How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the “Mormon” or LDS Church) has gone too far in promoting the 2008 California Proposition 8, which would claims to amend the California state constitution to define marriage as one man and one woman in order to supersede a state supreme court opinion issued earlier this year. [Whether the proposition was a lawful amendment or a revision that cannot legally be made by a voter initiative remains an open question.]

Section 501(c)(3) of US Code Title 26, which governs tax-exempt organizations, reads (emphasis added):

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

(The “otherwise provided” clause does not apply, as the LDS Church, being a church, is a disqualified entity as described in subsection (h).)

The LDS church, through inciting its members to donate time and means to support Proposition 8 (resulting in millions of dollars of cash contributions from its members and countless volunteer hours), and in-kind campaign contributions to a group that supports Proposition 8, has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation.

You can help! Send the IRS an official complaint about the LDS Church’s activities, either by email, fax or US Mail.

  1. Prepare a copy of the Official LDS Prop. 8 Letter read in all LDS churches in California on 29 June 2008.
  2. Prepare one or more other articles of your choice (you can use these links, or do your own research) showing the LDS Church’s substantial activities attempting to influence this legislation.
  3. Prepare this Pre-Filled IRS Form 13909 and add your personal information, or fill out a Blank IRS Form 13909 from scratch with the information in the pre-filled form (these links and an alternative filled form are copied below in RESOURCES.)
  4. Don’t forget to date your referral at the top and include your submitter information. If you are a member of the Church, you may wish to check the box marked “I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed.”
  5. Send it to the IRS, either by:
    * Email: Prepare your documents as PDF’s or web links, and send your complaint form with supporting documentation to eoclass@irs.gov.
    * Fax: fax your documents to (214) 413-5415
    * Mail: mail your documents to
    IRS EO Classification
    Mail Code 4910DAL
    1100 Commerce Street
    Dallas TX 75242-1198


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RESOURCES:
Official IRS Complaint Process for Tax-Exempt Organizations
US Code Title 26, Section 501
Official LDS Prop. 8 Letter
List of LDS Entities (Source of Tax ID Number)

Information required for IRS Form 13909:
Name of Referred Organization: The Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Street Address: 50 E. North Temple St., Salt Lake City UT 84150
Organization’s EIN: 23-7300405
For Section 4, see the Pre-Filled IRS Form 13909, or write your concerns in your own words. If your reader will not open that form, try the Alternative Pre-Filled 13909.

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360 Responses to How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint

  1. verhext says:

    hi, this is amazing. please add a share link so i can post this to facebook and get the word out.

    super easy:

    http://www.addthis.com/

    you should have one on every post.

    [Editor's note: I've added the button to this post but not the others (yet). It's above, just before the RESOURCES section.]

  2. Sean says:

    I hope that this works, there are also some sites that still don’t know about this issue.

  3. James Moultrup says:

    Regardless of your religious views about same sex marriage, the Constitution is clear, separation of church and state is the law. When the law is disobeyed by a non-profit that is bound to keep from political action activities, they must loose their non-profit status. It seems blatantly clear. Either stay away from political activities, or loose your tax-exempt status.

  4. krissie weimer says:

    Jesus was about peace and love not hate and inequality. shame on you all.

  5. Jeff Allison says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this information. I am so pissed off right now, and I’m trying to find ways to fight these bastards. I’m going to forward this info to all my friends asking them to file complaints.

    If you know f anything else I can do, especially in the SF Bay Area, please let me know.

    Best,
    Jeff

  6. HelenWheels says:

    Thanks so much for this information. I am disseminating it far and wide. It is beyond disturbing that the Mormon church violated their tax-exempt status so blatantly.

  7. Cain Hamm says:

    Here’s another excellent document from the LDS church that discusses their game plan

    http://www.echols.info/Mormon%20Anti-Gay%20Game%20Plan%201997-2008.pdf

    “HLM” in the document stands for “Homosexual Legalized Marriage”. Like any terrorist group, they get others to “front” for them, to give them the look of respectability

  8. Cain Hamm says:

    One other point: I have correlated the names of Utah, Central Valley, and Inland Empire donors with public mortgage and foreclosure records. A lot of the YES ON 8 money was basically robbed from banks! Home Equity mortgage money on defaulted homes. And now Barack will bail them out, effectively funding YES ON 8 with your tax dollars.

  9. PO'd California voter says:

    Thank you very much for posting this! It’s good to have a way to take action against the churches’ meddling in politics! I would just ask that you please change the word “amended” to “revised” in your opening paragraph. Proposition 8 was an unconstitutional revision to the constitution of California that stripped fundamental rights to a select minority class of citizens. As such it is being challenged in the courts. Please see the National Center for Lesbian Rihts website: http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=press_prop8challenge110508

  10. Ray says:

    I note in your opening paragraph you use the word “amend”, now changed, since the election to “amended”. I would like to encourage people to stop using the word Amendment (in all its forms). Proposition 8 was not an amendment to the constitution, it was a revision. We need to start calling it that if we want the meme to stick. That is, I believe one of the main arguments in the court cases filed yesterday. So let’s remember Prop 8 was an unconstitutional revision to the constitution of California that stripped fundamental rights to a select minority class of citizens. We need to be adamant that is what occurred. Yes, it’s a judicial question, one the courts must answer, but we shouldn’t waiver in our stand regardless. We lost something on Tuesday night, something fundamental.

    [Editor: Ray, while I am hopeful that this will be characterized as a "revision" and not an "amendment," my California ballot read "CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT" and so the voters did indeed vote to amend the California constitution. Whether they actually succeeded in so amending the state constitution remains an open question. I have accordingly amendrevised my post. :-)]

  11. Sargon Bighorn says:

    I would like to work with others in the Seattle area to gather signatures on paper to send to the IRS stating the LDS Church is breaking tax-exempt rules. Is there someway to work together on this are shall we all fly off in our own directions?

  12. lds501c3 says:

    Sargon,

    My opinion on petitions would be that they would be very useful in gathering support to amend state or federal law so that organizations that promote a specific ballot initiative OR candidate may not be exempt from taxes. Presently, the federal statute only expressly forbids endorsement of a candidate; its prohibition on attempting to influence legislation is qualified by the word “substantial”, which has been interpreted in various ways that the LDS church believes protects its recent support of Proposition 8.

    If your goal is to get the attention of the IRS, the best way is to get as many people you know as you can to fill out and send in the above form, as the IRS is required by law to follow up on valid formal complaints. The IRS is not required to respond to petitions of signatures, and cannot change the applicable laws in any case.

  13. Pam Vogel says:

    This information is greatly appreciated. There needs to be more “whistle blowing” of these kinds of things so that we stay alert to violations of constitutional principles!

  14. [...] Filing IRS complaints against political non-profits By glyphic Opponents of Prop 8 have set up a blog here: How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint [...]

  15. Linda says:

    The FEIN number is not showing up on the pre-filled out form. I fear some people will click on it and not know it is needed. Can you please update the pre-filled out form?

    [Editor: Done. Please repost if it continues to be a problem. That said, failing to submit the FEIN does not invalidate the referral, and the IRS won't have a problem identifying the organization.]

  16. Todd in NYC says:

    Excellent site! Thank you for putting this together. My claim is in the mail and I have sent this url far and wide to get others to follow suit.

  17. Matt says:

    Here’s a link to the original signed letter that was read in all wards and stakes during Sacrament Meeting on June 29, 2008:

    http://www.affirmation.org/pdf/2008_06_23_first_presidency.pdf

  18. Robert says:

    Hello, I am a Mormon, and I just have a few things to say. First off, I want to send my deepest regards to the people effected by what this has done. Not all Mormons share the views of the few in California who gather the money together to help pass Prop 8. I think it’s perfectly fine the way it was for the few months it had passed. I don’t have a problem with sharing the glories of marriage with a homosexual couple, it’s a right. I may think that things are different once we get to Heaven, but that’s my belief not yours. And I am very sick that people are forcing our religious beliefs on you. That being said. Since it was select members within the church and not the church leaders, I don’t think you will have a good chance of relieving us from our church.
    So, even though you wish to abolish my church, I am one that will stand with you in fighting the injustice that was done, but not in attacking my church (I just can’t stand with you on that one… you know, with it being my belief structure and all). It goes against everything I believe I was taught about loving one another, and I hope this will all be forgotten someday soon… which would mean I can enjoy having a happily married gay couple to my house. Someday.

    [Editor: I don't wish to abolish the LDS church. I do want the Church to decide whether it wishes to engage in substantial activities influencing legislation or be a tax-exempt entity, because you don't get to have it both ways in our country. If the Church were to pay taxes, then I wouldn't object to it saying whatever it wanted about anything -- and I don't think it would be destroyed even if it had to. I certainly don't wish for the destruction of the LDS Church; as I say in the About post, it has always represented a force for good to me, which is why I find this episode so deeply troubling.]

  19. Jeff says:

    No one forced the voters of California to vote how they did. The LDS church was NOT spearheading this proposition, infact there was a statement made by the catholic church verifying this.

    I still cannot believe people aren’t upset at the fact that a statewide vote can be overturned by four corrupt activist judges – as indicated in 2000, clearly California does not want gay marriage.

    [Editor: No one claims the LDS Church spearheaded the proposition. My point is that they engaged in substantial activities promoting that legislation. As for the overturning of a statewide vote by "corrupt activist judges," I have seen no evidence that the judges were corrupt; moreover, it is a widely held view that one of the primary roles of our judiciary is to protect minorities from the "tyranny of the majority". How long would we have had government-sanctioned discrimination in the South if we hadn't had "activist judges" standing up for the oppressed? What if we had decided to put civil rights to a statewide vote in Mississippi?]

  20. jimmy13 says:

    Considering that the original proposition back in 2000 passed with over 60% support, and Prop 8 only passed with a bit over 50% I would not take from that a mandate on the part of Californians. This kind of amendment to our constitution should have take a two-thirds vote, not a simple majority.

    And thanks for the information – I will be happy to stick it to the LDS Church for this.

  21. Jorge says:

    They are not the only church. “The Rock Church” in San Diego was heavily involved in urging their church members to vote for Prop 8 – http://therocksandiego.org/ – they even have a site just for Prop 8 – http://www.iprotectmarriage.com/

    [Editor: Thanks for the link. I encourage those of you who know the details to fill out a Form 13909 and send it. I will make a page for other involved churches where interested readers can post comments and details about their activities; I probably don't have time to do a pre-filled PDF for them or track down their tax ID numbers, so if our community can do that, so much the better...]

  22. Daniel says:

    You need to re-read Section 501(c)(3). It says that a 501(c)3 can’t influence “legislation” and a “political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” It isn’t at all clear a constitutional amendment is “legislation” especially late in the section when it explicitly refers to legislators.

    [Editor: I think you need to reread the sections of the statute I highlighted in my post. "Legislation" means making laws, from the Latin "legis" (genitive of "lex", meaning "law") and "lation-em" (meaning "to bring"). Of course a constitutional amendment is legislation; legislation doesn't require a legislature.]

  23. shane says:

    When we all understand it was a coalition of churches, not just the LDS church, why the focus on just the LDS church? Also, it doesn’t have a thing to do with discrimination or hate, it has to do with people not wanting their children be forced to learn what a homosexual marriage is, it has to do with all the rippling effects that come along with redefining what marriage is. It was clearly not the ability of those judges to overturn what the people of California voted for in 2000, it should have just been put back up for vote this year and you might not have had such a commotion about it.
    Good luck trying to take it to one of the best organizations in the world. Don’t forget to mention all the aid and support the church sends worldwide to help so many in need, forget the fact the the church promotes very strongly the family which we can all see is an unavoidably important unit in this world. Interesting how we MUST tolerate the lifestyle of homosexuals but we can scream and shout with hate and intolerance because of the lifestyle of the religious. And for the person above who said they were a member of the church and says that the members of the church that supported voting YES on prop 8 were wrong and intolerant, you are very misguided as to what the goals of our God are. It once again has not one thing to do with hate, but trying to hold together a people and a world going in the wrong direction. i refuse to be apologetic about one of my beliefs. You have yours and we have ours, you can push the IRS thing on everyone in the world and you will see no fruit to your labors. Do all you want, get every investigation going you want, but you will come up empty handed every time. Good luck in your push to “stick it” to the LDS church.

    [Editor: I think few church members are motivated by hatred and bigotry. Some certainly are, but I've already said that I think most are genuinely good people. The focus is on the LDS Church because its members provided the majority of the funding for pro-Prop 8 groups -- far more than any other group. The focus is therefore justly deserved.]

  24. [...] search-engine-friendily named blog “Revoke LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status” would like to point out that in order to deserve tax exempt status, a religious organization [...]

  25. Dan says:

    I’m a Mormon and I support gay marriage, but I’m afraid I can’t stand with y’all in this endeavor. My church didn’t donate money. My church didn’t dedicate a significant amount of time, resources, or anything else to this effort. My church spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year helping gay and straight people all over this world try to better their lives through a variety of religious and secular programs, and one letter to the membership combined with some travel expenses that totaled a whopping $2,000 doesn’t in any way, shape, or form, constitute a significant portion of any fraction of the activities in which my church participates.

    It also seems to perpetually escape the notice of the people organizing these efforts that the opposition to Prop. 8 raised a significantly larger sum of money than the supporters, and a larger portion came from out of state. Catholics were actually larger givers than Mormons, and ultimately it wasn’t Mormons that were responsible for the passing of Proposition 8, it was 52% of the voters in California.

    I understand that Mormons make an easy target in situations like this, but threatening tax exemptions is one of the reasons the church stood opposed to this movement in the first place. They saw it as step one in a lengthy itinerary that progressed with further actions against religious freedoms. Putting that agenda into action is only going to validate their fears and escalate the battle. It’s been argued on other blogs that the black community is also largely responsible, and the tone is civil in arguing that they need to become more familiar with the gay community so their support can be won. The response to Latter-day Saints, on the other hand, is threats of legal action and violence. That’s not gonna win any votes, that’s just going to convince them that you hate their religion, which is what they were afraid of before this all began. Don’t reinforce their fears, show them you’re bigger people than that.

  26. [...] LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status clipped by: reimers Clip Source: lds501c3.wordpress.com How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also [...]

  27. Jackson H says:

    Hey, thanks for making this post, this is great! I will be distributing this to all my friends and family!

  28. Lesty says:

    Great idea! Lets boycott black and Catholic businesses also since they overwhelmingly supported Prop8 too! Oh yeah, don’t forget the evangelicals also!

    [Editor: It's a perfectly reasonable position. I don't know enough about the other churches' or groups' involvement to comment. I'm only doing what I can. Remember, the LDS Church and its members provided the majority of support for Prop. 8.]

  29. Jared says:

    There are several severe misunderstandings which are evident in this website and in the comments. First, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints did not donate the total you describe; its members did. The Church’s donation total was “in-kind”, like flights to California for church leaders (not a violation of tax-exempt status). Furthermore, the commenters seem to think that church’s can have no effect on any political issue without losing tax-exempt status. That is abjectly ridiculous. The separation of church and state does not mean the two are mutually exclusive. It means that the government cannot pass laws creating a state-religion or favoring one over another. The government of California did nothing of the sort. California’s constitution allows propositions to amend the constitution. Those opposing legalization of same-sex marriage followed the requirements to amend and the people of the state voted for it. If you want this amendment to be overturned, follow the established ways of doing so, just like prop-8 supporters did. Don’t demonize an entire religion.

    [Editor: I've been careful to write that the church and its members donated over $20 million as a direct result of the Church's official exhortation to donate time and money. That is true. I'm not demonizing the religion. Read the "About" page.]

  30. ff says:

    just for your benefit, the church’s lawyers are 25 steps ahead of you all. they know what they’re doing is legal and within the bounds of being tax-exempt. still, i’m not going to stop you guys from doing your little pretend-protest. it’s cute.

  31. Laughing says:

    Wow this site is a good read for a laugh. You speak of not hating and yet you are hating Mormons and trying to take away their rights. It wasn’t just the Mormons that passed the vote, it was whites, blacks, hispanics, armenians, asians, catholics,christians, buddists, etc… There were even gays that voted for it to pass, I know because I know some of them. Seriously, think of more constructive ways to attack the issues. And as for the comment the editor will put below these remarks, all I have to say is suck it up. You guys lost stop calling proponents of the bill haters when you guys are hating too.

    [Editor: Did you read my About page? "Hating?" Really? Revoking tax-exempt status is not hatred, and it doesn't take rights away from Church members ("Mormons"). The only "right" the Church would lose is the right not to be taxed in exchange for staying out of politics. In fact, the Church would have more freedom to do as it pleases should it give up its tax-exempt status. It could decide that racial discrimination in priesthood and temple marriage is acceptable again.]

  32. Suz says:

    Thank you for putting together this website. I will be sending my form in tomorrow.

    I was a member of the LDS church for over 20 years and have been inactive the last 9 years. Yesterday I sent a formal letter to my Bishop and the LDS church headquarters requesting they remove me from membership because of their backing of Prop 8. I’m a disgusted by their involvement in this issue. The did the same thing with the Equal Rights Ammendment back in the late 70s.

    The church wants to get into politics, fine, lose the exempt status, simple as that.

  33. Ryan says:

    You do not seem to understand 501(c)(3) exemption requirements. The attempt to influence legislation must be a substantial part of an organization’s activities in order for it to lose exemption. The church donated $0.00 to the campaign and merely publicly advocated the passing of it. Individual members contributed only.

    It is certainly legal for a religious organization to advocate an issue under the 1st Amendment, especially those that will directly affect it. As the LDS Church performs marriages in the State of California, this proposition directly affects its activities. Even if it had bankrolled the entire campaign, $30M is a drop in the bucket for a multi-billion dollar organization.

    I’m sorry, but this doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    [Editor: "Substantial" is not defined in percentage terms, according to IRS rules. The "drop in the bucket" argument is irrelevant. I'll be posting on this as I find additional time. Moreover, the Church filed campaign finance documents in which it donated in-kind contributions of travel expenses for General Authorities visiting California; their amount donated is not "$0.00" as you claim. The link to that article was even in my original post. Verifying your facts will help you make a stronger point.]

  34. Cory says:

    Like Ryan said, this doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Gave me a good laugh though.

  35. Dave says:

    With all the legal talk on the comments, you’d think the clear legal sticking point would be called out more:

    Define “substantial” – it looks to me like individual members of the church did all the donating and work. The Church itself simply wrote and read a letter, and provided information on what members could do individually. You call that substantial? Seriously?

    I don’t think anyone argues your point that members of the church took an active role in fighting this. Feel free to be angry. That is your right. But as you yourself mentioned, the church teaches its members to upholds it laws. Part of those laws include how to participate in the legislative process. They did so. They got their desired result. You want to change it? Put another initiative on another ballot. Don’t attack a church for encouraging its members to individually stand up for their beliefs and telling them how to do so. That isn’t freedom of religion.

    But… before you can continue this discussion in the slightest you have to prove two things:
    1) That the efforts were enacted by the church, not its members. If it helps, the church publishes what it does with its donations, and is audited on exactly that every year. Go seek those audit results if you are concerned.
    2) That those efforts were a substantial part of its work. You’d better learn what the full work of the church is before making this claim, FYI.

    Feel free to go do the required research and prove those points. But until you do, nothing posted on this blog is “substantial”.

    [Editor: I actually disagree with the premise that the Church only sent a letter and what its members do is out of its hands. Official doctrine states that Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf are "prophets, seers, and revelators", and that Monson is God's mouthpiece on earth to deliver God's instruction to the faithful. The letter was unequivocal, and could be interpreted, given Monson's signature, as a commandment from God. Some members have publicly complained that they felt pressured to support 8, for example, they were told their souls were in jeopardy if they did not comply. In this case, the Church used its membership to accomplish its political aims. Nonetheless, I agree that the Church has done a good job in trying to protect itself.]

  36. Ruby says:

    Can you make a version of the prefilled pdf that allows us to type in our information?
    Thanks!

    [Editor: Did it. It opens in Acrobat Reader but not Foxit. I added an alternative which seems to be more universally compatible in the Resources.]

  37. Lauren says:

    You can read the test that the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Division uses to evaluate whether an exempt organizatinos conduct is permissible “issue advocacy” or it constitutes “campaign intervention” which is prohibited here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/2008_paci_program_letter.pdf

    The Church’s explicit support for Prop 8 (by name) is CLEARLY prohibited by the applicable standard.

