | Oct 11, 2010 11:14:51 PM

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