OT: Your tax dollars at work

Here's the first few paragraphs of a new report from AU (Americans United for Separation of Church and State). The whole report can be read at <AU.org>
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Senator’s Report Seeks No New Laws To Rein In Predatory ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Preachers – And Recommends Repeal Of Church-Electioneering Ban
Texas-based TV preacher Kenneth Copeland takes in millions in tax- deductible donations each year. He and his wife Gloria live in a $6.2 million “parsonage” on 25 acres of land by a lake. He has a private cattle ranch, a power plant and oil and gas wells and drives several Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a Mercedes Benz, a Cadillac and a Corvette convertible. His **tax-exempt** Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) has a fleet of airplanes and its own private airport.
Copeland has told associates that he is personally a billionaire, and his Pentecostal colleagues gave him and Gloria a $2.1 million cash “gift” to celebrate his 70th birthday and their 40th anniversary in ministry.
Operating as a church and almost entirely outside the purview of ** federal tax authorities**, Copeland answers only to a KCM board stacked with family members and friends.
And, soon, if U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and his Religious Right allies have their way, Copeland will be able to use his mega- ministry to ***intervene in partisan political campaigns.***
In a move that shocked many observers, Grassley and Senate Finance Committee staffers concluded their three-year investigation into the **financial irregularities of tax-exempt television ministries** with a report that makes **no recommendation for additional governmental oversight**. And, to compound the controversy, the staff report recommends **repeal of the federal tax law ban on church electioneering**.
(continued at <AU.org>
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I thought I was beyond shocked at the machinations of those cynically exploitativen tax-exempt TV preachers, but when Congress gets involved to further breach the Constitutional wall separating Church and State, we all need to worry A LOT!
While making billions in tax exempt profits, these Fundamentalist preachers will be able -- if Congress goes along with the Finance Committee non-investigation -- to exhort their congregations to vote for Joe/Jane Blow. This is currently illegal, though violations crop up often, especially in the Bible Belt.
**Please folks, wake up & smell the coffee before it's too late**. We need to deluge Congress with shocked complaints. If you don't know your Member of Congress just input "find my Congressman" and many Websites will crop up with phone & fax numbers. Once at the Congress critter's Web site, find the "Contact" button to send an email.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Nah, TV evangelists are kinda like televised wrestling matches - the viewers know they are faked, but it's good entertainment.
True, the viewers send money. But that's similar to hitting the tip jar on blog sites. The viewers are simply saying: "I really enjoy your sthick. Here's money to do more."
Of course the evangelist doesn't pay taxes on the revenue, but if the IRS required him to do so, about a million blue-haired grannies would descend on the local IRS offices, and who wants that?
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Uh, when/if they find that the Radical Religious Right, which supports and encourages the TV fraudsters, has succeeded in gutting Social Security and Medicare, they might indeed descend on a government office, but it wouldn't be the IRS, it would be Social Security and/or their Cong. representatives.
We are not amused by your flip dismissal of the Constitutional separation of Church and State.
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Exactly. That's why that won't happen either.

"We are not amused." Some royal affectation you've got there.
You should move to the right - as you know, we support a monarchy.
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At least you picked up the allusion, which was, of course, meant humorously.

Thanks; I'm staying squarely in the middle...well...shucks...
HB
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