    Given their explicit advocacy on behalf of a specific campaign, they should be taxed as a 527! Please educate those working on this issue on these important catch-words which are determinative under the tax codes on this issue. The more clearly and powerfully we address this, the more impossible it will be for the IRS to ignore.

  38. Lauren says:

    I’m sorry the above post wasn’t more clear.

    The relevant terminology is: POLITICAL CAMPAIGN INTERVENTION (which is PROHIBITED by tax exempt organizations) as opposed to mere “issue advocacy” –such as being generically anti-gay– which is permissible.

  39. Jim says:

    People have tried this before and failed. The LDS church has supported these types of bans on gay marriage before, and people tried to sue them. The LDS church knows what it’s doing, at least regarding legal matters.

    [Editor: This is all true. But to my knowledge, the magnitude of the Church's efforts on Proposition 8 in terms of time and money far exceeds their other past political lobbying. Even if the Church keeps its tax-exempt status, our efforts may yet bear fruit in other ways, such as supporting state or Federal legislation expressly prohibiting activity with respect to a ballot initiative (in the way endorsement of or opposition to candidates is prohibited now).]

  40. nothingwitty says:

    Do you want to know how many LDS people work for the IRS, at least here in Idaho? The number is frightening…
    Nothing like a hive mentality for supporting bigotry.

  41. ReRe says:

    I am a non-mormon living in SLC. This Church’s involement in this makes me sick.

    Why can the LDS church be involved with for-profit development ? They are pouring millions into a retail shopping/dining/entertainment district they are building downtown SLC. This Church is so crooked and powerful. As one Mormon on this site mentioned……………their lawyers are twenty steps ahead of you. It’s sad, but it’s probably true. But, please fight on.

    I can only hope that their involement has an impact on Romney when he runs again in 2012. Many people fear that a Mormon in the White House would take orders from the LDS church and Romney tried to calm this fear. The Church backed away saying they are not interested in policy. Well, anyone living in Utah (as I do) knows that they ARE interested in policy. Now, they have flexed their power outside of Utah . The Church as shown they have an no interest in separation of Church and State. They would love to have a Mormon in the White House so they could influence policy on a National level.

  42. Amia says:

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

    This is a monumental waste of time and energy. But if it makes you feel better, go for it.

  43. J says:

    Ryan:

    “As the LDS Church performs marriages in the State of California, this proposition directly affects its activities.”

    Why do people keep saying this? It has no effect on the LDS churches’ marriage practices. I have the legal right to marry my girlfriend right now, but I cannot compel a Catholic priest to do it, nor can I demand it take place in a synagogue. I could not force Mormon clergy to perform my marriage, even though I’m allowed to marry: neither could a gay couple if they had the right to marry too.

    Religious figures would be able to continue performing marriages only for those who fit their standards, just as always. The only difference is that those WILLING and ABLE to perform marriages for same sex couples would finally be ALLOWED to perform a legally binding marriage.

    Shane
    “…it has to do with people not wanting their children be forced to learn what a homosexual marriage is,…”

    So, if someone’s religious beliefs held that all other races were inferior, it would it be fair to remove constitutionally defined rights from African Americans so that “their children wouldn’t be forced to learn what civil rights are”?

    Homosexual marriage is marriage between two people of the same sex. I think most kids would figure that out watching the news over the last few years, or, y’know, from the name. I also don’t think it’s on the ballot to teach it in school, and I don’t think making it illegal even in the country as a whole will prevent anyone’s children from having to learn about the basic concept eventually.

  44. Rawn says:

    The pre-filled form is not pre-filled. For example, what is the EIN number for the LDS, etc.

  45. Rawn says:

    Oops… never mind. Must have chosen the wrong one. My bad.

  46. bayoubadger says:

    I know the Tax Code is a big scary book and no one wants to read it. If one actually reads it, then they will see that, even if the LDS Church did contribute a bunch of money, they were well within their right to do so. The oft quoted section reads in part…TO INFLUENCE LEGISTLATION (EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SECTION (H))…Hmm… I wonder why section (H) is never quoted. Its never quoted because it (after you follow the trail it leads you on) tells you that the LDS church can spend $225,000 plus 5% of the tithing (and other donations) they receive over $1,500,000 before the actions would be considered substantial. Considering the amount they receive in tithing alone, I am sure that they did not come close to approaching the limit.

    Regardless of your views, this not the way to go about fixing the wrong that you feel was done. You all sound as ignorant as you claim the LDS Church is. They have a wonderful thing in California called the initiative and referendum, use it.

    [Editor: If you read the 501(h), you would have immediately seen in 501(h)(5)(A) that churches are disqualified entities for the purposes of that subsection. Thus its provisions do not apply. Even if they did, eligible organizations who wish to engage in political activities must make a 501(h) election and pay taxes on funds used for political purposes.]

  47. Beau B says:

    I just want to say that I am amazed at how many mormon folks are posting in here to complain about bigotry and intolerance. It really seems a bit late for that, doesn’t it? Where was your outrage a month ago at your church?

    It seems to me that you all want to have it both ways – to decree by divine right and then skirt accountability. Well, let’s see how that works when a million people complain about your politiking.

    Free speech isn’t free – now pay up!

  48. John R Costello says:

    I want the religious Institutions to keep thier Dogma to themselves and OUT of our secular gov’t or BE TAXED!!

  49. Tom Seago says:

    So I really wish this was a worthwhile thing to do, but the IRS complaint form refers to publication 1828 which you can get here http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf for more information. When you read that publication, on page 6 you’ll see the discussion about the “substantial part test”. I think that the LDS church will easily pass that test based on their overall size.

    Basically what this comes down to is that there is not a bright line law that says churches can’t do ANY lobbying, it just says that it can’t be the major thing they do, or even a really big thing that they do, but that “really big” is judged against the overall size of the organization. While $25 million is a big number, and I’m not happy that they spent it, I’m quite sure it’s small in their overall books.

    The other issue I would point out is that it only takes a single complaint to move the IRS to action. Duplication of the complaint will probably provide some slight motivation, but it’s not a popular majority to decide the issue.

    [Editor: See my post "Goals of this blog." I admit it's an uphill battle. Yet, many people will feel better about having done something by filing a complaint. If hundreds or thousands of complaints come in, it may also provide support for changing the law, or reinterpreting "substantial". Regulators can decide what that word means, and if the public is outraged enough, change can come to our country.]

  50. Eve says:

    This is awesome. I plan to send a copy.

  51. alyssa c. says:

    To all of those who keep saying this is a waste of time and it will never work because it’s been tried before and etc etc etc…if you don’t try how will you ever know if it will work or not? I don’t think that anything related to equality and fundamental rights is a waste of time. If we all thought like that then nothing would ever change. This IS the next great civil rights movement and right now is the time to start ACTING.

    Thank you for creating this website and thank you to everyone who cares enough to act. We all need to try and stay positive because otherwise this will turn nasty and hateful…I think that is the last thing we all want given the climate of our country right now. So let’s stand up for equality and do the right thing!

  52. [...] marriages between gay couples via an amendment to the state’s constitution. Apparently, the Church of Later Day Saints lobbied hard for this result and people are filling complaints across the state to repeal the [...]

  53. Jodi says:

    Here is a site that lists the major donors to Yes on 8: http://www.californiansagainsthate.com/dishonorRoll.html. Those who are interested might want to file complaints about the Knights of Columbus and some of the other large donors who claim tax-exempt status, to the extent that their donations and/or efforts likely satisfy the “substantial part of their activities” test.

  54. Herself says:

    Don’t forget the Catholic Church, as well. Individual bishops and churches and the national organization of bishops contributed to this effort. What boggles me is the private citizens who donated thousands of dollars to it. I have to wonder about their marriages and sense of sexual security that they had to do this.

  55. Kate says:

    Some articles to use with your complaint (hat tip to Political Watch Central Coast for several of these):
    1) http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-mormon-fact.html
    2) http://mormonsfor8.com/
    3) http://politicalwatchcentralcoast.org/media/mormon-church-organizes-member-involvement-passing-proposition-8/
    4) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i7Ee9lkE23iWetMMU1Vy5nxReXCgD93MT0601
    5) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/10/08/state/n144806D74.DTL&tsp=1

    Author, can we get pre-filled forms for the US Conference of Bishops and the San Diego Rock Church? And do the Knights of Columbus apply here as a 501(c)8?

    [Editor: I'm not sure how these entities are organized. I'll take some time and look at it; if anyone knows the tax ID's, etc. I can look into it. With respect to a 501(c)(8), it appears to me (but I'm not an expert on this angle) that if the Knights of Columbus made a 501(h) election, then they are entitled to attempt to influence legislation (provided they pay appropriate taxes.)]

  56. curious says:

    http://mormonsfor8.com/?p=235

    It talks about special forms in the church for donation. I’m not a familiar with the law, but I thought it would help/be interesting?!

  57. Frank says:

    What kind of church instructs its followers to vote to take away the rights of others? Its just plain sick!

  58. Jim says:

    Let us not forget that the Knights of Columbus (K.C.) were involved in this too. To me, the Catholic Church needs their Tax Exempt Status pulled by the IRS too.

    [Editor: KC is a 501(c)(4) which has different rules and their activities may be legal if they made a proper 501(h) election. The Catholics were also involved, but the Pope did not require a letter to be read in all churches exhorting members to give of their time and means, resulting in $20+ million of donations and countless volunteer hours.]

  59. Anon says:

    This is rediculous. The LDS church hasn’t committed any crimes. Gays still have full rights like marriages with a domestic partnership.

  60. Dave says:

    Wow. I’m truly glad someone took the trouble to look up the legal definitions that would make this a valid argument. Thanks, Tom!

    So with the legal basis for “substantial” coming to more than 5% of the church’s total tithing, there was NO legally inappropriate action taken, no matter how you slice it. This whole web site is now confirmed to be irrelevant. Feel free to rant and rave about it if it makes you guys feel, better, though.

    But to be honest… if you had an issue with how the LDS church was acting, you should have complained before the election. Starting all this after the election comes off as sour grapes.

    [Editor: I was an absentee voter in California and didn't realize what was going on until late October when I got a call from a Mormon volunteer in Utah. I did start this before the election (see the original date of this post) but there was little interest in my humble blog before Prop 8 passed.]

  61. Dave says:

    OK, I feel bad about the tone of that comment I just posted. It was way too smug. I apologize. I do recognize the passion behind this issue, and I empathize with those who are angered, so I am sorry for my tone.

  62. dita says:

    This whole thing is based on hate, ignorance, fear, and government. No matter who donated what, the prop is still in clear violation of the civil rights and liberties of everyone. No matter what God say’s about gays: its still doesn’t change the fact that we ALL live here and WE all must tolerate each other. Our country is FOUNDED on the concept that CHURCH and STATE are SEPARATE. The courts will over turn the measure because at the end of the day SEPARATE is NOT EQUAL: was we learned in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education. Domestic Partnership does not equal MARRIAGE, or it would simple be called marriage. No matter what, 10% of our population is gay. Mormons, Catholics, Jews, the list goes on: it doesn’t matter: your children are amongst gays every day at school and if they are sheltered enough to not be, they will see them when they get older. In this situation, these sheltered children wont know what to think of gays and this is how hatred is conceived and spread. Gays will never go away: no matter what laws, crimes, or slanders you trow at them: THEY WILL ALWAYS BE HERE because IT IS NOT a CHOICE in the same way being white or black or straight is not a choice. EVERYONE should be respected no matter how ASININE their religion, beliefs, behaviors are. GAYS have been striped of a civil right that everyone else in our country has the right to enjoy. Think about it like that. If you believe homosexuality is immoral, teach your closed minded beliefs at home. Most people don’t even realize that they have the option to opt out of the “marriage and family” lessons in public schools. Family should be thought at home anyway. This whole thing is just going to get more and more expensive for everyone. The Blacks, Asians, and all other minorities got what they are entitled to as tax paying citizens of the United States and the gays will as well.

  63. [...] Excellent post with links: Send the IRS an official complaint about the LDS Church’s activities, either by email, fax or US Mail. How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint « Revoke LDS Church 501(c)(3) Status. [...]

  64. Jim Bob Billy Bob says:

    Anon, are you dense? Civil unions and domestic partnerships DO NOT grant all the same rights as a marriage. That is what the fight is about. And if you would like to give all the rights to civil unions and partnerships, why call it different? Why the hate and segregation?

  65. Eric says:

    I’m confused, was it the Mormon church that donated its time and money? Or was it the members? IT seems to me that you cant take away a tax exemption of an organization for something its members did? I don’t know

    [Editor: That's one of the central questions. With respect to eligible organizations under 501(h), there are cases when actions of members of an organization are considered lobbying. The rules aren't as clear for churches, which are disqualified from making a 501(h) election. And, in this case, it's further complicated because LDS church members were acting at the direct instruction of men whom they consider prophets who speak for God, and some felt that their standing in the church depended on political donations and volunteer work.]

  66. Jackson H says:

    Hi, I’ve created a new post on my blog that contains similar instructions, but includes MUCH MORE documentation the LDS Church’s electioneering activities. Here’s a link: http://www.civlib.com/2008/11/how-to-file-complaint-asking-irs-to.html

  67. How do we do something simliar here in Florida. Over 60% of our citizens just enshrined inequality and discrimination into our State Constitution via Amendment 2. Focus on the Family donated a considerable amount of money to this effort. Should we be filing complaints to the IRS about Focus on the Family and relatred groups?

    Regards,
    David L. Wylie
    Senior Editor

    http://www.gaysofla.com

  68. Scott says:

    This seems rather ironic. I get a sense of hate against members of the LDS church, simply because they are easy targets. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make up about 2% of the population of California. 70% of African Americans voted yes on proposition 8. Why not hold protests at the AME church in south central Los Angeles instead of the Mormon temple? The church itself donated a sum of money (approximately $2000) that was used only for the transport of religious leaders. If $2000 is your concern, you need to seriously reevaluate your efforts. The majority of the money was donated in small quantities by concerned citizens who were not forced to donate.

    [Editor: Look at the money. Mormons donated more than half of the money in the Prop 8 campaign at the direct behest of the First Presidency. No other institution comes close in the level of financial and volunteer support for Prop 8. It's not hatred; it's responding to the most active players.]

    In addition, as aptly highlighted in the quoted tax law section, tax exempt status is only in question if it involves a substantial portion of church activities. The church does not endorse particular candidates. And of the thousands of things the church does, this one stand on an issue is inconsequential. I think you would agree that 1/1000 is not a “substantial” portion.

    [Editor: I agree that 1/1000 is not substantial. But I think $20 million is a substantial amount of money. You see, it's a matter of perspective.]

    In addition, this issue was morally relevant to the tenets of the church. By such logic, you would also take away the tax exempt status of children’s organizations who encouraged passage of proposition 3–the proposal to increase funding to children’s hospitals.

    [Editor: Not true. Proposition 8 did not have any impact on the activities or funding of the LDS Church.]

  69. Edward J. says:

    Another 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit that should probably be reported would be the LA Gay & Lesbian Service Center. They donated $1,000,000 during the Prop 8 fight. Compared to the $2,100 of travel expenses the LDS Church reimbursed, $1,000,000 seems to be way off the scale.

    [Editor: The LA Gay and Lesbian Service Center is a 501(c)(3) organization that is eligible to engage in political activity under the provisions of 501(h) because it is not a church. If you have evidence that they acted improperly with respect to that section, for example, failing to file a timely or correct 501(h) election or pay proper taxes, please repost.]

  70. LDS Hypocrisy says:

    From their own Doctrine –

    We do not believe it just to amingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.
    — Doctrine and Covenants 134:9

    [Editor: Thanks! I'll make a post on this.]

  71. Mark says:

    http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html

    You might want to check the law out yourself, not this websites version. Amazing how one can change just a few woulds to lean more to one side. This alone invalidates everything from this website. Just a bunch of pathos intermixed with some half truth logos.

    [Editor: I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. Your link is not a link to the law, but an IRS summary. I link to the United States Internal Revenue Code in the RESOURCES section, and the law I quote above is directly from the Federal statutes. Even the site you link states that "Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct."]

  72. Jlobster says:

    One more article from one of their newspapers:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700264880,00.html

  73. Mike says:

    Someone need to actually read the Constitution. There is no separation of church and state. The first amendment reads…

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    This is a statement about the government interfering in religion NOT the other way around. And by the way a great legal argument for not forcing churches to abide by the law of marring gay couples. Oh wait they are forced to allow this on church land in Massachusetts.

  74. J.D. says:

    My guess is that this legislation doesn’t have a chance. Read the bolded text carefully. It requires that activities be “substantial.” No doubt some members have engaged in “substantial” activity with the intent of influencing legislation, but the church itself, i.e., the entity receiving favorable tax treatment, hasn’t come close to the “substantial” threshold.

  75. Woody Pfister says:

    Your complaints will pile up on some bureaucrats case file and be rejected with one form letter.

    Your side had more money and still lost. Get over it and move to Boston.

  76. Nobody in Particular says:

    No, Mike, churces are not forced to perform any ceremonies they don’t want to, so spare us the ignoramus talking point. I used to live in Massachusetts and there is not one record of an unwilling church being forced to marry Teh Ebyl Sodomites.

    And what a unique reading of the Constitution! Has it occurred to you that said language was inserted because the founders had seen in Europe what happened when a religion was allowed to impose its will on the unaffiliated via government? Probably not; I suspect you get all your talking points from Faux Noize, Lush Rimjob, and the like.

  77. Jacob says:

    Unfortunately, when you break the law, you must face consequences. The LDS must face the consequences for breaking the IRS tax code. It is a dangerous precedent if any religion is allowed to be involved in politics. We have a separation of church and state and this is what our country is founded upon. It is religious extremist groups who feel that they want to have their hand in government. This cannot be tolerated and we all must make it known that we do not condone this type of activity. It is up to all of us to let the IRS know that the law was infringed upon.

  78. Jason says:

    If separation of church and state means that churches do not have free speech rights, than Martin Luther King, Jr was wrong to use his status as a minister to press for civil rights change.

    Likewise, many liberal churches have fought for progressive causes. During the Prop 8 campaign, churches like the Unitarians took a very active and public stance for marriage equality.

    If we can get conservative churches to lose their tax exempt status, then conservatives can file similar complaints against liberal churches.

  79. Tracy says:

    I agree with Jason’s comment above. Many churches support efforts on the No on Prop 8 side. If the Mormon’s cannot support the Yes side, then other churches could not support the No side.

    Churches should have the right to speak out on social issues – whether or not we agree with them. Think of, like Jason said, MLK Jr on civil rights or even current issues of poverty and inequality that many churches are taking action on. (The line put in place is that churches cannot and should not endorse specific candidates. That line is appropriate.)

    I don’t think this is the solution to the gay marriage debate – and do not think that it makes sense to try to silence the voices of religion on the issue. I am a Christian who is very upset that Prop 8 passed. If I cannot speak out against Prop 8 and my church cannot speak out against Prop 8, that only hurts the debate and the cause and would ultimately shore up extreme sides rather than encourage discussion.

  80. Ty says:

    Im pretty sure that everyone has the right to vote and believe in what they want. That’s what is so great about this country. If a church agrees with something that the government is doing they have the right to say so. I’m not saying I agree with propisition 8, I’m saying that whether I agree or disagree is my prerogative. And my opinion is just that, mine. Just like that of anyone involved in religion. Even people that are high up in any religion is still a citizen and they can freely voice what their opinions are.

    I know that most religions encourage members to be actively involved in their government. What you all are talking about with the IRS doesn’t really apply. You are reaching! And, for the record, I don’t think that what the religion itself did would be considered even close to substantial.

    But, I’m sure that all of you that are angry about what has already been done will turn a deaf ear to this. There’s usually not much reason involved with situations such as this one. You had your opinion, others had their opinion, and the “I’s” have it. You lost. And now your blaming a religion when I’m sure that out of all of the voters in California LDS members were a small percentage.

    [Editor: The contributions of LDS Church members constituted the MAJORITY of all contributions to pro-8 groups. Church leaders instructed members to give of their "time and means" to help Proposition 8 pass. These groups then spent millions of dollars on (often misleading) advertising that helped to garner massive support for this initiative, as evidenced by the polls. That is the reason they are taking so much blame. It has nothing to do with the percentage of LDS voters casting ballots.]

