IRS Investigating Obama's Church

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 02/27/2008 - 5:49pm.

 The United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama's spiritual home, is in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service over a speech Obama gave to its national convention last June.

The IRS has notified the UCC that it has opened an investigation into Obama's address at the UCC's 2007 General Synod in Hartford, Conn., the UCC said yesterday.

According to a copy of an IRS letter that the church received Monday, the IRS is launching the inquiry "because reasonable belief exists that the United Church of Christ has engaged in political activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status."

Under federal law, churches are barred from becoming directly or indirectly involved in campaigns of political candidates.

According to a text of the speech posted on the church's Web site, Obama promised to sign a universal health care bill in his first term as president, and he denounced the Iraq war.

"I have a plan that would have already begun redeploying our troops with the goal of bringing all our combat brigades home by March 31st of next year" according to the text. He also said "our conscience cannot rest" until genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan is stopped and 12 million illegal immigrants get a chance to earn their citizenship.

An IRS spokesperson declined to comment. But a UCC spokesman, the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, said the investigation is "disturbing news."

"We went to great lengths to make sure no laws were broken," he said.  

By Jacqueline L. Salmon - February 26, 2008 - posted at http://blog.washingtonpost.com

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 02/27/2008 - 5:49pm.

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Anonymous | Wed, 02/27/2008 - 6:54pm