Wasilla Church Appears to Violate Tax Exempt Status in 2005; Muthee directly tells congregation to Vote Palin
The content of the October 2005 sermons of Thomas Muthee in Wasilla has been disclosed, and it appears that Muthee’s sermons on behalf of the Wasilla Assemblies of God have violated the law.
The Internal Revenue Service makes the law very clear: those churches that don’t want to pay taxes on their income must in exchange agree not to use the church to promote the election of any political candidate:
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
Thomas Muthee made the following exhortation in a sermon to the Wasilla Assemblies of God on October 11, 2005 (transcribed from the video source):
There are people who are wired to politics because God wants to take the political, you know, dimension of our societies. And those people should be prayed for. That’s why I was, you know, I was so glad to see Sarah here. We should pray for her, we should back her up. And, you know, come the day of voting, we should be there, not just praying, we should be there. And I’m saying this because that’s what I’m telling our church. I’m telling them that we need this in Parliament. In here is what you call Congressmen, you know, you know, the, the Governors, we need the bretheren right inside there. Is anybody hearing me?
Do you hear what’s going on in the Wasilla Assemblies of God with Sarah Palin right there in the audience? I hear a sermon telling congregants to vote for Sarah Palin. So long as the Wasilla Assemblies of God is willing to pay tax on its considerable income just like I do, that would be fine. But Wasilla has embraced its special tax-free status, and as part of the deal by law it can’t electioneer. It’s electioneered.
It appears to me that the Wasilla Assemblies of God has violated the law on behalf of Sarah Palin.
We need to take the following actions:
1. Spread the word. Send this transcript to your friends, post it on your blog, let your local paper know about it.
2. Complain to the IRS. Write a letter to the following address asking the IRS to investigate:
Mr. Steven T. Miller
Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224
Send it today, priority mail. In the letter, be sure to include the text of Thomas Muthee’s remarks, the date of Muthee’s sermon and links to the video in which Muthee can be seen to be uttering the remarks. Be polite, but be sure to explicitly ask the IRS to investigate this apparent violation.
3. Ask Sarah Palin what she thinks of Muthee’s behavior. Sarah Palin was there that day. As you can see in the video, she was even called up given God’s blessing through Muthee in her run for Governor of Alaska. This means she’s aware of what Muthee did on her behalf. If she is at all ready to be President of the United States of America, as she claims, then she must surely be aware of the legal prohibition on church electioneering.
Sarah Palin owes Americans an explanation. If she’s coming to your neck of the woods, ask her for one. If she isn’t, then
4. Write a letter to your local newspaper asking her for one.
There you go. Four things you can do in the service of church-state separation and in defense of the rule of law in the United States of America. Get to it!