  81. Edward J. says:

    “Editor: The LA Gay and Lesbian Service Center is a 501(c)(3) organization that is eligible to engage in political activity under the provisions of 501(h) because it is not a church. If you have evidence that they acted improperly with respect to that section, for example, failing to file a timely or correct 501(h) election or pay proper taxes, please repost.”

    The LA Gay & Lesbian Center is only eligible for the 501(h) election if they have filed the proper paperwork or intend to file the proper paperwork within one year of when they choose to engage in lobbying activities. They are limited to $1,000,000 as a maximum, which is the amount donated to the No On 8, Equality for All organization. Any activity beyond that single donation would put them over their legally allowable limits. For example any newsletters that they sent to donors or registered members of the center about this issue would have been a violation.

    Also they are only allowed to spend one quarter of the maximum legal amount on grass roots lobbying. Grass roots lobbying is defined by the IRS as activities calling the public to action. Giving $1,000,000 to an organization that is calling the public to action (“vote no on prop 8″) puts them $750,000 over the limit. As a result of that action they may be required to pay all the appropriate taxes, as well as the individuals that approved the donation being required to pay a 5% fee as well.

    The LDS Church on the other hand can only loose their 501(c)(3) status due to political activity if their lobbying efforts become a substantial portion of what they do. Given that the church runs Deseret Industries providing vocation training to the disabled, has thousands of missionaries all over the world, engages in religious ministry to ten million-plus members on a weekly basis, spearheads disaster relief efforts when necessary, and really too many activities to list here — $5,000 worth of in-kind donations doesn’t even reach the point of interesting to the IRS.

  82. Skowronek says:

    All of you hate mongers would be raging about this like a pack of wild banshees whether or not the LDS church was involved. Grow up and accept the fact that people don’t agree with you. It’ s okay to be wrong every once in a while.

    My hell, I can’t believe the childishness of all you that that supposedly promote tolerance. Had prop 8 failed to pass, do you really believe those that lost would have made such a ruckus about this like we are seeing now? Don’t you think they would feel their heritage of marriage would be stripped from them? Millennium of practice does not just disappear over 50 years.

    Feel free to refute.

    [Editor: I will refute. I am not a "hate monger". My words have always been respectful and courteous. One doesn't win arguments by calling one's opponents "childish" or telling them to "grow up". I, for one, certainly would not have gotten involved in this debate if the LDS Church, whose activities and members I generally respect, had not involved itself.

    What do you mean by "Millennium of practice"? How did the LDS Church practice marriage 140 years ago? How many wives did King Solomon have? There is no credible basis for the LDS Church, given its own history, pretending to be part of a long "tradition" in which the government enforces that marriage shall mean "one man and one woman". If this tradition were so important, why didn't the LDS Church lobby for a ballot initiative to ban divorce? Divorce is more harmful to marriage and families than same-sex marriage is. Why did it not push harder to keep the ban on miscegenation? The same "tradition" arguments were used decades ago to support laws that banned blacks from marrying whites. I have never found the "tradition" argument to be compelling, especially when the tradition is to deny equal rights to all.

    I've stated elsewhere that if left to majority vote, civil rights would have remained unequal in many states for much longer than they did. Sometimes, our courts and legislatures stand up for the rights of the minorities. That is a good thing, and it protects us all -- including all religions' ability to worship almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.]

  83. Marie says:

    Thanks for including the IRS code 501(c)(3) on your blog. BUT, your highlighted text that talks about propaganda and legislation is making me CONFUSED. If you keep reading the 501(c)(3) it states charities and churches does not participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any CANDIDATE for public office. This is very clear churches may not endorse or oppose candidates. But your basing your IRS complaint on an EXCERPT of the IRS code. To finish reading the sentence it reads something completely different.

    Do you mind explaining this? I’m just trying to understand….

    [Editor: It's very simple: there are two prohibitions in the same section. The first is substantial activity influencing, or attempting to influence, legislation; the second is participating in or intervening in any campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office. I am arguing that the $20 million was a substantial enough sum to cast into question compliance with the first clause of the statue. No one is disputing the fact that the Church did not endorse or oppose any candidate.]

  84. lds501c3 says:

    Edward J.: Thank you for your detailed post. It sounds to me like you might want to make a blog like mine to push for revoking their 501(c)(3) status, document your concerns, and let the IRS decide whether the law has been broken. After some reflection, I don’t have time to work on every entity who engaged in this, and as I have mentioned elsewhere many times, the LDS Church was singular in its support and impact on this initiative.

    To respond specifically to ideas you raise, “grass roots” has a technical legal meaning in this context and I don’t think your characterization is entirely accurate. Also, sending letters to donors or registered members about upcoming election issues may be permissible “voter education” activities that do not constitute lobbying or attempting to influence legislation.

    I have argued that exhorting LDS Church members to donate time and money to support Proposition 8 goes far beyond voter education or other permissible activity, and that “substantial” is not necessarily defined only by the percentage of the organization’s entire budget.

    Finally, I believe that the tremendous outrage against the LDS Church’s involvement in this political process has damaged its reputation and ability to conduct the humanitarian work you accurately describe. It is a tragedy that so many people now view the LDS Church as a force for taking away the civil rights of people in other states, instead of as a religion whose primary aim is teaching love, charity and integrity.

  85. Skowronek says:

    lds501c3:

    You still didn’t answer my questions:

    Had prop 8 failed to pass, do you really believe those that lost would have made such a ruckus about this like we are seeing now?

    Don’t you think they would feel their heritage of marriage would be stripped from them? (regardless of what you believe is the heritage of marriage)

    Unfortunately, this is and will be a never ending battle. There are those that hold true to what they “know” marriage to be, and those that disagree (however you look at it.)

    The fact is, your initiative has nothing to do with prop 8 anymore. You are bitter, angry, and hateful. You’re attempting to find a loophole, a scapegoat, something to make your loss feel more bearable. Your success or failure in this endeavor will not affect prop 8, and you are well aware of this.

    Had someone researched the number of religious organizations influencing the Obama campaign, I’m sure you’d be surprised at what would be found. Nobody really talks about that though do they?

    I appreciate your opinions, I just don’t appreciate bigotry towards religions and those that practice them.

  86. Candyrose Freeman says:

    I’ve read EVERY msg….I am so sad…ppl pleeeeeease! Though it’s not a choice or
    “lifestyle”,to be gay or straight. I believe we all have a choice to be bigoted,mean
    spirited, and just plain cruel to one another!!! How far we’ve come… still justifying
    intolerance in the name of GOD!!! How does it diminish our rights, to allow equality
    to everyone!! “…life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We declare these rights to
    BE SELF EVIDENT.” We truly have no common sense, with an US and THEM mentality!
    Remember…no mater what you might call your Creator..”.Love thy neighbor,as we love
    ourselves.” Is a good place to be….unless we are truly self-destructive! My rights end,
    where others rights begin, and visa,versa!!!
    We shall over-come!!! Candyrose
    Freeman

  87. Rox C says:

    The Catholic church has also stuck its tail in this issue. I am Catholic and I want to file the same form referring them, where do I get the proper info? thank you. The money that I was giving to my church before, it’s now going to help the Human Rights Campaign!

  88. eliot says:

    thanks for doing this.

  89. Shawn says:

    Best of luck proving that this letter sent out constitutes a “substantial part of the activities” of the church. Considering all the missionary work, charitable activities and family history research the church is involved in throughout the country and the world, you all are wasting your time taking this avenue. The burden is on you, and there’s no chance that this one-time involvement on this issue will be considered substantial.

    [Editor: This is not a one-time involvement. The Church has been active on this issue for years, as internal memos show: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/3/15369/3779?detail=f . H.L.M. refers to "Homosexual Legalized Marriage." The word "substantial" has been interpreted not only as demonstrable by a strict percentage test, but also by other means, such as the magnitude of money spent. Perhaps we will fail in having the Church's tax-exempt status revoked based on these arguments, but if thousands of people file complaints with the IRS, that could create a base of support for amending tax code so that this never happens again.]

  90. Rhys says:

    Excellent way to strike back at the Cult of Current Day Bigots. Hit ‘emwhere it hurts – in the wallet. Let’s make this cost them a lot more than they anticipated.

    Go back to Utah you haters and leave the rest of us to enjoy a society where no one is denied their human rights.

    [Editor: While I appreciate your zeal, not all Mormons are haters; many truly believe that a traditional family is the only way to true happiness. Anger will not soften their hearts -- if we truly want to effect a change, we must do so with love and compassion.]

  91. lds501c3 says:

    To Skowronek:

    Had prop 8 failed to pass, do you really believe those that lost would have made such a ruckus about this like we are seeing now?

    No, I don’t. I think that many opponents of Proposition 8 would have felt that the matter was settled. The issue at hand is that many opponents of Prop. 8, including myself, view this as a civil rights issue and a gross injustice — along the lines of de Tocqueville’s “tyranny of the majority”. That means that we will continue to fight this injustice until all men and women are equal, as we were created.

    Don’t you think they would feel their heritage of marriage would be stripped from them? (regardless of what you believe is the heritage of marriage)

    Indeed, I think that proponents of Proposition 8 would feel that their tradition of marriage would be changed. However, this would not be the first time that the definition of marriage, or voting, or any number of other rights, has been changed in order to grant greater equality to all. Many said that repealing miscegenation laws stripped their heritage of “marriage” as a sacred institution to preserve culture and race.

    Unfortunately, this is and will be a never ending battle. There are those that hold true to what they “know” marriage to be, and those that disagree (however you look at it.)

    I disagree with this, to the extent that each succeeding generation is more supportive of marriage equality. Just as civil rights were extended to all races over the course of time, I expect that over the next few decades we will eventually see the United States move toward equal marriage for all.

    The fact is, your initiative has nothing to do with prop 8 anymore. You are bitter, angry, and hateful. You’re attempting to find a loophole, a scapegoat, something to make your loss feel more bearable. Your success or failure in this endeavor will not affect prop 8, and you are well aware of this.

    Do my words really ring as bitter, angry, and hateful, or are you conflating me with others who are? I am none of the above. I am deeply saddened at what a church I used to love and respect has done, not only in terms of perpetuating inequality, but also with respect to the irreparable harm it has done to its own reputation as a force for good in the world. My work will not change the impact of Prop. 8 today, but it might in ten more years, when the Church thinks twice about attempting to influence legislation. I am willing to fight the good fight and wait the good wait in order to achieve a more perfect Union.

    Had someone researched the number of religious organizations influencing the Obama campaign, I’m sure you’d be surprised at what would be found. Nobody really talks about that though do they?

    Some do, yes — and people are certainly talking about the two dozen or so pastors who endorsed John McCain in direct contravention of the 501(c)(3) statues. But that is not the point of this blog.

    I appreciate your opinions,

    Thank you. As I do yours.

    I just don’t appreciate bigotry towards religions and those that practice them.

    You should know by now that I used to be a faithful, full tithe-paying, scripture-reading, daily-praying member of the Church. Many of my family members remain active and faithful members. I am not bigoted against the LDS faithful. I am troubled that people accuse me of being so, simply because I feel that the Church overstepped its rights as a tax-exempt organization, instead of reading my words and comprehending the appreciation I have for the good works the Church does in the world.

  92. Jackie says:

    Do you really think it’s going to benefit your cause to take away the tax exempt status of one of the richest churches in the world?

    [Editor: Yes. Moreover, the potential to take it away may influence the Church to stay out of divisive politics in other states and focus on its primary humanitarian efforts.]

    The LDS church has NO DEBT. Every piece of property belonging to the church it owns free and clear. That includes 128 temples like the one that was surrounded by protesters in Santa Monica.

    [Editor: And all of that real estate would be subject to property taxes.]

    Faithful members give 10% of the their gross annual income as tithing.

    [Editor: And all of that income would be taxed.]

    If you are successful in your plight to take away the tax exempt status of the Church, that will be great for the Church.

    [Editor: If losing its tax-exempt status would be "great", the Church already would have elected not to be a tax-exempt organization.]

    Then, it will no longer be excluded from participating in and influencing any and all political campaigns and candidates that it chooses. Have you ever thought of that? If anything, taking away the tax exempt status will only inhibit the LDS church’s charitable programs and humanitarian relief efforts throughout the world. Thanks to these Mormon “bigots”, $750,900,000 has been given in humanitarian material assistance since 1985. Nearly 400,000 infants have been saved in 23 developing countries by medical staff trained by the LDS church to resuscitate newborns who couldn’t breathe at birth. In May 2008, 142,000 pounds of medical and other relief supplies were sent to Myanmar to help those affected by the cyclone. The LDS church built 902 homes, 16 schools and 3 community centers in Asia following the 2004 tsunami.

    [Editor: I know this full well. Did you not read the About page? Now we arrive at the real question: why are they spending time and money on abridging others' marriage rights when they have all of this admirable humanitarian work to do? How many poor could have been clothed and hungry fed with the $20 million spent on Proposition 8? We agree that the church is a humanitarian organization, and I would like nothing more than to see them focus on those efforts, not on politics.]

    So, by all means, move forward with this futile scheme to bring down one of the most powerful, wealthy, organized, charitable, and ethnically diverse churches in the world. There are more “bigoted” Mormons in the rest of the world than in the United States. If you question my assertions, please do your research. You can visit http://www.lds.org or just google “LDS” and “Mormon” and any recent major natural disaster. I doubt the world will thank you for your efforts.

    [Editor: If my efforts mean that money and time spent by the LDS Church are redirected away from political activism and instead used on humanitarian work, then the world will thank me. By the way, Jesus himself had a lot to say about charity and nothing to say about homosexuality.]

  93. marie says:

    It’s very unsettling about the bigotry towards the mormons- coming from the opponents of prop 8, who IRONICALLY, called those supporting marriage intolerant. Comments about mormons “go back to Utah you haters”? Remember Mormons helped settle California! The mormon battalion veterans had a significant impact on California. The mormons I know are concerned citizens who help quite a bit in their communities. There are many who are members of school boards, city councils, mayors, law enforcement, teachers, etc. It’s very interesting to see sour grapes (prop 8 passing) and how people hate people just because they voted differently.

    Comments made about a “society where no one is denied their human rights”. What happens to groups that want to have marriage their way. We certainly don’t want to deny anyone their human rights – right?? How about moms wanting to marry their sons – is this okay? What if middle aged men want to marry pre-adolescent girls -is this okay? If a small percentage of the population want marriage their way – is this okay??

  94. Corinthian says:

    I am not a Mormon. I know that the managers of this blog will more that likely not post my comments.

    [Editor: I believe in free speech, so I have elected to post every comment, whether I agree with it or not.]

    You can resist all that you want, but the will of the people has spoken a second time.

    [Editor: Sometimes, the "will of the people" constitutes "tyranny of the majority". De Tocqueville wrote passionately about this nearly 200 years ago. The reason we are a republic with legislatures and courts, and not a direct democracy, is to protect the rights of minorities who would otherwise have no rights.]

    Marriage in not a right and it’s definition can not be changed by the laws of men.

    [Editor: The California State Supreme Court said that marriage is a right. And who can change its definition? Joseph Smith proclaimed that God had changed its definition. Does that mean that only the Mormon God, whom 98% of Americans don't believe in, can change the definition? I'm not trying to be hateful, but point out that the LDS Church is on particularly shaky ground with these arguments.]

    The origin of marriage is a blessing from God to the unity and covenant between one man and one woman. You can take out your hostilities all that you want against the Mormon Church but it will not benefit the outcome of your motives. There are legions that oppose you and they are not of flesh and blood. What the gay movement is fighting against is not the will of men. Your fight against us has violent motives and our opposition to you is non-violent.

    [Editor: Really? My fight has violent motives? What evidence do you have for that? There are opponents of Prop. 8 who have lashed out in violence, but I am not one of them, and I believe their behavior is counterproductive.]

    Even if you accomplish another small victory like what happened last May, the victory will not last.

    [Editor: It has lasted in Massachusetts. It has lasted in Europe, and Canada, and Mexico. I believe that while the victories will be slow in coming, over time, the majority of the United States will accept marriage equality. But those of us who want that future must reject violence and teach with love and compassion.]

    The message from God through Christ to mankind was come as you are, accept my son as your Lord and Savior and God will transform your heart. If you are confident in your cause, post these words. We all have personal challenges and temptations that will inevitably destroy us. Christ is the redeemer.

    [Editor: A few years ago, I read the entire New Testament and spent an entire day researching what Jesus had to say about homosexuality. I came up empty-handed.]

  95. Corinthian says:

    Furthermore, it is time for the entire Christian Church to put aside all of its theological differences and join together under the true definition of Marriage. The Mormon Church truly was on point and carried the banner for “Yes on 8.” I witnessed this first hand by hearing the efforts of a friend at work, who is Mormon, and all the he, his wife and children did for this victory. There are legions of believers waiting to join you now. God Bless the Mormon Church! Well, that’s kind of a silly thing to say. He already has.

  96. ebizzle says:

    The church supported this ammendment, that is true. Yet the church actually never gave money so stop whining you left wing radicals, marriage is between one man and one woman. God defines homosexuality as a sin and if you read the story of sodom and gomorrah(sp) you will know that death was brough upon those people who committed sexual sin. God does not condone homo’s. This country was founded on the basis of God and it is a miracle that this country came into existence. Therefore if we rebel against God we rebel against this country’s foundation. I don’t hate gay people …
    [Editor: Is that why you use the objectionable term "homo's"?]
    … yet I do not condone their sexuality.

    Being gay is not natural and people are not born like that yet people are influenced that they were always meant to be gay. That is not true, they follow their sexual desires and are influenced by their desire to be gay. God bless the LDS church MEMBERS for their contribution to this blessed amendment. Don’t worry left wing radicals, your case will never prevail to the IRS, I am accountant and I would dismiss it right in the trash.

    [Editor: Significant scientific research has demonstrated that the causes of homosexuality are complex, but many are genetic in nature; some are born that way. And for the record, I'm hardly a "left wing radical".]

  97. Sean says:

    Down with Bigotry. It is not very christian to judge. I am a straight man who will stand side by side with my gay friends and neighbors until this is overturned.

  98. song says:

    I’m planning to take several copies of the IRS complaint form around campus next week and get as many people to fill one out as I can. Any idea if it’s ok with the IRS to send all these forms in one package, or should they all be sent separately?

    [Editor: As far as I know, assuming each form is filled out by a different person, you may send them together.]

  99. jash says:

    i tried to put a link to this site in my facebook status and they flagged it as abusive. i guess it was true, the lds was considering buying facebook to avoid anyone doing anything like retaliating against their unholy behavior.

    [Editor: I am pretty sure that rumor was false, but I also don't see how this site is abusive. I will look into it. Please check your email and send details.]

  100. Jacob says:

    So basically the church is going to lose it’s tax exempt status it uses to help people around the world more than almost any organization because it urged its members to be politically active in favor of what they believe in and flew some leaders to California.

    [Editor: The Prophet exhorted every church member to give generously of time and means, resulting in the most expensive ballot initiative ever. Some members felt pressured to give to stay in good standing in the Church. It's a matter of perspective, isn't it?]

    From 1985 to 2006, the Church has shipped 54,905 tons of food and 107,061 tons of other supplies to more than 150 countries. In 2006, the Church provided $14.9 million (USD) in cash and materials in response to the conflict in Lebanon, the earthquake in Indonesia, for refugees in Burundi, Sudan and Uganda, and 76 other disasters.

    [Editor: Exactly why this sort of political activity harms the work of the Church. The reputation of the Church has been irreparably harmed, because now millions of people associate it with trying to take marriage rights away from people in California instead of its humanitarian work.]

  101. ebizzle says:

    Also why such a push against the LDS church. I mean please try to push this IRS tax complaint, but I hope and pray it will not work and I trust our country therefore I trust that these complaints will be acknowledged but no complaint will pass through. I believe in the right to express your voice and I also believe in common law and because this has passed this a law that must be recgonized. I really think we need a tax attourney on this one as well. Again God Bless the Mormon church and hopefully you can realize you efforts will be wasted! Marriage is ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN…It’s the law, respect the law. The mormon church does not have a political agenda yet this is how we define marriage. Also I don’t want my kids going to school learning that it is okay to be gay! The teacher who took her students to watch her lesbian marriage is not okay and that lady should have her teaching certificate revoked. Before any of this was an issues, more than 10 years ago, the LDS church officially declared that marriage is between one man and one woman.

    [Editor: And 140 years before that, the LDS church officially declared that marriage was between one man and any number of women, and that marriage was a civil contract and that government should not interfere in its affairs by creating laws about marriage.]

