The Supreme Court decision on the Obama health care reform
From the founding of our country until 1953, churches and their ministers enjoyed complete freedom to address social, moral, Biblical and political issues. Churches have enjoyed exemptions from federal income tax in every income tax law enacted since 1861 without any restrictions on the political activities of the church. But in 1954 all that changed. As part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson added a new condition to the tax exemption for all nonprofit organizations: no political activity. This amendment to the Code prohibited all nonprofits from doing anything that would support or hinder a candidate for elective office. (For purposes of this article, I will use the prior sentence as the definition of “political activity.”) This amendment was added at the last minute without any discussion or hearings.
There is a blockbuster religious freedom case that is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. Courts have generally believed that federal employment discrimination statutes do not apply to church employees performing religious functions.
“A good name is more desirable than great riches,” says Proverbs 22:1 but it takes an effort to keep it that way.
The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) which took effect on March 21, 2009, is intended to protect the privacy of Americans.
In this modern era, many churches are offering more and more services to its congregants to attract new members, retain established members and create revenue to operate the church or fund its programs. Common examples may include a bookstore or coffee bar. As a general rule, a church is not taxed on its income or revenues from an activity that is substantially related to the religious or charitable purposes of the organization.