Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act" (H.R.235) would allow religious organizations to support or oppose candidates for public office without losing their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Sounds like a good idea? Why shouldn't they be allowed to endorse and work for candidates?

It may well be a good idea - but not the way it's presented. By allowing religious organizations an exemption that other nonprofits and charities are not allowed, we bring up basic issues of fairness. Basically, the backers of this bill are banking on religious organizations supporting more conservative candidates than the local food bank or children's shelter might.

If we're really going to "restore free speech" to community organizations, let's do it across the board, for all 501(c)(3) organizations. Don't leave the gag on for one group of tax-exempt organizations and leave it on for others.

Take action on HR 235 by writing to your Congressperson today.

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