    If this did not pass then the left wing civil rights group would be waiting on the chance to sue the LDS church for not allowing gays to be married in their churches and temples.

    [Editor: If that were the case, why has that not happened in Massachusetts? There's no legal basis for compelling the LDS Church not to discriminate in whom it marries. This is a spurious argument.]

    Now that is not right. This is more than just about civil rights, this is changing the sanctity of marriage and of the family. Democrats and Republicans agree, marriage one man and one woman.

    [Editor: A slim majority of Californians who went to the polls happened to agree with that definition, but millions of people disagreed with placing that definition in the California Constitution. A majority of Mississippi residents would have agreed in 1960 that African Americans should be segregated. Does that make it right?]

  102. Krellan says:

    Wow, did you see this?

    “DEVASTATING memo from LDS church exposed re: Prop 8″

    Another smoking gun letter.

    http://www.calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7396

  103. jash says:

    hey jacob,

    you aren’t helping. that small amount of charity shows what pricks you and the church really are. a multi billion dollar organization only doing 15 mil in charity work in a year? you guys are pathetic! you make the republican party look honorable and generous.

  104. HiveRadical says:

    There’s a problem folks.

    You’re all resting on the claim of ‘substantial.’

    Let me show you why claiming ‘substantial’ support is not a tenable argument.

    It takes a little math but I’ll skew things in your favor so you can’t claim the numbers are skewed in our favor. This is a worst case scenario, this is the most given by members.

    Looking first at in state contributions. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Mormon members accounted for the high end of 70% of the funding for the proposition. That would mean that Mormons would have contributed about 17 million of the about 25 million of in state monies. There are about 750,000 members of our faith that are citizens of California. Now when you consider that only about a third of those are considered ‘active’ and it’s generally only that portion that pays a full tithe to the Church we’ll go ahead and hack down the number to 250,000 — this would work in favor of your argument by reducing the number of members to total contributions and thereby increase the per member donations. So we cut it down to 250,000 members and what do you get as far as contributions to prop 8 per person?

    68 dollars.

    That’s per person.

    If you want to go and say ‘well that’s counting children’ then fine, we’ll go and compile them into a one income household of five (mormons, on average in the US, have one more child per woman than the rest of the nation, so five is a fair number) . That gives a total contributions for a household of 5–

    340 dollars.

    I can hear people crying THAT’S SUBSTANTIAL SEE!!! But not so fast–here’s some perspective. The average active family would be giving Tithes and Offerings to the Church on the order of between 4,500 dollars annually on the low end, but active members are often highly skilled and educated and make a higher income than the average per capita income of the general populace, so you’re looking at 6,000-10,000 dollars for your low to middle income mormon households.

    That means that the average contribution, from active members (remember this is assuming, erroneously but skewing numbers in favor of your stance, that only the 1/3 of members who are active gave anything) is on average between–

    8.5% (if the household gave the full 340 dollars and is living well bellow the poverty level) to 0.4% (if the family brings in 100,000 and gave the 340 dollars) of their total annual contributions to the Church. How is 8.5%(an extreme) ‘substantial’? How is less than half a percent substantial?

    And remember that the numbers are skewed wildly in favor of your argument.

    If you want to talk about time given to the campaign that’s also easy to demonstrate.

    So you’d have to bribe a good many judges or juries, and spin thing pretty hard, to get what you want.

    Even if you got it you would face the law of unintended consequences. The new paradigm would actually favor our side far more than you realize.

    [Editor: Someone else made this argument. But it rings hollow: if losing its tax-exempt status would benefit the Church, it would not have elected to be tax-exempt.]

    But if you are so caught up in the idea of revenge then nothing will keep you from the end which your trajectory will net you.

    [Editor: Again, your argument rests on the notion that "substantial" is only defined in percentage terms. There is an argument to be made that $20 million -- a majority of the funding for the most expensive ballot initiative in history -- is "substantial", irrespective of the other activities of the organization.]

  105. HiveRadical says:

    when I said “Even if you got it…” I was referencing the desire to strip our faith of it’s tax exempt status.

  106. HiveRadical says:

    jash says:

    “hey jacob,

    you aren’t helping. that small amount of charity shows what pricks you and the church really are. a multi billion dollar organization only doing 15 mil in charity work in a year? you guys are pathetic! you make the republican party look honorable and generous.”

    This, jash, is a rather small minded view. Fist off money doesn’t equate proportionally with efficacy. That is, simply giving more money doesn’t mean people are more helped or better aided. Funding’s efficacy, continuity and scope should be the measuring stick of aid, not mere dollars. We’re not merely trying to give a man a fish, and we don’t stop at teaching a man to fish, we got to teaching a man to teach many others how to fish. “Bang for your buck” is what is important, as well as stability and continuity in aid. We don’t count the man hours given in aid as part of the financial contribution given.

    And where is the grandeur and honor in supporting something with a massive outpouring at the offset only to have damaged or hindered your capacity for future giving? Where’s the honor in giving someone your all when it halts your livelihood and keeps you from being able to help more people, to a greater degree, later on?

    You also forget what’s not calculated in that, we have the world’s largest private welfare system in which we produce much of our own goods. So much of our charity is not easily translated to dollars and cents, but then that’s not what true charity is centered on, rather it’s centered on results.

    We beat the government and others on the ground in speed and size and efficacy after Katrina. We are the ones with the stockpiles of food when snowstorms of floods cut off communities. And we don’t keep it to ourselves, we share it with our neighbors.

    So this mocking of the 15 million in a year really is shallow. We aren’t giving money to welfare programs to help give salaries to social workers or to staff mighty bureaucracies of either governments or non-profits or NGO’s. The administration of our aid works without pay and without monetary recompense.

    Scoff if you wish, just know that it’s a shallow argument you have. It doesn’t hold water.

  107. Hey Mike, I would also like to point out Publication 1828: Tax Guide for Churches and Religioius Organizations. Page 7 of this PDF explains that “voter initiatives” is included in a list of things they can not do. Just thought you could add that small section to your blog here.

    Although could you email me an answer to this question? In page 26, it says in the “Audit Process” towards the bottom, that the IRS won’t pursue the church for 5 years, unless they’ve been turned in before for something. Maybe I just didn’t understand what that said so, you seem to have done plenty of research already. Could you explain that?

  108. Bo says:

    What you want is not to make them tax-exempt but ”finacially accountable”.

    http://www.ecfa.org/

    If the mormon members knew where their tithe went , the church would die.

    [Editor: This is a good point -- I saw somewhere that Pelosi proposed greater financial disclosure rules for tax-exempt organizations in early 2007 but there wasn't enough support. I can't find a citation for it, though. Perhaps this will garner more attention in the new Congress.]

  109. jash says:

    Great point Bo. Couldn’t we say that about all organized Religion?

  110. [...] out that what the Mormon church did was entirely legal. It was ethically repugnant, of course, but complaining to the IRS is likely to net you doodly-squat in this [...]

  111. song says:

    “With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion. ~ Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in physics

    If all churches were to lose their tax-exempt status, or even completely disappear, humanitarian aid would not stop. Organized bigotry, like we saw with Prop 8, would become much more difficult.

  112. Corinthian says:

    You speak of Massachusetts.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in Massachusetts as time goes on. Please click on link and read it and all of its links entirely. I have nothing against people in the gay community. I have a sister that is gay. This is an issue of what is best for society. The goal of your movement is to obtain the same rights as married couples when it comes to child adoption. I have had conversations with gay people about this goal. It is an expansionist agenda. The root of the Yes on 8 Amendment is to protect those that are not old enough to vote for themselves, children.

  113. lds501c3 says:

    Thanks for your links, Corinthian. I read them, and it seems to me that the actions are typically of particular individuals or principals “pushing the envelope”, but no evidence of any statewide curriculum or legal mandate.

    See my next post, “‘In’ But Not ‘Of’ the World”. The notion that learning about the existence of a same-sex marriage or transgendered person is somehow harmful to children, or sexually explicit, is wrong. If parents believe that such things are morally wrong, it is their responsibility to teach their children about their moral views when they encounter these ideas. Whether good or bad, same-sex marriages are now part of the world, and so it is up to parents to teach their children about the world.

  114. Phil M says:

    Suggested edit: change “Proposition 8″ to “California Proposition 8 (2008)” or similar.

  115. Larry says:

    Is there a way to fill out and e-mail the IRS if you don’t have a full version of ADOBE that allows you to save a “filled-out” PDF document?

    If you know of a way PLEASE e-mail me at LEP05403@GMAIL.COM

  116. Shawn says:

    I can’t stop laughing about how popular of an idea this is becoming. I understand better now why Prop 8 passed – because the opponents are terrible at effectively using their time and resources.

    Your whole argument rests on the fact that the church used a “substantial” part of ITS resources on legislation. First of all, the only resources the church used were letters and an evening fireside. Oh, and something like $2,000 worth of in-kind contributions, consisting of airfare. Although the effect of this small contribution was millions of dollars of donations by private citizens who happen to be members of the church, the church itself used very few resources. Again, the wording of Section 501(c)(3) says nothing about the magnitude of the effects of the resources used by the organization – only about the organization’s actual resources used. The IRS will care nothing about the $20 million estimate being thrown around as the amount that members of the church contributed. In the eyes of the IRS, it is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the argument.

    Let’s say, as a simplified example, that all the resources the church used was $5 for a sign on the side of the road – nothing else. And let’s say that the effect of the sign was $20 million in donations by people who saw it. Which of these numbers – $5 or $20 million – is the IRS going to be concerned with? First of all, it would be nearly impossible to be able to prove that the $20 million was a result of the sign. Much of that would’ve been donated anyway, so good luck on determining the actual effect of the sign. But this, again, is irrelevant. In this example, the church used $5 of its resources, and the IRS would only be able to use this number in determining the amount of resources the church used.

    Besides, this absolutely is a percentage argument. Since the wording talks about a “substantial part” of the church’s activities, you must take into account the other activities of the church, and decide if what the church has done is, in fact, a substantial part of the church’s activities. And as has already been pointed out, the activities used to promote prop 8 don’t even register on the scale of the church’s total activities. Again, the burden is on you to prove that $2,000, a fireside, and a letter are a substantial part of the church’s activities.

  117. song says:

    I can’t stop laughing at all the religious people who keep chiming in about how ineffective this protest is. Why are you wasting your time then?

  118. Mel says:

    What has religious has to do with my marriage. People DO NOT have to be religious or go to church to marry. If religious folks has believes that is a right they have. But stop mixing your religion believes with politics & civil rights. When is society gonna put a stop on them. I DO NOT have a religion. I DO NOT believe in religion. To me religion is a weakness of human nature. Thats only my believe. But that doesn’t means that i am going to discriminate against those church folks. I don’t have a religion, so what. Im American and i pay all my taxes. And that’s what counts. Leave my life alone & stop discriminating against others because they do not follow your rules or because they don’t have a religion.

  119. Patty says:

    Separation of church and state WAS a pillar of the original foundation for the United States of America for a VERY good reason. Sadly, for the past eight years of the Bush/Cheney Regime they have been chipping away at that separation with a sledgehammer, a bulldozer, and a wrecking ball (for the primary purpose of “saving marriage.” Well, now there’s a new sheriff in town, and the free ride is over for ALL of you religious nut jobs who flouted the laws to get your radical bigoted agenda passed into law. Law that will no doubt someday be overturned by every court in the country as 100% straight-up discrimination. Suck it, Mormons! You’re first on the list. I’m dropping my Pre-Filled IRS Form 13909 tax form in the mail on Monday. Thanks for that! It’s awesome. I’m sending one to ALL my friends and family with a self-addressed pre-stamped envelope!

  120. Mel says:

    What has religion has to do with my life, marriage, etc. People DO NOT have to be religious or go to church to live or marry. If religious folks have their rules/believes/opinion that is a right they have. But stop mixing your religion with politics & civil rights. When is society gonna put a stop on them. I DO NOT have a religion. I DO NOT believe in religion. To me religion is a weakness of human nature. Thats my believe THATS MY RIGHT. But that doesn’t means I am going to discriminate against those church folks and tell them how to live their life. I don’t have a religion, so what. I AM A AMERICAN and I pay all my taxes. And that’s what counts. ITS MY LIFE. Leave my life alone and stop discriminating against others because they do not follow your rules/believes/opinions or because they don’t have a religion. Enough already with this no sense. They are so annoying. THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY PEOPLE. WAKE UP!!!

  121. Mel says:

    & STOP KNOCKING AT MY DOOR ASKING 4 MY MONEY U CHURCH PEOPLE

  122. zebostoneleigh says:

    Has any of you actually read subsection H? Surely if you had, you’d realize that you’re plight is in vain. No matter how upset you are with the outcome of the election and the perceived Mormon influence, this retaliatory effort seems futile and ill-thought-out.

    Paraphrasing the law, it reads… “An organization will be denied tax exemption if a substantial part of its activities consists of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation under the following conditions:
    (A) the organization normally makes lobbying expenditures in excess of the lobbying ceiling amount for such organization
    – or –
    (B) it makes grass roots expenditures in excess of the grass roots ceiling amount for such an organization

    Frankly, I know you’re upset – and I feel that. But spending time and money for such and obviously unlawful attempt at vindication shows a complete disregard for (or ignorance of) the laws you claim to champion.

  123. jash says:

    i can’t believe corinthian wants to keep unwanted children in orphanages instead of in loving homes that happen to be same sex. you should rot in hell for that douche bag, for sure!

  124. Mel says:

    Everybody in this country including CHURCHES should pay taxes. Specially now days w/our economy in such bad shape. It is really hard for folks like me who doesn’t believe in religious/churches have to accept that as well. I am American & I pay taxes. All churches should pay also.

  125. solandcb says:

    It will be interesting to see what comes up if an IRS investigation is launched into the church. The case may or may not be incredibly strong at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot that we do not know about turns up as a result of an investigation. People obviously will wish to deter such an investigation by making arguments like, “your plight is in vain” but the real facts may not even be out in the open.

    The LDS church’s role in this is undeniable. It’s contribution of nearly 40% of the total contribution for the “Yes on Prop 8″ campaign and its direct call to its members to donate their time and means should be more than enough to move for an investigation. The church and its members have nothing to fear if the church has done no wrong, but the fact that some feel the need to speak out about this proposed action seems to suggest that they are worried that there truly is merit to the argument.

  126. Mel says:

    That is right. The Church prefers to leave children in orphanages instead of let them be adopted by loving single parents, single mothers, gay parents, etc. Only because they think children has to be raised by a married couple. I am sorry but I don’t believe that smart/intelligent people have religious. That is what I think, THAT IS MY RIGHT.

  127. Mel says:

    Instead of using their donation money to support Prop 8, they should had used it to get educated.

  128. Mel says:

    OH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, ANOTHER HOT MESS.

  129. Mel says:

    And please everybody lets boycott Salt Lake City, Utah. Lets not spend our money on vacation there & at the Sundance Film Festival. I do work for the Film/TV industry & I am getting in touch w/all my Above The Line & Below The Line friends to pull out their films from the Sundance Film Festival. We can find another location that is hate free. We need to send a message to them that if they do not accept us they can not accept our (and show business) money.

  130. Jacob says:

    One of the stated beliefs of the church is that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.” Now, if you’re a member of a church, then you should believe what the church preaches, or don’t be a member of the church. So, then all the church was saying was to be politically active in favor of you believe. Is that not a right of a church? Or is a church now not allowed to say what they believe religiously? Sorry people, but church and state sometimes overlap. When the state makes rulings about religious matters…

  131. This effort may not be enough/sufficient to get things done, but it certainly is part of the effort to get the ball rolling. I’m supporting this and will lodge my complaint.

    Those of you without the full Adobe program can’t save your filed-in forms, but you can fill out the form then print it, and save a hard copy.

  132. The Knights of Columbus were also pushing “Yes on 8″

  133. Mel says:

    This is not a religious matter. This is a Civil Rights issue. It just show how IGNORANT the Church is. For them (church people) think that this issue has to do w/religion.

  134. lee says:

    Even in plural marriage (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph Smith, etc) marriage was still defined as between a man and a woman. so there were separate marriages (but all consisting of one man and one woman). At different times in religious history, God has allowed for a man to have more than one wife.

    But the wives weren’t married to each other. Their marriages were between one man and one woman. However, plural marriage is against the law right now. Maybe we should lobby for these rights too. If marriage is just about love and sexual expression– seriously what’s the problem?

    You are very good at using reasoned and polite rhetoric. You know the rules of persuasive language. However, you cannot hide bigotry behind good manners. You are angry, and you want the church to pay for being involved in social policy. I see nothing wrong with the church making its members aware of a situation. Martin Luther King Jr. did this same thing.

    Throughout history religions have a huge influence for good (especially when they are separate from government). Because they don’t pay taxes, they have no incentive to lobby etc. They lobby directly to the people. Churches are open lobbyists for God.
    People are free to decide.

    You have made repeated comments about how members felt their status with the church was in jeopardy if they opposed prop 8. This is not true. Maybe they FELT this was true– but it isn’t (http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/church-responds-to-same-sex-marriage-votes)

    Maybe if they were going about speaking vocally AGAINST the church (and not just against prop 8)– there might be a problem.

    The “no” side had more money. If this is about money, why didn’t the “no” side win? I think it’s because more people in California believe that marriage should be between a man and woman. Not because of hate, not because of fear, but because that is the absolute best way for society to build itself. (Children have a right to a mom and a dad; gender matters).

    peace out.

  135. prop8discussion says:

    also, interesting link here about the separate but equal argument:

    http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/category/separate-but-equal/

  136. Shawn says:

    If the LDS church should lose its tax exempt status, I would like to hear you push for the 501(c)(3) organizations who opposed proposition 8 to also lose their status. I was appalled at how many 501(c)(3) organizations were listed here: http://www.noonprop8.com/about/who-opposes-prop-8. The hypocrisy in this campaign is astounding.

  137. Mel says:

    I have been looking for your “God” for years. I do not even know what she or he looks like. The only thing I see is people (humans) putting words in a invisible mouth. Now do you really want me to believe in a God that does not exist. Call me anything you like but I am not stupid or ignorant. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN RELIGION OR “GODS” THAT I NEVER SAW IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. THAT IS MY RIGHT.

  138. prop8discussion says:

    Mel,

    This has to do with society. children have a right to a mom and a dad. gender matters. I, personally, regardless of God, want to live in a state where the government cares about encouraging the best possible place for children to thrive.

    There have been studies done about same-gender parenting– but they are full of design flaws. The largest being that they compare single-parent straight moms to single-parent lesbian moms.

    http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/yes-on-prop-8-no-on-california-social-experiment-children-have-a-right-to-a-mom-and-a-dad-day-2/

    government already limits marriage. cousins can’t get married. siblings can’t get married. in some states, people with certain diseases can’t get married. marriage is not a right. it is a social privilege because it includes the possibility of children (whether or not children result).

    And also. Regardless of God, I see traditional marriage as our society’s ultimate expression of equality: it takes one man and one woman.

    One could see a lesbian relationship as marginalizing men, or a gay relationship as marginalizing women. I think it’s okay for people to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman: it’s kind of beautiful because it is balanced.

    I am not homophobic, I have gay friends. I love them. I just think its wise to think about same-gender marriage with caution.

    France took a year studying all the evidence. They also decided no on same-gender marriage.

  139. prop8discussion says:

    Also, even atheism is a kind of religion. because it is a value set of beliefs. so, why does your view matter more than a religious persons value set of beliefs? why should one be more preferred in the public square of debate and discussion?

    prop 8 had nothing to do with comdemning homosexuality or trying to baptize people or convert them. It had everything to do with how we want SOCIETY to be organized.

  140. [...] here to comment on why you think it’s an unwise idea to  strip the Church of Jesus [...]

  141. Mel says:

    ATHEISM = Belief that there is no God. I DO NOT GO TO CHURCH, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, I DO NOT HAVE A RELIGION. ATHEISM IS NOT A RELIGION. I NEVERT SAID THAT MY POINT OF VIEW MATTER MORE THAN A RELIGIOUS PERSON. THATS THE OTHER WAY AROUND. YOU (RELIGIOUS PEOPLE) ARE THE ONES WHO ALWAYS TOLD ME THAT I AM A MONSTER/SINNER BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE A RELIGION. AND BOTHERS ME AS A AMERICAN THAT YOUR CHURCH TRIES TO MANIPULATE POLITICS AND CIVIL RIGHTS. THE WORLD SHOULD MOVE FORWARDS AND NOT BACKWARDS LIKE THE CHURCH & RELIGIOUS PEOPLE DO.

  142. Mel says:

    AND IF ATHEISM IS A RELIGION, WHERE IS THEIR CHURCH. THE LAST THING I WANT TO DO IN MY LIFE IS TO BE WITH/AROUND A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO PRAYS FOR A GHOST OR FOR A NO GHOST DUH!!!

  143. Rev. Wright says:

    From The Daily Kos…

    There is no chance in hell that the IRS will even seriously consider stripping the Mormon church of its tax-exempt status. In order to strip the church’s 501(c)(3) status, it would have to be shown that a “substantial part” of the Mormon church, as a whole, is devoted to influencing legislation. By any measure, the church’s involvement here is not a “substantial part” of the church’s overall operations. For example, courts have held that when less than 5 percent of an organization’s activities are devoted to lobbying, it is presumptively not a “substantial part.” Seasongood v. Commissioner, 227 F.2d 907. Does anyone really think that the Mormon church devoted more than 5 percent of its global activities to influencing Prop 8?

    Legal arguments aside, any progressive should be repulsed by the ultimate goal of the campaign to strip the Mormon church of its tax-exempt status. After all, its not the tax-exempt status that we’re after. The goal here is to stifle the right of religious groups to speak (and act) as they choose. I am as disgusted as anyone about what the church said about my community and my marriage to Brian. But are we really willing to go so far as to say that they shouldn’t be allowed to speak because we disagree or detest what they have to say? It is sophomorically cliché, but I will quote Voltaire anyway: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    [Editor: Posting your comment once in the proper place is enough. I have accordingly removed the other two identical versions of this comment in off-topic posts. You just won the "Prompt a New Post" award! I'm writing it now. It'll be something like "Where Tax-Exempt Meets Free Speech".]

  144. As you file your petitions with the IRS, be sure to treat the rest of these listed organizations with “equality and fairness” for their involvement influencing this election (it will take some time to file all the forms, but it’s the “right” thing to do…

    http://www.noonprop8.com/about/who-opposes-prop-8#FBO

    Equality is not a one way street.

    [Editor: Be aware that few entities other than the LDS Church, if any, will have engaged in activities that rise to the level of "substantial"; those that did, and are not churches, may also have filed a 501(h) election for this purpose if necessary. My argument is that the LDS Church did engage in substantial activities influencing legislation, and that is the reason justifying the complaint.]

  145. Mel says:

    I WILL MAKE A DEAL WITH ALL YOUR RELIGION FOLKS. TELL YOUR “GODS” THAT I WILL BE HOME ALL NIGHT LONG. ASK HE OR SHE TO APPEAR TO ME & TELL ME THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. AND THAT FOLKS WITH OUT RELIGIOUS ARE SINNERS. AND I WILL BELIEVE IN YOUR BELIEVES. BUT JUST FOR SAFETY I AM GONNA PULL A CHAIR BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT TO GET TIRED WAITING FOR A GHOST TO APPEAR.

  146. Spencer says:

    First off I want to say I am a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) and I will actually be spending the next two years of my life in the Fresno, California area serving a LDS mission. Now I cant believe whats going on in this country. Everything is falling around us… the economy is crashing and courts that were set up “for the people by the people” are overturning laws that have been passed BY THE PEOPLE!! It seems to me that California is not ready for gay marriage. It doesn’t matter how much money (as you come across saying) a church puts up for legislation(which in this case is not true, the people of the LDS church donated their own money) the law was passed by a majority vote so it should stay that way… passed… Our government was founded for the people, and the majority of the people of California don’t want gay marriage. I personally don’t care about gay marriage but do believe that marriage is sacred of man and woman. Pro-creation would not exist if it wasn’t for the bond between man and woman. How did you come to this earth? You, just like everyone else, were born out of the womb of your mother. Would you be here today if your own mother was a Lesbian? No! Now I now you’ll say that with the technology that we have you can just go down to a sperm bank and be impregnated, and yes that is very true, but only a hundred years ago that would have been impossible. That is why I believe, and would have voted yes on prop eight if I were a California resident, in marriage between a man and woman. I was raised to love one another and I do, but for man kind to exist we need a man and woman that love each other and that are committed enough to each other to create the most spectacular and beautiful thing life has to hold and that is life itself. Please don’t take out your hatred on the LDS church or other churchs that were for prop eight. Just wait until 2010 when you can have gay marriage re-voted on. When the people(as a majority) are ready to allow gay marriage in their states then and only then will you get it to pass through.

  147. prop8discussion says:

    mel,

    i don’t really know what you are trying to prove by saying that God doesn’t exist because he hasn’t appeared to you.

    There are plenty of arguments for traditional marriage that don’t include religion. I voted yes on prop 8, because I think it’s important that childrens’ rights to a mom and dad are recognized and encouraged by the government. I think the government should have an interest in protecting this right.

    [Editor: What about children whose father or mother dies? Should the government force their remaining parent to get married in order to provide them with this right? Or children who are orphaned? What should happen to them if the government can't find a home for them with two loving, opposite sex parents? While the notion of a world where every child has a loving mother and father may be beautiful, it is not reality, nor can any government give every child a right to such a home. Given that such a reality cannot exist, should we not offer more children a stable family structure with two married parents by permitting same-sex couples to marry and adopt children who would otherwise have no parents at all? Until the orphanages are empty and our children's social services case workers are unemployed, these arguments ignore reality.]

    France said (after a year of studying the issue):
    Children represent the future of society. They “must not suffer from conditions imposed upon them by adults”. “The best interests of the child must prevail over adult freedoms… even including the lifestyle choices of parents”. The legislator is not obligated to adopt the most permissive foreign legislation.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/feb/06021601.html

    http://www.preservemarriage.ca/docs/France%20-%20summary.pdf

    Even if every person voted because of their religious belief…what is wrong with this scenario? How would it be more fair if everyone voted because of their secular or atheistic belief?

    The fact is that citizens vote on their beliefs. This is normal and okay.

  148. prop8discussion says:

    mel,

    Also, you aren’t a monster for not believing in God. Be happy. Live your life. It’s okay if other people believe they are created by a divine being. If your feelings get hurt by what other people say about your atheistic beliefs:
    a. examine why you feel so hurt (lots of people, my whole life, have thought I was weird because I believe in God. this doesn’t make me angry. it doesn’t hurt my feelings. I feel confident in what I believe. I feel peace. when you have confidence about something, it makes it easier to not get your feelings hurt.)
    b. maybe you shouldn’t hang out with them any more.

    okay therapy session over.

  149. Mel says:

    SPENCER BEFORE YOU GET TO MY STATE YOU SHOULD GET EDUCATED. I THINK THAT ALL YOUR RELIGIOUS PEOPLE/CHURCH GOERS ARE STUPID & IGNORANT. BUT I HAVE ALWAYS BEING VERY TOLERANT OF YOUR IGNORANCE. THE ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE WITH YOU FOLKS IS WHEN YOU BRING YOUR IGNORANCE TO MANIPULATE POLITICS, CIVIL RIGHTS, ETC. I DO KNOW YOU ARE A RELIGION PERSON, BUT PLEASE MOVE LIKE THE WORLD IS MOVING, FORWARD & NOT BACKWARDS. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL ALL THAT IGNORANT TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. BUT LEAVE ALONE THE PEOPLE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN YOUR CHURCH.

  150. Mel,

    You don’t have to believe in God. You don’t have to accept my God. You don’t even need a sign (nor do I think you’ll get one). There is a large body of evidence that supports the value of stable dual-general homes for the benefit of present/future generations. Although some have done so – there is no need to focus on a religious argument. And although I’m religious – my reasons for voting “Yes” are not focused on my religious background. I suppose my religious cohorts and I are more inclined to believe said studies, but they already exists and God (the one that wont be granting you any signs) does grant you the freedom to read/ignore the body of evidence in support of traditional families.

    Point is, the “No side” keeps side stepping the fact that this is a public policy issue related to how the people of California envision the future of their society. By “blaming Mormons” and saying it’s “about rights” or that “love should be all that matters” – they disregard most of the deeper “Yes” arguments related to social benefits of families (opting instead to categorize “support of the traditional family is bigotry”).

    [Editor: Would you disagree with the claim that same-sex partners who wish to have a family and raise children would derive important social benefits from the right to marry? In my view, granting the structure of marriage to more families offers more social benefits than restricting that right and making people feel that their families are not respected as being as valid as others.]

    There are lots of people who voted “Yes” who have absolutely no contention with the equal rights of gay couples; have no animosity toward their gay neighbors and fellow citizens; and who recognize many great and wonderful contributions form all members of society. It just seems (from this side of the divide) that the same level of openness and good faith are not being reciprocated. On the “yes” side – it’s actually somewhat laughable to watch the outright hypocrisy.

    [Editor: There's plenty of hypocrisy to go around on both sides.]

    Which takes us back to “they voted.” This is no longer an issue of gay marriage. Nor is it an issue of religious intolerance. It’s also no longer an issue of who contributed how much. It’s an issue of constitutional law and the right of people to vote (and have their vote counted). So, are you willing to throw all that out? Our predictable and stable democracy is the best the world has to offer. Be careful if you try to disassemble that.

    [Editor: On the other hand, the proponents of Proposition 8 are trying to overturn a ruling made by the highest court in the state which were consistent with two bills from the state legislature (vetoed by the governor). This is also trying to "disassemble" the actions of a predictable and stable government. Shall we throw out the legislatures and courts and have direct democracy for everything, or only those opinions you disagree with that protect minorities who don't have the votes to protect themselves in a general election?]

    And Mel, what’s with all the screaming? Does saying it louder make it any MORE OR LESS valid?

  151. song says:

    This has nothing to do with atheism or religion. A surprising number of churches in my local area actually are in touch with reality and opposed CA Prop 8. A surprising number of LDS opposed Prop 8 and are appalled at their church’s leadership, who conveniently eschew facts and still think homosexuality is a choice as a means to rationalize their closed-mindedness and bigotry. We in no way care to forceably change your ignorance, for that is your choice, but when your ignorance forceably denies our freedoms, we will not sit by idly.

  152. Mel says:

    THE LAST THING I NEED IS A RELIGIOUS NUT TELL ME HOW I SHOULD LIVE MY LIFE. LEAVE ME ALONE. IM NOT TELLING YOU HOW TO LIVE YOURS. I AM TELLING YOU TO LEAVE POLITICS ALONE. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO GIVE FREE ADVISE. IF CHURCH PEOPLE ADVISE WAS ANY GOOD YOU WOULD BE SELLING IT. A WHILE A GO I GOT INTO A 14 HOURS + AIR TRIP. AND I WAS SO LUCK TO HAVE ONE OF YOUR CHURCH FOLKS SEATING NEXT TO ME. AND SHE WAS SO RUDE TO TRY TO CONVERT ME. HERE I AM TRYING TO REST AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE IN SUCH A LONG TRIP AND THIS RUDE WOMAM WOULD NOT TAKE A NO AS A ANSWER. I HAD TO CHANGE SEATS SO I COULD HAVE PRIVACY. YOU GUYS ARE LUNATICS.

    [EDITOR: THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST. I REGRET THAT YOUR ENCOUNTERS WITH LDS FAITHFUL GAVE YOU A BAD IMPRESSION. IN MY EXPERIENCE, FEW MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH ARE EITHER RUDE OR LUNATICS, BUT I CAN SEE HOW YOUR EXPERIENCE GAVE YOU AN UNPLEASANT IMPRESSION OF THE CHURCH.

    P.S. I HOPE YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY IS REPAIRED SOON.]

  153. Dear Editor,

    You’ve cleverly twisted the application of the word “substantial” in your recent editorial on my post.

    The law reads “a substantial part of the activities of such organization.”

    As such, the burden of proof will be to show that the actions of the LDS church regarding Proposition 8 were a substantial part of the LDS church’s activities. It will not be to show that the actions of the LDS church had a substantial influence.

    This distinction will likely frustrate many on the “No” side, but as such – the LDS church (heavily involved in building buildings, feeding the poor, teaching their doctrines, engaging in missionary work, running youth programs, coordinating Sunday worship, visiting members, donating goods to foreign countries, etc…) did not allocate “a substantial part of its activities” (or even a substantial part of its moneys – if that matters to you) to Proposition 8.

    [Editor: As I've said before, the word "substantial" is poorly defined. According to an attorney who practices nonprofit law (http://www.simpsonthacher.com/content/Publications/Publication24_0.pdf), case law only offers two data points, from 1955 and 1974. She also writes that "The IRS has used other factors to determine substantiality: Time spent by employees and volunteers; Money spent in relation to the organization’s entire budget; The amount of publicity the organization assigns to the activity; Continuous or intermittent nature of the activity. G.C.M. 36148 (Jan. 28, 1975)."

    In terms of time spent, if every bishop in California got the reported 30 members to volunteer 4 hours per week, that would be the equivalent of over 80 full-time jobs for an entire year -- and that doesn't include internal Church employees' work. The Church has assigned more publicity to this activity than nearly any other -- how often is a letter from the First Presidency read in every Sacrament Meeting in a state? And, the activity has been continuous for over a decade, as the 1997 internal memo (linked elsewhere) demonstrates. I respect your views, and you may disagree; but I think this is substantial, and that's why I am engaging in this effort.]

  154. Mel,

    “I AM TELLING YOU TO LEAVE POLITICS ALONE.”

    And to that I ask (after chuckling at the hypocrisy – previously mentioned) – what makes your advice to me (to leave politics alone) any more or less legitimate than mine (to study and interpret for yourself the body of evidence in support of traditional families)?

    Why is it that you can you “tell me” what to do, but I can’t “tell you” what to do? Why is a person whose beliefs coincide with a religion’s teachings someone to be disregarded? This is the growing concern of religionists as this issues balloons. Why can one side (the “No” side) speak freely, while the other (the “Yes” side) is relegated to 2nd class citizenship with a lesser voice?

    How does who taught me that 2+2=4 have any direct bearing on whether or not it is actually a true statement? Just because my church taught me to value the union of a man and a woman doesn’t make it less valid. My church also taught me to avoid theft, cheating, adultery and drug abuse.

    The simple fact that I learned something at church doesn’t make it any more or less valid.

  155. Mel,

    As clarification, I meant what I said, that it makes the argument no “more or less” valid. Claiming “I learned it at church” as supporting evidence of a position is a weak argument (one which you and I would both balk at). However, claiming “because you learned it at church” as evidence against a position is equally weak (and I would balk at such a claim with equal balk-i-ness).

    The question of gay marriage and the substantive benefit it could offer society is one that should require (as in other public policy debates such as Prop 1A or Prop 10, for example) substantiating evidence generated through in-depth studies. Resorting to the “you’re a religious bigot” argument is as weak as trying to utilize the “your Godless way are ruining the world” argument.

    The sooner both sides can step away from their respective ideologies and look the issue squarely in the eye – the sooner we can settle these differences and accept the realities of a free and open democracy (then maybe we could actually focus on the common issues and find “real” solutions to our differences).

    PS – I’m starting to like the editor.

  156. Mel says:

    OK I WILL REPEAT IT FOR THE LAST TIME: TO ME RELIGION IS A WEAKNESS OF HUMAN RACE. I DO NOT BELIEVE SMART/INTELLIGENT PEOPLE HAS A RELIGION. I AM SORRY BUT I DO NOT TAKE SERIOUSLY ANYTHING THAT CHURCH PEOPLE TELLS ME. CALL ME ANYTHING YOU LIKE. I DO NOT CARE. THESE ARE MY BELIEVES AND I HAVE THIS RIGHT. YOU HAVE YOUR BELIEVES & I RESPECT IT AS LONG YOU DON’T MESS WITH MY LIFE. I DO NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAIST RELIGIOUS FOLKS. I AM ACTUALLY VERY PATIENT W/THEIR IGNORANCE. I EVEN HAD DONATED MONEY FOUR YOUR CAUSES IN THE PAST (NOT ANYMORE). I AM A AMERICAN, I WORK REALLY HARD AND I PAY ALL BILLS/TAXES. I DO NOT NEED ANY HELP FROM YOUR CHURCH (NEVER NEEDED IT). JUST DO NOT TELL ME HOW I SHOULD LIVE MY LIFE, WHO I SHOULD MARRY. I AM SORRY IF I HURT YOUR FEELINGS. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT. AND DO NOT KNOCK AT MY DOOR ASKING FOR MY MONEY.

  157. Corinthian says:

    This is the most productive blog that I have come across. I think that it constructively creates a forum where two two opposing sides with vastly fundamental differences can express their core beliefs. With that said, it is not difficult to see the anger coming to the surface in the words of those (not all) that make up the “No on 8″ side. It is consistent with what I ,and others, experienced when we had our “Yes on 8″ signs stolen, and vandalized, our cars keyed, our children cursed and had eggs thrown at us as we held up “Yes on 8″ signs. I find it difficult to understand why I and my family are being accused of being bigoted and hateful.

    Compare the two events: Last May when the Supreme Court made its ruling 5 to 4 in favor of same sex marriage, the only rallies held were the ones organized by the gay community celebrating the ruling. Keep in mind, Proposition 8 had earlier been established on April 27 2005, and was well on its way to be voted on the November 4th ballot. Were there any opponents of gay marriage hitting the streets spewing hateful words that the proponents of Proposition 8 are being accused of? No, there weren’t. Not even a trace to what we witnessed the day after Proposition 8 passed. There was vandalizing of churches and the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. because they have members that showed support for Prop 8. Honestly, if it would have been just the people of faith that voted for Proposition 8 in California, it would not have passed. In fact, people of faith were the minority in the final tally of 5,668,960 in favor of Proposition 8. I think that traffic on California streets would be a lot different if there were that many people going to church every sunday morning. But where does that fact leave the opponents of Proposition 8? Who can you file your IRS form against then?

    I read through the comments from the Editor on my original response on this blog. He seemed to assume that I was accusing him/her of having violent motives. In that posting I was addressing the events of vandalism, theft, spewing of hateful words, throwing eggs and whipping the finger to supporters and their children. Even the point of this website is to generate an attempt to drum up support from the disappointment of the loss experienced on election day can be interpreted as yet another aggressive act.

    During Segregation, every church supported the Civil Rights movement. Peaceful protest was met with the aggression of hateful people. A number of different comments from different people have essentially stated that marriage primarily, but not always, serves the purpose of the natural creation of families. I wonder what would happen to us and our families if we decided to conduct a peaceful march expressing our position on marriage through the streets of San Francisco or West Los Angeles?

    This creates a terrible stand off between the two sides. Let’s stop it now.

  158. Corinthian says:

    Finally, a relationship with Jesus Christ is a personal relationship between you and our creator. God does not hate you and he is not angry at you. Whether you believe in him or not (The Editor, and Mel) he loves you, he has a plan for your life and he knows you by name. He was tortured and murdered to cover my sins and yours so that we could have this polite conversation. We are not divided but we are united in Christ. The Bible was meant to be a mirror not a spear. We are supposed to use it to translate ourselves, not others. It’s words are meant to speak to your heart before your mind. Anyone that is reading this is more than likely reading this alone and you are like any one else who is hurting inside. No one is watching, trust me. Except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It will be just between you and him. No one else will know. Accept him into your heart and he will heal you from the pain that we all suffer from. Email me at Bringthefamily@aol.com and give me a chance to pray with you. I am a believer and you may not be but that doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. Give God just ONE MORE CHANCED to enter your heart and your life. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

    Accept Jesus into your heart and he will set you free.

  159. Sulo says:

    As a lawyer I’d say that you will have a problem with “substantial part of the activities ” part of the legislation. The church is much bigger and does various different activities involving millions of members and billions of dollars in donations. This prop 8 campaign was in no means “substantial”. Gay marriage is very much a minor issue in comparison and the church only issued a statement of support to prop 8 and encouraged members to do “all it can”.

  160. Gunk says:

    This isn’t necessarily targeted towards the editor of this blog, but more towards the posters on here. According to the FBI, hate crimes directed at sexual orientation are about equal to hate crimes committed against religious beliefs. The stat is similar for California. So, I think the Mormons are very familiar with the taste of being “singled out,” or at least as familiar with it as homosexuals are.

    Many Mormons in California prefer not to be “open” about their religious beliefs because of the backlash. You don’t see national television shows and nationally distributed movies mocking homosexuality, but you do see such TV shows mocking Mormons winning awards. Gay activists wouldn’t think twice about standing outside a Jewish synagogue with signs reading “Jews are Wrong & Unfair,” but it’s completely justifiable and necessary to stand outside a Mormon temple with signs reading “Mormons are Wrong & Unfair.”

    You accuse Mormons of hypocrisy, look at yourself.

  161. Mel says:

    I WILL NOT CHANGE MY BELIEVES UNTIL YOUR “GOD” COMES TALK TO ME. THAT IS THE ONLY CHANCE I WILL GIVE TO YOUR INVISIBLE/GHOST “GOD”. TO ME THIS IS NOT A GAY ISSUE. I AM TIRED OF SEEING THE CHURCHES MANIPULATING POLITICS, NOT ONLY IN CIVIL RIGHTS BUT MANY OTHER ISSUES. LET PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR LIVES. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO THEIR FREEDOM. IT IS ABOUT TIME TO SEPARATE CHURCH & POLITICS.

  162. pixel105 says:

    Keep in mind that the Mormon Church is a CULT and their members think like CULTISTS. You might be surprised to know that most polygamists are more open-minded than Mormons, and more intelligent. Mormons will
    wake up when they’re leaders tell them to and not a day sooner. Like
    polygamists, Mormons do exactly what they’re told to do.

    Go after their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, like the gov’t threatened to
    do when Mormons refused to give blacks the priesthood. Hit Mormons in
    their pocket books, they’re very vain and very greedy. And very very
    delusional. DON’T BLAME THE VICTIMS – GO AFTER THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE.

    Mormons spend 20 million on Prop 8 and not a penny to help women and children escaping polygamy – pretty dumb, right. That’s because their leaders want to be in the SPOTLIGHT, they’re very NARCISSISTIC. THEY WANT TO RECRUIT MORE MEMBERS TO PAY TITHING – they’re going for the Palin crowd, the bigots, the haters. It’s all about MONEY. Check out this clip: http://www.bankingonheaven.com/

  163. Mel says:

    HOW CAN A “GOD” CAN LOVE YOU OR HATE YOU IF HE DOES NOT EXIST? WHY DON’T YOU GUYS ASK YOUR “GOD” TO SHOW UP. MAYBE PEOPLE WILL TAKE YOUR CAUSE SERIOUSLY. SORRY BUT IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE IN GHOSTS.

  164. Spencer says:

    Good idea, let’s make it so the Mormons have to pay taxes. Do you think that will really hurt the Mormon Church? The Church owns billions of dollars worth of securities and receives billions of dollars worth of charitable contributions each year. What do they do with all that money. The tithing (a portion of the contributions) go toward giving away copies of The Book of Mormon, building temples and meeting houses and maintaining those buildings. The fast offerings (another portion of the contributions) and much of the money they make from their securities goes toward what? Ask the people of New Orleans, or ask the victims of the tsunami in Asia. If the Church was required to pay taxes they would do so, and not much would change in the operation of regular church functions. The losers would be the next victims of a natural disaster when Mormon volunteers and the millions and millions of Mormon money don’t show up to help out. That sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?

  165. Mel says:

    OF COURSE IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. THE REASON THEY DON’T LIKE GAYS IS BECAUSE GAYS DO NO PROCREATE. SO ITS LESS PEOPLE FOR THEY TO TRY TO CONVERT. I TS LESS PEOPLE THAT GIVES MONEY FOR THEIR CHURCH (JUST LIKE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH). IF GAY PEOPLE COULD HAVE CHILDREN THEY WOULD LOOK AT GAYS DIFFERENTLY. THEIR RELIGION IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. THEY ARE ALWAYS ASKING FOR YOUR MONEY. THAT IS ONE OF THE REASON THAT I DON’T BELIEVE IN RELIGION.

  166. Shawn says:

    Pixel and Mel, if it’s all about money, I would like you to explain to me how individual members or leaders of the church benefit from all that money? The clergy is made up of unpaid, lay members. Only the General Authorities are reimbursed in any way, and this because they are asked to leave their careers behind to serve full-time. Again, if it’s all about money, please explain to me who benefits from it.

  167. David says:

    Yes, this is really a good approach to this. The LDS Church is clearly doing this for profit, which would mean that it shouldn’t be given the tax benefits of other non-profits. I mean, think about all of the money the church will get from the passing of this proposition… it’s just incredible. I mean, the LDS church really doesn’t do any good with the money it has, so we might as well take that money away. Similarly, other non-profits like Greenpeace use money and propaganda to further their legislation for environmentalism. We should take away their tax exempt status too. In fact, I think that under this reasoning we should be able to take away the “non-profit” status from a whole lot of organizations. Yes…that would definitely be the best use of our time.

  168. Mel says:

    THEN STOP ASKING FOR MONEY AND JUST PRAY

  169. Shawn says:

    So….quick time out…..

    I’ve appreciated the dialogue on this blog. The majority of both sides have been respectful and thoughtful. I’ve learned a lot from all of you, and hopefully I’ve shed some light on the situation from the other point of view.

    But honestly, TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK!!!!

    Time in.

  170. Linda says:

    I think it’s curious to watch all the negativity about a group that simply proved to be excellent “community organizers.” :)

    Latter-day Saints prove this in many cases – in being first on the scene after Hurricane Katrina and many other national and local disasters with their bright yellow Helping Hands T-shirts, helping to clean up flooding and passing out food, sanitary and cleaning supplies, comfort kits, blankets, and so on. Canneries and food banks routinely provide necessities of life to the poor, every day, all across this nation and the world. These large humanitarian efforts are well-documented and can be easily tracked in the news.

    I doubt anyone so helped would complain, feel offended, or refuse the help offered if they thought the volunteeers were “only there” because their Prophet “asked them to,” and were doing what they thought was right in the eyes of God.

    I also doubt the IRS will care about the stated argument here that members felt “obligated” to donate due to their commitment to their religious beliefs, and that that is why the $20 mil figure was raised. It may be true; but I doubt the IRS will take that into consideration. There were no threats of retaliation or loss of membership or any such thing, either stated or implied, in the letter read to members in California. Whether individual members “felt” threatened or obligated to participate is inconsequential. It is clear that all participation, monetary and otherwise, was strictly voluntary, and no member was forced or coerced against their will to contribute funds, hold signs, or even to vote “yes.”

    That said, I doubt the government would mind at all getting their hands on the tidy sum that would come to them if the tax-exempt status were removed.

    I also doubt the government would make as efficicacious use of that money for the good of all humanity as the LDS Church does.

    I feel such a thing would necessarily dampen worldwide humanitarian efforts, and fewer people would be helped overall; fewer babies immunized against measles and other diseases in third-world countries, fewer earthquake victims sheltered, fed, and clothed, fewer poor given the necessities of life.

    This could easily result in many deaths which would otherwise have been prevented.
    Thus the fight for retaliation, even if won, will wind up hurting many who need genuine, life-saving assistance.

    I don’t intend to downplay the seriousness of the emotions of those in gay relationships who are aggrieved about the outcome of the vote.

    Even so, I feel that such an attempt to damage the overall power of a large world organization to assist all of humanity, whose positive efforts to help world causes of great need are public and well-known, is somewhat petty and counterproductive to those with far greater basic human needs–needs that mean the difference between life and death–than an official stamp of approval on a piece of paper.

    I doubt there’s a legal leg to stand on, anyway, but, be my guest; you have the right to complain all you want. It’s great that we live in a free country.

    Just please consider the far-reaching consequences, should you obtain your objective.

  171. jash says:

    i think some of you are missing the bigger picture here. if the lds lost it’s tax exempt status, the donations from members would no longer be deductable.
    ;)

  172. Shawn says:

    [Mel Says: THEN STOP ASKING FOR MONEY AND PRAY.]

    Why should the church stop asking for money? It costs money to build houses of worship, to publish books, to support missionaries, to provide food for the poor, and to give emergency relief to victims of natural disasters. The church (and churches in general) has proven to be much more effective at this than the government.

    I am personally thankful for tithes and offersings, as it provides an opportunity for me to serve my fellow men and to show God that I am willing to sacrifice to further His work. Argue that all you want, but try to do it without sounding bigoted.

  173. David says:

    pixel105,

    You are so right! I mean, most religions are about money.

    For example, look at the Jews. They always seem to be earning a lot of money. I mean, it’s just not fair how they were really rich back when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression era. Government should’ve really stepped in there and singled them out, forced them out of society or made them work for free.

    It was clearly all because of their religion. I agree with you pixel105–Mormons should be forced to go to restricted areas (we could call them “Ghettos”) and wear little gold Angel Moronis stitched to their lapels. We could make them work for free, live in hovels and eventually plot their genocide. We really need to get rid of bigots like them and that seems the most sensible way.

    I know this is absurd, but I’m just trying to point out that this is where thinking like this leads. Instead of trying to understand the LDS point of view, you are simply attacking without thinking–and that is very dangerous. Pixel105, try a little experiment, take a deep breath and see if you can understand what would motivate a group of people to want to define marriage as between a man and a woman, especially when the legal protections and obligations of marriage are already given in California to any domestic partnerships. So, if it’s not about legal protections or rights, was is it about? The only logical conclusion is that it’s about social acceptance. Isn’t that what this is really about: that gays in relationships want to feel accepted in society?

    But government isn’t supposed to say what groups should or should not be socially acceptable, because that is up to society. Government shouldn’t tell people how to think or what to think and it definitely shouldn’t prevent people from saying what they want, regardless of how hurtful it might be to others.

    So, if groups in society decide that certain behaviors are wrong, they should be allowed to decide that. And if groups says hateful or hurtful things, they should be allowed to say them. Isn’t it great that gays and lesbians can yell and scream about how religious groups are bigots and not be arrested for it? In the same turn, shouldn’t the religious be allowed to condemn homosexual relations as wrong without legal consequences? Why is it that some people today think the one is wrong, while the other is right? Under the law, they should both be permitted and encouraged.

  174. Mike says:

    I hope you guys aren’t disappointed when this doesn’t work;

    ● Religious leaders have the right to educate members of their congregation about Proposition 8 (the California Marriage Protection Act). Under the federal tax code, religious leaders may speak freely and forcefully on important issues of public policy, including Proposition 8 which, if successful, will reverse the State Supreme Court’s recent same-sex “marriage” decision. Pastors and other religious leaders have the right to discuss legislative issues, support or oppose legislation, encourage their members to support or oppose legislation, and offer facts and materials about important legislation as long as the information is educational and is not designed to support a particular political party or candidate. Tax exempt religious organizations may lawfully spend an “insubstantial” amount of their funds yearly on issue lobbying for Proposition 8. An insubstantial amount is generally less than 10% of organizational resources1.

    http://protectmarriage.com/files/JOINT_STATEMENT_PASTORS_AND_CHURCHES.pdf

  175. Mel says:

    THEN STOP USING YOUR MONEY TO MANIPULATE POLITICS. I SAW YOUR TV ADS. I HAVE BEEN TO PRIMARY, HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY. I WAS NEVER TOLD ANYTHING ABOUT MARRIAGE AND THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO MARRY SO AND SO. I MEAN I WAS NEVER TOLD TO MARRY PERIOD. I DID NOT GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN ABOUT MARRIAGE. I WENT TO SCHOOL TO LEARN AND GET EDUCATED. THOSE ADS WERE MADE TO MANIPULATE PEOPLE/POLITICS AND MOST OF THAT MONEY CAME FROM YOUR CHURCHES AND THEY WERE ALL BASED ON LIES. JUST LIKE YOUR RELIGION.

  176. Bo says:

    If any non-church people have the illusion that people are free to leave any church they attend, THINK AGAIN.
    The children are brain-washed into the church doctrine starting at age 5.
    Can you imagine a child telling their parents they’re lying to them ?
    Or a parent saying to the child they were wrong ?
    They are all pressured to keep it going from generation to generation.
    So the hate keeps getting passed on .
    The money is key . It mostly goes into making more money . IF ANY SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE WENT TO HUMANITARIAN CAUSES, THE CHURCH WOULD NOT KEEP SECRET EXACTLY WHERE THE DONATION MONEY GOES.
    Show that and some might leave.
    More important, the leaders who pocket the Tithe won’t hang around when the Gravy Train leaves.

  177. prop8discussion says:

    Is raising a child brainwashing? because that is what you are talking about. School would also be brainwashing. Piano lessons. Swim team. Any situation where teaching occurs would be brainwashing.

    Every person is allowed to choose. Religions teach doctrine. People can choose. Children are not manipulated. They are simply taught what their parents believe is right and good. As they grow up their beliefs are questioned and they have a choice. Should children be raised by the state?

    How exactly does the church keep the money secret? My tithes go to help the poor in my church. It would be rude and impolite to tell me exactly what for and why. That isn’t my business– it’s the dignity of confidentiality.

    the church aslo has to account for every penny turned in– to the IRS.

    And as for offerings:

    http://www.lds.org/humanitarianservices/0,19749,6208,00.html

  178. Mel says:

    MOST OF THRE DONATION MONEY GOES TO THEIR NEEDS NOT FOR THE PEOPLE IN GENERAL. THATS ANOTHER OF THIEIR LIES. ANOTHER REASON WHY I DO NOT HAVE A RELIGION. THEY LIE TOO MUCH.

  179. Corinthian says:

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow
    Praise him all creatures here below
    Praise him above ye heavenly hosts
    Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

    Amen

  180. Bo says:

    When you teach a child that something is fact when it is not , I would call that brainwashing.
    The dictionary says it is ”any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person ”.
    Having UPS deliver 1 cargo plane of grain hardly accounts for 5 Billion dollars a year in Mormon Tithe income.

    Rude to ASK where the money goes ???

    ASK and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you >>>>> Matthew 7:7

    And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true;
    and if ye shall ASK with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. >>> Moroni 10:4

  181. Corinthian says:

    Thank you Bo

    You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
    14″You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

    Mel, Editor are there any scriptures that you would like to add, Now this blog is starting to get somewhere!

  182. Shawn says:

    [Bo says: The dictionary says it (brainwashing) is ”any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person "]

    Sounds like what the homosexual movement is trying to do to all of society.

  183. Shawn says:

    [Mel Says: MOST OF THAT MONEY CAME FROM YOUR CHURCHES]

    Stop spreading this lie. That is blatantly dishonest, which is quite hypocritical considering your claim. Money from the church was NOT spent on these ads. Money came from private citizens, which they have every right to do.

    [Editor: You are technically correct. The LDS church only directly donated in-kind travel expenses; its members funded the ads -- one of which featured the grandson of a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Mel's common misunderstanding stems from the fact that over 50% of the donations to ProtectMarriage.org after 29 June 2008 came from Church members responding to President Monson's call to action and subsequent fundraising efforts by church and local leaders. I've updated Common Misunderstandings accordingly.]

  184. Shawn says:

    [Mel Says: MOST OF THRE DONATION MONEY GOES TO THEIR NEEDS NOT FOR THE PEOPLE IN GENERAL. THATS ANOTHER OF THIEIR LIES. ANOTHER REASON WHY I DO NOT HAVE A RELIGION. THEY LIE TOO MUCH.]

    Link? Or is this just another lie you’re hypocritically spreading while calling out others for being dishonest? Honestly, your hypocrisy is unbelievable.

    [Editor: I don't want to be an apologist for other misunderstandings, but... It is true that the majority of donations to the LDS Church provide for Church activities, property, and services to its own members. Looking at the published statistics, the Church's worldwide humanitarian aid since 1985 amounted to $750M. There's no question it spent many times that amount on internal Church purposes. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.]

  185. Angel says:

    where can I find good articles about the mormon involvement in the passing of Prop 8 to include in my complaint to the IRS?

    I would prefer articles from reputable sources that state facts that can be verified and which are not too inflammatory in nature if possible.

    Any ideas?

  186. Mel says:

    Here, this my reality! All religions are guided by a God or some type of power that I myself never saw. There Bible are written by human beings. I always did respect your believes & never done anything against your cause & I know that Gays can also be religious & go to church just like the straight ones. But How dare you mix your religious believes with my rights & politics, or the right of any other human been. Shame on you. And stop try to sugar coat me w/that annoying pray. That doesn’t work anymore. Yes I am angry. My rights were taking away because of the manipulation of the your Church. I am a American & I pay taxes. Am I Crazy? What kind of Society do I live in?.

  187. Bo says:

    Angel >> The Los Angeles Times >> http://www.latimes.com/
    or any big Caifornia Newpaper site.

    The Monson letter is on the LDS website >>http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/california-and-same-sex-marriage

    Monson said ;
    We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage .

    Now if their ”prophet” said it to the members then it was a direction from the church to the members from God. So don’t say it was the members that fought Prop 8 and not the church . They were just following orders . { Wasn’t that what the Nazis said ? }

    Now Monson says >> It is important to understand that this issue for the church has always been about the sacred and divine institution of marriage — a union between a man and a woman. Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the church were and are simply wrong.
    Dictionary says >>
    A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding state of mind. Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false or not universally applicable or acceptable.
    The origin of the word bigot and bigoterie in English dates back to at least 1598, via Middle French, and started with the sense of “religious hypocrite”, especially a woman

  188. Daniel says:

    Sadly, the FAX number hasn’t been working for the past few days. It just rings and rings, then gives you a busy tone after 15 or so rings.

    [Editor: I bet it ran out of paper. Thousands of people have downloaded the PDF already.]

  189. Lesley Lurie says:

    My wife and I cried at the passage of prop 8. We felt like we had been kicked in the gut and still feel that way. We have been together 8 years and have a two year old son. We are in every way a family. We got married a month ago. What the LDS and other Prop 8 supporters assume is that with a civil union we still have the same rights as a marriage this is not true. By stripping up of our marriage and the rights inherent in that marriage they have made our family vulnerable. That is why there is such a strong reaction. We are trying to protect our families. I was particularly surprised at the LDS church and its followers. I have always found them to be wonderful, friendly people that I would be happy to spend time with. It’s tough to go into work and wonder who among my coworker felt we had no right to be married,to be happy, to have the protections they take for granted. Who would be so heartless? I know there are many misconceptions about what it means to be gay and what it means to be a gay family. I fear for my son growing up in a culture where there is so little tolerance for our differences. My view of the LDS church is forever tainted which is a real pity. We often see the young kids come riding by our home on their bikes. We are not Mormon and are happy with our beliefs but I used to offer them a cold drink and send them on their way with a smile. They are no longer welcome in our home, they now represent a force that believes they can bully their view of the world onto us and endanger our families. We will continue to fight for our rights in every way we can to be able to protect our families.

    [Editor: One of the reasons I made this blog is because of the damage the LDS Church did to its reputation and missionary efforts by supporting Prop 8 so vigorously. I hope that someday the wounds can heal and you are able to welcome the missionaries to your home again. The beginning of your poignant post touched my heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.]

  190. Bo says:

    Best wishes Lesley . I had the missionaries over tonight. [uninvited ].
    I have stuck around the church to plant seeds like the true story I told them tonight.
    It’s below >>

    I took a delivery to a hospital the day after the U.S. election. It was late and very quiet. As I left, I passed a television in the lobby. Barack Obama appeared on the TV. One of the hospital cleaning ladies{ an old black woman }saw him and said softly “Obama”. She said it with the tone of Thomas Monson saying ” heavenly father ” . The emotion in her voice carried the joy and hope of an entire race of people past and present, of the possible advance towards a day when the ; hate, persecution, and oppression of any kind of people will be gone and ALL people will have the human right to do anything anyone else can do .

  191. zebostoneleigh says:

    Mel,

    I don’t want your money. Churches don’t need your money. If someone asks for your money, “just say no.” I completely and fully accept your rejection of organized religion. I agree that many religions have led humankind to devastating ends. You’ve made that perfection clear, and I respect that view. No one from my church will ever ask you for money (but they’ll likely take it if you offer it). Enough about churches “asking for your money.”

    If there is a God, I think he speaks to some people (and maybe not to others). If he talks to me, I’ll keep it to myself – since I’d assume he was telling “me” something (and if he wanted to “tell” you something he would do it himself). Of course, it would help to be listening if/when he ever talks. Enough about who God has talked to or will talk to.

    Various people contributed to the “Yes” side and others contributed to the “No” side. Both campaigns put up solid information campaigns (and frankly: both sides put up some misinformation as well). Both sides had numerous donors; both sides had “average, normal, everyday” people volunteering their time as a token of support for their chosen side. Both sides had secularists, and religionists among their ranks. Both sides have smart, accomplished, well-informed representatives from education, government, medicine, and religion supporting their views. Enough about who supports which side.

    So, if we’re done talking about God, money, organizations, and the who’s who of Prop 8… Let’s actually talk about Prop 8. And now that it has passed, let’s also talk about the role of democracy in US public policy; let’s talk about the voice of the people. Then, let’s talk about the perceived value (or lack thereof) of specific child rearing traditions.

    This isn’t about “who’s the bigger jerk” or “which side spent more money” or about “which side has a cooler logo” or about “which campaign had the highest profile celebrity enforcements” or even “who looks like the smaller – and therefore more oppressed – minority.” And of course, my favorite – “Are Californians going to let a freak-a-zoid church dictate their future” (when 5+ million Californians, most of them not members of said Freak-a-zioid church) are the ones “dictating” what they hope for California.

    This is a public policy debate and the “No” side seems more than willing to talk about anything and everything EXCEPT the issues directly related to public policy. Proposition 8 is founded in the beliefs of those who trust and respect the numerous studies showing the societal value of encouraging traditional marriage.

    I suspect there are also some who support it for less than noble reasons. I have met people that likely fit into that category. But again, the issue is not “who supports it: churches, bigots, or average people.” The issues (the debatable issues) are
    1) do the studies related to family life conclusively show a relation between strong families and strong society
    2) do dual-gender families tend (statistically) to offer better chances for strength and stability
    3) is it possible for our government to support such beneficial unions (by, among other things, designating their creation by a specific term) without degrading and infringing on the universally accepted rights of all citizens
    4) are there substantial arguments that “marraige” as an institution elevates any member of society above another?

    But more troubling, now that Prop 8 has passed, are the long range implications of invalidating the vote of the people. The time to sway opinion on this matter was last month. The time to donate resources and efforts to convince the populous of the errors of the “Yes” side are behind us… or at least they should be (if we truly value the concept of a free-democracy). As we look outward to the rest of the world (condemning some nations for disenfranchising their own electorate) – we must now stop to consider how we are on the verge of attempting the same here at home.

    If a 52% vote (the second on the same issue) can be overturned by the courts, what purpose is there in campaigning or voting in the first place? What faith will the electorate have than their voice can ever be heard? What value will citizens place in the “freedom to vote” if they know their votes can’t coun’t (or won’t count if a vocal and pricey campaign is waged against them)? This year it’s 52%, but who’s to say a court won’t overturn a 65% vote next time, or a 83% vote the next time, and then a 96% vote the last time (leaving a 4% minority ruling the state or the nation)?

    My point is that gracefully accepting defeat and starting a new battle is the democratic and civil approach to “upholding and sustaining the law.”

    Like I said, this isn’t about God, or money, or ignorance, or bigotry. And now, it’s not even about gay marriage. It’s about the future of a meaningful democracy in California. The question people need to start asking is, “Do I care more about the underpinnings of my state and federal government: democracy (even when I’m outvoted) or more about gay marriage?”

    It’s time we all stopped hiding behind the “Mormons and all the other religious cults and ignoramuses” and started talking (and debating) the real issues of Prop 8. Oh wait, not it’s not. That time has already passed (on election day).

    Now, it’s time to see how many of us really believe in democracy. Much like prohibition many years ago (another controversial public policy – which ample support on both sides), we still have the opportunity to rethink this issue in a civil and orderly manner. Another amendment to the constitution (to repeal Prop 8) is a more than suitable tribute to democracy AND gay marriage. We need not pick one over the other.

  192. zebostoneleigh says:

    Sorry to everyone for the typographical errors in my posts. I tend to type quickly, proof-read poorly, and send prematurely. I also do it all late at night when I ought to be asleep, but instead I’m up posting on a thread – obviously a bit overly-concerned about if/how/when Mel (and the rest of the “No on Prop 8 supporters) will recognize that this never was (and certainly isn’t) about hatred, bigotry, or belittling people different than ourselves (speaking as a “Yes on Prop 8 supporter).

    Somehow, I doubt I’ll have much influence, but I tire of hearing all the negative misinformation about me: a supporter of Prop 8. I know who I am and what I think, and therefore I know much of what has been said about me (and my cohorts) is simply untrue.

  193. Lianne says:

    My belief is that “good works” means that no one has to agree with a set of religious dogma in order to receive the benefit. For me, then, these churches are not doing “good works” and therefore do not deserve to receive tax exempt status. “Humanitarian efforts” means that they don’t get to demand adherence to their particular dogma. Otherwise, it’s just a form of recruitment for their “faith.”

  194. sam says:

    Better revoke the tax exempt status of the 100 or so churches that donated money to the no on 8 campaign too. Or are we just going to single out one of the many churches that took part in this debate for acting exactly the same as hundreds of others?

  195. Shawn says:

    Sam, you hit the nail on the head. The gay movement doesn’t care if religions are involved in the political process, so long as the churches are on their side. They want to find a way to funnel their anger and put a face on the opponent, and so the LDS church was the easy target. I find that incredibly dishonest. In addition, the real anger is that the church was so much more effective in rallying the troops than the “no on 8″ crowd was. The real anger should be directed at themselves.

  196. song says:

    Hating hate is not hate. Not tolerating intolerance is not intolerance. Someone pushed first. Homosexuality was accepted, viable, and was not demonized until these Abrahamic religions came about.

  197. Chris says:

    The IRS provided fax number and e-mail address are not working at this time … STRANGE? Try this fax number 215-516-2555

  198. Corinthian says:

    It is not difficult to see the anger coming to the surface in the words of those (not all, but most) that make up the “No on 8″ side. Especially those who are gay or or lesbian and feel as though there rights have been taken from them. The results of Proposition 8 are identical the results from Proposition 22 in the 2000 ballot. Time and again we are seeing the reaction that can be defined as a person who exhibits the type of personality traits called “Projecting” behavior patterns. Meaning, when a person is having to face the reality of their own actions from a person or group of people they retaliate by accusing their confronters of being guilty of the same behavior. That is why the people who voted “Yes” for Proposition 8 are being called hateful and bigoted. It is consistent with what I ,and others, experienced when we had our “Yes on 8″ signs stolen, and vandalized, our cars keyed, our children cursed and had eggs thrown at us as we held up “Yes on 8″ signs. I find it difficult to understand why I and my family are being accused of being hateful and bigoted.
    Compare the two events: Last May when the Supreme Court made its ruling 5 to 4 in favor of same sex marriage, the only rallies held were the ones organized by the gay community celebrating the ruling. Keep in mind, Proposition 8 had earlier been established on April 27 2005, and was well on its way to be voted on the November 4th ballot. Were there any opponents of gay marriage hitting the streets spewing hateful words that the proponents of Proposition 8 are being accused of? No, there weren’t. Not even a trace to what we witnessed the day after Proposition 8 passed. There was vandalizing of churches and the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. because they have members that showed support for Prop 8. Honestly, if it would have been just the people of faith that voted for Proposition 8 in California, it would not have passed. In fact, people of faith were the minority in the final tally of 5,668,960 in favor of Proposition 8. I think that traffic on California streets would be a lot different if there were that many people going to church every sunday morning. But where does that fact leave the opponents of Proposition 8? Who can you file your IRS form against then? The point of this website is to generate an attempt to drum up support from the disappointment of the loss experienced on election day can only be interpreted as yet another aggressive act.
    During Segregation, every church supported the Civil Rights movement. Peaceful protest was met with the aggression of hateful people. A number of different comments from different people have essentially stated that marriage primarily, but not always, serves the purpose of the natural creation of families. I wonder what would happen to us and our families if we decided to conduct a peaceful march expressing our position on marriage through the streets of San Francisco or West Los Angeles?

  199. Craig says:

    This saturday, November 15th, there will be a national public protest. You can find more information here: http://jointheimpact.com/

    This isn’t just for Californians, but for the entire United States. Protest locations are posted on the site, along with more details.

  200. Corinthian says:

    Thank you Craig. I rest my case.

  201. GO says:

    Great information – I’m getting my completed forms in the mail today and helped two other people do the same.

    Is there any way you could provide the same sort of information for the other groups who helped to pass prop 8: Knights of columbus (501c8) and  Focus on the Family (501c3) Focus on Family Action (501c4)?

  202. Drew M. says:

    QUESTION:

    Are the ‘Knights of Columbus’ also a tax-exempt organization? A lot of money came from them for Prop 8 as well. I think we should design a system of complaining and after we finish with the Morman church, we should start filing complaints against EVERY tax-exempt religious organization who attempts to influence politics. I know my church I grew up in, the preachers would tell us we were going to hell if we didnt vote for George Bush, I think we should go after ALL of them. Im ready to start FIGHTING the church, but being victimized but FIGHTING!!!

    Drew

  203. colin says:

    Pages 5 and 6 make it very clear that:

    ‘A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative
    body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.’

    Pretty clear to me that the Mormon church meets that hurdle. Here’s hoping their status is in jeopardy.

  204. jash says:

    check out the donors to prop hate!

    http://antigayblacklist.com/

  205. Kelton Baker says:

    Some people really have a distorted view of separation of church and state. The First Ammendment’s “Congress shall make no law…” certainly does not mean religious people must not have religious opinions in order to participate in the democratic process.

    Next, an economics lesson: being tax-exempt does not necessarily mean taxpayers are subsidizing or supporting the institution, it means those who donate aren’t seeing donated money taxed twice. The absense of a tax does not automatically constitute a subsidy, just because I’m not being taxed for every breath I take does not mean taxpayers are subsidizing my breathing.

    Lastly, I have to stand with Dan who wrote on Nov. 6 about this retaliation against the LDS people with ugly comments, threats of legal action, desecration of holy sites, and even some threats of violence out there is only serving to reinforce the thought that you hate them “…which is what they were afraid of before this all began”.

  206. Kelton Baker says:

    One more comment… there’s been a long-standing tradition of political candidates being invited to speak at churches. Gasp! “Separation of Church and State” some people cry (from having the wrong idea of what that means)

    Well, all you people who think churches should have no place in political debate also ought to be outraged over that, right?
    Think about this: when McCain and Obabma debated at Saddleback Church a few weeks ago, 3rd-party candidate were excluded –that’s influencing an election, for sure! Isn’t it? Sounds like you’ve got more letters to busy yourself with!

  207. Laura says:

    Hi, I would like to take a few moments to let you know some things. I am a Mormon and I did not support prop 8.

    I think it is very unfair to deny people rights that not only did they already have, but should have had in the first place. While I think that anyone should be allowed to get married whether heterosexual or not, it is in the church’s first ammendment rights to believe otherwise. When the prop gets overturned (as I’m sure it will) I doubt that the LDS church will NEED to marry homosexual couples. And lets face it, what homosexual couple would want to be married by the LDS church anyway? There are hundreds of places to get married in California.

    Churches have a right to make their beliefs known. The Catholic church speaks out against abortion time and time again. And makes donations to that.

    And I won’t argue that sadly many Mormons in California did contribute to raising money in support of passing prop 8. However, if you look at your statistics, it wasn’t the “Mormons” who caused the prop to pass. It was the voters of California – and as far as exit polls are concerned, most of them were african american and hispanic voters – the same people that voted for our new President. Yet, I see that people are not protesting at minority stores and catholic churches.

    I am deeply sorry for the passage of prop 8, but I think that targeting the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a situation of the pot calling the kettle black. Show people that the gay and lesbian community does not practice discrimination and look to the legal system that has been in place in this country for years to get something accomplished and your voice heard.

    A better way to devote your time and energies is to have Congress take a stand. Because marriage is not a state issue, it’s a national one. Do you think that just because you live in California and go visit Vegas your marriage shouldn’t be recognized? Or what about people that get married in Boston and visit New York City. Marriage crosses state lines. I feel you will have much more to gain if you focus on this instead of trying to take on an institution about a tax exempt status, when frankly the law is not on your side. If anything it will get tied up in the court system for years – and in the end even if they do get their tax exempt status taken away how is that going to help you in your ultimate goal of allowing marriage for everyone?

  208. ebizzle says:

    Lets say that the Prop 8 did not pass. One person who is gay but never confesses it joins the church. Another man who is also gay joins the church. They are active members for one year and then decide that they want to get married in the temple. The church says no, can they sue the church for discrimination? Also, I heard in Canada, one man wanted to marry is dog, they were deeply in love. So where does it stop? This activity goes against the churches belief and they have right to tell their believers what they believe in. In the proclamation to the family which was made about 14 years ago stated that marriage was between one and one woman. I mean I see this assault on the church as more as a personal hatred towards the church rather than seeking a political cause. If you feel unhappy with prop 8, write you congress man, don’t try to destroy a religion which has done so good in this world. Just because they don’t follow your beliefs that makes them evil. Also, the people of California never wanted Gay marriage, a judge imposed it on them, just how it hase emerged in every other state. A majority of people do not believe in gay marriage… It is judges who have an agenda that impose it on the people. To the editor, you know how the judges work in the Book of Mormon…they eventually have their agendas too.

  209. Thomas says:

    BYU produces a lot of CPAs who end up their lives in “Big Four” accounting firms as big accounting firms love them. The reason is that Mormons can’t change their jobs easily as they tend to have a lot of kids. They end up with lots of money, power and influence over the U.S. politics, economy and our basic human rights…….. It’s a shame!!!

    Therefore, it is very difficult to tax this church with its strong support from its followers.

  210. Shawn says:

    [Thomas says: BYU produces a lot of CPAs who end up their lives in “Big Four” accounting firms as big accounting firms love them. The reason is that Mormons can’t change their jobs easily as they tend to have a lot of kids. They end up with lots of money, power and influence over the U.S. politics, economy and our basic human rights…….. It’s a shame!!!

    Therefore, it is very difficult to tax this church with its strong support from its followers.]

    Holy non-sequitur.

  211. Damian says:

    ebizzle, shut the hell up. You’re an ignorant troll. Do three seconds of reading and find out why you’re wrong on every single thing you said.

    Troll.

  212. Christopher says:

    LDS only voted to let African Americans into their Priesthood in 1978!! 1978!!! As a 12 year old I had a two hour discussion with my Bishop about how wrong I thought that (and gay rights issues) were and ultimately left the church over it’s discrimination. Why would i want my tax dollars (unpaid taxes) to go toward that agenda?

  213. jasejenkins says:

    It is clear by the editors comments that he is lying to himself when he says he does not hate the mormon church. he has some deep felt “oh, I love the mormon church” and then throws in a snide comment that makes it clear hes a hater. I have plenty of mormon friends and this is rediculous that people are targeting them. With all that said, I am forwarding this to everyone I think will fill it out. What a great practical joke on someone – here fill this out, its a grass roots movement. The truth is the church has excellent legal advisors and they know they were well within their rights to participate. Also, you can’t fault a church for telling members to get involved. My church in Georgia (I won’t mention the name – I don’t them to get slapped by the IRS) sent around the collection plate to donate to prop 8 and asked us to personally make additional donations.

  214. jasejenkins says:

    Oh, and my evil mormon friend just told me somthing that fits this editor well – “you can leave the church, but you can never leave it alone.”

  215. Sam Vlahos says:

    Enough is enough dammit! There is still a difference between CHURCH and STATE. LDS should not have the power to rule over the prop 8 issue or any Civil matter That is, By law, BUTT THE HELL OUT!!!!

  216. Lesley Lurie says:

    A couple of comments for you

    In the supreme court ruling, the justices explicitly stated that no church would be required to perform a gay marriage against their wishes. This is just another one of the fear tactics the Yes on 8 crew used to get this passed.

    There is a big difference in the voting on prop 22 and prop 8. The margins have reduced significantly and time is on our side. The younger generation is far more aware of the gays that live in their communities and don’t see them as caricatures.

    Someone commented that gays should not be able to marry as they can’t have kids. Most of the gay families I know do have kids. They deserve to be protected under the law too.

    Many commented on the No on 8 folks stealing signs and doing other unkind acts. Just to let you know we had signs stolen too, and we had folks yelling obscenities at us too. I think both sides have a minority that will do that. Most of the protesters I have seen are respectful.

    Lastly, I really don’t care if you think I’m a sinner or going to hell. You have every right to believe whatever you like. I just don’t understand why you think you have the right to impose your morality and your religion on me. I certainly would never want to do that to you. I think there is great strength in the diversity of our society and if my marriage in no way effects you, why are you so intolerant of it?

  217. stopthehate says:

    Many across the state have chosen to focus on the Mormons, but how many Mormons actually make up the population of California? According to Wikipedia, 2.12%. (Mormon Population.) California’s Population: 36,553,215 (2007) Mormon Population: 77,380 Out of 77,380 Mormons living in California, how many of them were eligible to vote (that number includes kids, the unregistered, etc)? And of these, how many actually voted Yes? I can guarantee you, not all. The number gets smaller and smaller. Here is a link of the Prop 8 exit polls from CNN. Look at them closely: CNN Exit Polls These people, the Yes votes, are the true opposition. So out of the roughly 5.5 million who voted Yes, that’s an awfully small amount of Mormons. The Mormon Church did not donate millions, but individuals gave of there means because of what they believe in! (Close examination of these polls will indicate that in actual numbers, the big chunk of the vote for Yes was white men. Sure, percentages within demographics say a lot and will help us focus, but what I’m trying to communicate is this: don’t focus on one group! Don’t discriminate! Don’t harass!)

  218. yuki says:

    Hope this gets media attention in the positive light, as a Gay I am now official against the Mormon church in any way because of this. I will no longer shop at any local Mormon based businesses !

  219. Corinthian says:

    The true proponents for civil rights are those that are against gay marriage. We vote for those who can’t vote for themselves, children. Answer this question honestly. If you could look back in time to when you were a legal minor and were faced with the choice of trading your biological parents, married or divorced, for a circumstance where your dad prefers a gay lover in place of your mom or your mom switched to a lesbian lover to replace your dad, would you have willingly accepted that type of social chaos into your life? What every court, politician or minority interest group (gays and lesbians) may say or impose regarding this very important social issue, can only be translated as a complete disregard for the children that will be impacted the most by this “social science experiment.” Women not being allowed to vote, segregation for blacks and children being forced into non-typical family environments,these are civil rights issues! Revolutions have been sparked by smaller disagreements.

    I have good news and bad new for you all. Gay marriage will win in California and obviously in other states as evidence by the recent news of the ruling in Connecticut. That is what you will seemingly be the good news for you all. The bad news is connected to what you will see as a victory. Our country is on the verge of it’s second Revolutionary War. Look at the GLOBAL financial crisis. They, or Obama, are not going to be able to restore things to what we have been used to for decades. It won’t solely be sparked by the expansionist gay agenda. However, this will be one of the flint stones that sparks the flames that will not be easily extinguished. I don’t think that your movement should get in the habit of protesting outside houses of worship. Because our war is not a war of flesh and blood but of powers and principalities that represent wickedness. You’ll see! And this isn’t intended as a threat.

  220. ebizzle says:

    Damian really go educate yourself, I mean I am not calling anyone out on this website. To me you are some sort of dweeb you can only call out people online. I am mean what are you doing with your life. I take time to read the issues and maybe you should too. Really man be a little more civilized, get educated and respond with a more logical point than “shut the hell up.” That just makes you sound stupid and shows you have logical point. I take time to read the issues and share my point and knowledge….

  221. wollsmoth says:

    LOL FAGS

  222. Master says:

    While complaining about the situation may feel good, it will most likely not turn into anything meaningful. 501c3 status will not be revoked. Putting trust in the IRS to revoke status through bulk mail requests … as a response to the situation seems silly. I’m sure there is a paper shredder or highly advanced and expensive spam protector waiting to handle the influx of mail.

  223. Erik says:

    So I have to agree with an early post by Robert.

    I understand the frustration because I am a gay man. I am, however, also a member of the Mormon church. I find the hypocrisy in the gay community appalling. We claim to strive for diversity and acceptance, yet we put together attacks like this on a church, when many of its members actually VOTED NO on Prop 8. This is a futile effort, kids.

    What you’re doing here is exactly what the Yes on 8 people warned people before the election – you’re going after the tax exempt status of churches because you’re mad you didn’t defeat the Proposition. This is simply the wrong way to go about things. Solidifying their arguments (which I made fun of and called ridiculous before the election) accomplishes NOTHING. And now we’re attacking their tax exempt status, though many said we’d never do such a thing?? The church overstepped its boundaries by openly encouraging members to support this proposition – I’ll give you that. But no one was TOLD how to vote. Many LDS people I know voted against it. Being so negative, reactive, and switching into attack mode is simply pushing people away.

    Let’s turn the tables: “Someone you know and love is Mormon” a. Why can’t WE as gay people “celebrate diversity” by respecting that we cannot agree on everything. Or is the real truth that your bumper sticker should say, “Celebrate MY diversity” – and screw everyone who doesn’t support me or agree with me.

    The gay community would do much better using all of this negative energy reaching out in POSITIVE ways to those who we feel are not accepting of us. Protesting in front of churches isn’t doing anything. The average person at home watching you on the news is simply rolling their eyes because they just don’t want to think about this issue as something so polarizing. Wanna really make an impact? Move out of the gay ghettos of WeHo and the Castro. Get into the suburbs. Make a few people uncomfortable as you move in next door with your partner, your child(ren), pets, minivan, etc. Show people that we have hobbies, we mow our lawns, we raise well-rounded children, we have our relatives and friends over for gatherings, we eat regular food, and take out our trash – JUST LIKE THEY DO! And when people get to know YOU – as a person, not just as a gay person – they’ll realize that you’re just like they are. You care about someone in your life. Let’s stop sleeping around and start showing people that we CAN commit to each other, we do have relationships that last for years, we are ready and able to take on the responsibility which comes with the title of “marriage”. Protests simply make these people think we’re all militant and we’re all just wanting to push things in their face. Would that approach work on you?

    Only when we allow others to see that we’re their caring neighbor, not the screaming, violent guy who grabs someone’s personal belongings and stomps on them or someone with no self-control who keys someone’s car because of a bumper sticker we don’t like, will the straight community and those who don’t seem to like us understand that we’re not scary. We’re not even all that different. And then we’ll ALL be able to Love One Another.

    Thanks for taking the time to read. Please don’t hate. I await the Editor’s inevitable 2 cents.

  224. thinkaboutit says:

    You better believe that if Prop 8 would have passed the church would be sued! Its all part of this ‘stick it to them’ agenda.

    Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether a mormon supports gay relationships or not. What matters is that a mormon’s rights would be violated if the definition of marriage changed. As Massachusetts has already shown us, when human rights are ever face to face with religious rights, religion loses. That’s why all kinds of churches were encouraging Yes on 8, not just mormons. Because if it passed all churches would be subjected to lawsuits forcing gay marriage, and gay adoptions, gays in private schools, and a whole host of other possibilities–not to mention the loss of tax exempt status if a church refused to do any of these things.

    This is the same reason that ERA did not pass 30 years ago. And you don’t see women all up in arms because we don’t have a constitutional amendment defining our relationship to the world. Just be happy with your domestic partnerships and keep your nose out of the definition of marriage.

  225. zebostoneleigh says:

    Yuki,

    Could you explain what thes “Mormon based businesses” are that you’ll “no longer shop at?”

    Mormons work in all of of the following businesses:
    – they sell gas at gas stations
    – they operate on sick people
    – they count money at accounting firms
    – they own restaurants
    – they make television programming
    – they run banks
    – they provide hospice care
    – they run IT departments
    – they program code for Google
    – they design spacecraft
    – they build military weaponry
    – they fix teeth and adjust eyewear
    – they develop paper
    – they animate characters in movies
    – they build cars
    – they teach schools
    – they build buildings
    – they work in law enforcement as well as other branches of government…

    What exactly will you be doing with yourself once you give up all your interactions with Mormons?

  226. Daniel Newby says:

    I am no fan of many Mormon church doctrines and practices. I participated in the public opposition to Utah’s Constitutional Amendment 3 in 2004, which was similar to California’s Proposition 8. See

    http://accountabilityutah.org/IssuesAlerts/IssuesFocus/2004/Marriage082804.htm

    But singling Mormons out will only backfire by making them feel like religious martyrs and victims. We don’t need them to get sympathy for what they are doing.

    Truth is, all organizations should be forced to pay taxes — or none should have to. Selective tax loopholes create perverse incentives for some groups of people to gain an unfair advantage over other groups of people.

    Hey, your enemies are utilizing government statutes to selectively target homosexuals, polygamists, and heterosexual partners. Do you really want to become like your enemies by utilizing the same government to selectively target them? It might feel really good today, especially after what they have done in California, but it will certainly turn against you down the road.

    The recent Mormon political activities can be a battle cry to end tax exemptions for ALL so-called non-profits. Let’s expand our vision a little bit and remove the power government has to tyrannize all of our lives.

    Take the high road and level the playing field for everyone. Then your efforts will be a benefit for us all.

  227. Corinthian says:

    Erik,

    I have to say that you offer a reasonable and acceptable perspective. Unfortunately, you represent a very small minority. You more than likely offer this wisdom because you sound like a you are a person of faith. If you are a person of faith, your comments would provide gay and lesbian individuals with the fact that they are all welcome in our Christ worshiping churches. Because I, and all the people that I attend church with are like all of you. We too struggle with the things that make us feel as though we are not worthy of love from the True Living God. I often feel like I have nothing in common with the people I and my family sit shoulder to shoulder with in church.

    I must also ad that your words of anti-protest will fall on deaf ears. The people in the Revoke Prop 8 protests and rallies are conducting themselves without conscience. This doesn’t offend people of faith as much as it offends people not of faith and those that are on the fence in regard to this issue. I do agree with you, it is and will be counter productive. I disagree that gays and lesbians that move out of NoHo with their partners and children into neighborhoods occupied by those in favor of Prop 8 will show that we are similar. I could not keep my Yes on 8 signs in my yard over night. There is a lesbian couple in our neighborhood with No on 8 signs in their yard. The first time that they saw my signs one of them got out of her car and tried to pull up the concrete anchored sign while she yelled profanity at my house inhabited with me, my wife and four children. We reported them to the police and the matter is still in the hands of LAPD. The signs in their yard were never touched by anyone.

    Erik, I hope that your words reach those who are destroying your cause. I venture to bet that if you were to boldly announce your thoughts at one of these protests, your safety would be in jeopardy.

    You are confronting the true haters and bigots in this dispute, the Revoke Proposition 8 protesters.

    If your movement is truly gaining favor, why don’t you introduce your own ballot initiative?

  228. Michael says:

    It makes me laugh that you are going to try to take down the most well run charitable organization in the entire world. The LDS church never directly donated any money to the cause, so this will never fly with the IRS, the courts, or the Feds.

    For every Mormon who proudly says that they did not support Prop. 8, please do not show back up to Church since you do not believe in folowing the prophet or your leaders. You obviously do not pray or read the scriptures, so why are you still a member. Don’t go around flaunting the membership that you obviously do not hold dear. You don’t understand much of anything that the Church teaches if you do not support this proposition.

    By the way, “seperation of church and state” is not in the constitution and if you read the words of our founding fathers, you will realize that they believed that moral values and family values are extremely important, along with a belief in God. They believed that religion has every right to speak up in the public forum, what they did not want, and protected us against, was a state mandated religion. (Along with legislation or court mandates that are in conflict with religious insitutions, like marriage.)

  229. Since filing a similar application against the Catholics is not being attempted, this has a stink of Anti-mormonism about it. And that would create a lagger mentality, due to past genocide and inherited traumatic stress. I believe that all churches involved need to be named in this complaint if it is to be pursued. Children were traumatized by this, and continuing this complaint will only confuse them more. Imaginge being in shared custody with one devout Mormon family and a married or single gay parent. There are a lot of children in this situation.

    Better to work on a initiative to ban all out of state funds
    from state elections. This would solve a great number of
    problems without the inequity of scapegoating one Church.

    Education of the public is needed here. Most Conservative
    Churchgoers don’t know anything about Gays, Gay Families,
    or even single adoption.

  230. mariana says:

    I just printed and mailed out two letters to the IRS. One for me and one from my husband – as a heterosexual couple – our marriage means nothing to us unless EVERYONE can marry. Until that time we are no longer wearing our wedding rings as a sign we don’t represent the status quo on marriage.

  231. Bo says:

    To be fair, just as Barrack Obama did not understand what his church stood for, most church goers don’t either.
    There is no road from inequality to hate to violence.
    ALL religion must go . It teaches inequality . If you are not in the right church , you are not equal !
    You can see this as many religions hate other religions more than atheists !

  232. Bo says:

    I mean > Inequality , hate and violence are all in the same place.

  233. Blake says:

    I am printing and mailing my forms to the IRS tomorrow.

  234. Steve says:

    To argue that the LDS Church’s 501c3 tax exempt status should be revoked necessarily involves arguing that a four-paragraph statement issued by Church leaders in Salt Lake constitutes a “substantial part of [the Church's] activities. Good luck establishing that point of law.

    The Mormons who spearheaded the pro-Prop 8 movement were acting in their individual capacity, not as representatives of their church. Guess what–in their individual capacity, Mormons don’t enjoy tax exempt status…so there’s nothing to revoke!

  235. Marc ANTOINE says:

    I agree with Kathleen Weber on the point that the Roman Catholic Church should be held accountable for their political lobbying and fundraising the same as the Church of LDS. Could someone please post the appropriate information for the Catholic Church for sections 1 and 4 of this complaint so I can fill out a second one for them?

  236. Marc ANTOINE says:

    To Michael,

    Although Separation of Church and State is not clearly defined in the Constitution, Freedom of Religion is clearly specified. So if it is within one religious group’s beliefs to not sanctify a gay marriage and another’s beliefs to do so, the government should not interfere with these bans or sanctions.

    However, civil marriage is an entirely different institution which pertains to legal rights, recognitions and obligations and does not address the spiritual whatsoever. It is civil marriage that the gay rights movement is seeking and religious organizations should not have a say in such. Furthermore, as it was determined that separate is not equal during the civil rights movement, civil union is not an acceptable substitution for civil marriage unless we as a whole nation agree to do this — hand over the term “marriage” to the religious institutions entirely. Rename ALL civil marriages, be they between same sex OR opposite sex couples, civil unions. Please remember though, that this means certain churches, such as sects of the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, certain sects of the Jewish faith, etc will still grant same sex unions acknowledgment as a religious marriage.

  237. Ted says:

    The group Focus on the Family, headed by James Dobson (more gay haters) spent so much of its budget on Yes on 8 that it now has announced it will have to lay employees off. They sound like another fine candidate for an IRS complaint.

    http://coloradoindependent.com/15287/after-pumping-money-into-prop-8-focus-on-the-family-announcing-layoffs?disqus_reply=3867526#disqus-claim

  238. Bo says:

    http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/81888

    The incredible fact is that no Federal Hate Crime against Gays exists !

    Congratulations to the mormons who gave to Prop. 8 , you helped pull the trigger here .

  239. Although the LDS Church did not directly fund the campaign to pass Prop. 8, it took substantial steps to see that its members did. Those familiar with the LDS Church know that a directive from the prophet is as good as a commendment from God. When a letter was read in all LDS sacrament meetings in June, 2008, signed by the prophet, asking members to give their time and resources to passing Prop. 8, and members responded by giving 22 million dollars, they were acting in their capacity of church members under a commandment. The church’s involvement goes further: members were shown a video in LDS church buildings, were given talking points, rehearsed contacting neighbors and friends about Prop. 8, and literature was distributed from at least some LDS church buildings. It can be said that the members were acting “in their individual capacities,” but the evidence points to the contrary. To those who think the LDS church is being unfairly singled out, you should know that the LDS Public Relations department conducted a survey and found that Californian’s opinion of the LDS church was much lower than of the Catholics. Based on this, the Catholic church was approached by the LDS Church to form a coalition where the Catholics would “take the lead.” The LDS church has been integrally involved in defeating same sex marraige and domestic partnership since about 1995. Don’t be fooled, the LDS Church is a well greased machine that is extremely active on a day to day basis in this and other areas of politics. Its influence on legislation is significant. Mormons don’t question instructions from the prophet, they follow them. Whether the money came from church coffers or the bank accounts of individuals, it came as a result of the prophet’s instructions.

  240. JR says:

    That’s right George Frandsen, President Monson was right there with a gun to my head at the polling place. If i didn’t vote yes on prop 8 I was going to be first excommunicated and then shot on the spot. It was scary so I just said Baaaaaaaaa and voted yes.

    Is that how you think it is? The Prophet says jump and if we don’t we’re going to hell? Mormons are taught correct principles and are left to govern themselves. There are quite a number of Mormons that voted no, and contributed to the no campaign and protested against prop 8. Are they in religious peril? No. Is there standing in the church jeopardized? No. Will they have to stand before God one day and explain their actions one way or the other? Yes, and I’m sure they’ll have sincere heartfelt reasons for which way they voted but that is between them and God. The church has no way of knowing, or any interest in knowing, it’s none of their business. The church advocates its position and members decide how they will follow it, if at all.

    We believe people are free to believe how and what they want. Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid, both in good standing with the church, wildly different views on the issues. The church doesn’t punish members for believing differently. The only problem comes when those members publicly decry the church and its leaders, but thats another issue altogether and hardly anyone falls into that category that isn’t really flaunting it. The church doesn’t like excommunicating at all.

    The point is it doesn’t matter what the prophet says, no one is forced to believe or vote in any way. Members are reminded of church teachings and encouraged to vote according those teachings, not forced.

    Donations from free willed individuals does not equal Direct church funding.

    But as assumed, when the church first announced its position, Gay marriage supporters will be attempting to silence the first amendment right of free speech and freedom of religion by attacking the tax exempt status of churches for exercising said rights. Was the church incorrect in this assumption?

    An earlier editorial note:
    “Perhaps we will fail in having the Church’s tax-exempt status revoked based on these arguments, but if thousands of people file complaints with the IRS, that could create a base of support for amending tax code so that this never happens again.”

    Interesting. That appears to be an agenda to take away rights? I thought the no campaign was against that sort of thing.There goes the only leg gay marriage had to stand on.

    Go ahead see how much support you get on the next ballot initiative after you take away tax exempt status from religions. I’m sure people will be real happy to support you then.

  241. Roger Brown says:

    I think that you’ve misread the 501(c)(3) section of US Code 26.

    As long as a “substantial part” of their activities are not “campaign[ing] on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” then it’s ok.

    There’s legal precedent on this too — case law protecting churches that get involved in ballot measures.
    Churches can do all they want on issues as long as they’re not endorsing or opposing candidates for office.

    So I think you’re wasting your time because of how the law is written. You would have to change the law first in order to make valid complaints.

    Read the whole 501(c)3 section first before getting all excited about filing complaints:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sup_01_26.html

    And I agree with JR that taking away tax exempt status from churches will cause a major backlash against the “no on 8″ supporters.

    Also, you could do your own ballot measure for gayrriage but marriage will always be marriage.

    Lastly, children have an inherent right to be raised by both a mother and a father. Children’s rights are more important than the minority of adults who are using this whole issue as a wedge for their own means.

    Wait till the longitudinal studies come out 20 years from now showing the effects of being raised by two mommies or two daddies.

    Many of the same social scientists supporting gayrriage now were 30 and 40 years ago loudly proclaiming that divorce had no effect on children. They had to eat their words when the studies came out 20 or so years later that followed these children of divorce into adulthood.

    I believe the voters decision will be borne out by such empirical evidence in the future, not mentioning other things that are already now evident.

  242. shannon says:

    Thanks JR, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  243. shannon says:

    To Michael who posted on Nov. 15th: You represent everything that is wrong with the culture in the LDS church. You make me sick! God will judge you for telling people to “not show back up to church” if they voted “no” on 8. It is people like you who motivate many to look else where for spirituality. You repel people from the church and I hope some day you take responsiblity for your actions. I am outraged by your comment.

  244. Steve says:

    George Frandsen, let’s assume that you’re correct in implying that Mormons are essentially robots without free will, being operated by remote-control from Salt Lake. That assumption being made, do you think that the political activities of these individual robotic Mormons are LEGALLY assignable to their Church?

    What if the majority of Mormons took the standard, modern American approach to religion (as a Sunday morning passtime but nothing to take seriously during the week) and Mormon response to their Church’s call to support Prop 8 was lackluster? Would the LDS Church then be on the same ground as the rest of the religious organizations whose “official” support of Prop 8 was as strong or stronger than that of the LDS church (but who aren’t currently being singled out for tax-exemption revocation)?

    I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I highly doubt that a religious organization’s legal responsibility for the actions of its members depends on the degree of religious zeal demonstrated by those members.

    I convinced an extremely left-wing, pro-gay marriage, anti-prop 8 friend of mine that the argument for assigning the acts of individual Mormons to their church is a bad argument. He’s Jewish, and observed “yeah, well, we know how well the concept of collective guilt has worked for the Jewish people…”

  245. Bo says:

    “It’s always hard to read tea leaves, but I think Justice Kennard is saying that she thinks the constitutionality of Prop. 8 is so clear that it doesn’t warrant review,” said Stephen Barnett, a retired UC Berkeley law professor and longtime observer of the court.”
    For those seeking to overturn Prop. 8, “I would not think it would be encouraging,” said Dennis Maio, a San Francisco lawyer and former staff attorney at the court.
    ============================================================
    Ouch . If you read the story carefully , in 6 months the California Supreme Court will probably not overturn Prop 8 .

  246. john says:

    why not boycott the blacks and asians and the other 52 percent who voted yes. good plan losers

  247. Lorenzo says:

    seems pretty cut and dry to me.. form submitted!

  248. Benjamin says:

    John that’s a stupid argument because now minority rights organizations who support Latinos, Asians and African Americans as well as another for Women’s Rights have just submitted a suit in opposition to Prop 8 as well. The proposition if left to stand would be a terrible precedent for minorities in California and across our nation. Prop 8 cannot stand as an amendment because it is not an amendment but a total revision to the Constitution of California. The Governor is opposed to it, Barack Obama is opposed to it as he stated clearly in a program that aired in California and a whole host of other very smart and honest people are deeply disturbed by it. Prop 8 is self-righteous and it is DEAD WRONG!!

  249. Marge says:

    This site (with many interesting comments) is a wonderful testatment as to what has been really going on in religion and society. It is good to see how people get ostracized by religious bigotry organizations that think they know better than our own consciousness. Hasn’t anyone ever been listening when it was recorded that Jesus said THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS WITHIN!!!! Get with it and study the newer psychological and metaphysical writings that are showing clearly that there is even NO sex identification in 5th dimension and beyond. In the Bible, it even says They neither marry nor are married!!!!!!!! best book reading right now to understand what is going on in the world is EARTH CHANGES and 2012 by Sal Rachele and the Founders of this section of the universe. You can’t beat it for exciting reading and contemplation of who and what we really are. . . . . . then these arguments here seem like what they truly are – 3rd dimensional only.

  250. [...] How to File an IRS 501(c)(3) Complaint « Revoke LDS Church 501(c … [...]

  251. song says:

    Just mailed approximately 250 filled out forms and accompanying materials to the IRS via registered mail, return receipt requested.

  252. Ronald E Maltais says:

    I hope the Mormons will be held accountable for their shameful actions in taking steps to deny basic human rights for same sex couples. Groups (especially religious groups) shold not be allowed to conduct campaigns to influence legislation.

  253. Dan says:

    Let the LSD lawyers fight the IRS. If nothing else, the cult is being thrown into a giant spotlight. Let the IRS decide what to do. If they do nothing then they need new management. If they do something then all cults need to be looked at. NO cult should be allowed to influence elections. They have freedom of speech but the second 1 penny was spent it was no longer freedom of speech.

  254. Ted says:

    The New York Times published an editorial today agreeing with Californians Against Hate that the LDS Church had overreached itself and dabbled in politics with respect to Prop 8.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/opinion/29sat2.html?_r=2&th&emc=th

  255. Steve says:

    Dan, you can use nasty words all you want, but the argument you’re making is simply not for the application of current United States law. This petition to the IRS is asking a federal agency to break the law–as it now stands. If you don’t like the law as it now stands, these people should be petitioning their REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS, not an administrative agency. That’s how you effect a CHANGE in the law. It’s called democracy.

  256. Daryl says:

    Funny how there are no objections tothe activities of leftist churches that have advocated infringing my fundamental rights over the years. For that matter, where are the calls to strip anti-8 churches of their tax-exempt status? This “separation of church and state” argument seems highly selective, to say the least. If this actually works, maybe I’ll lob a few of these bombs myself — I can count on your support, right? Oh, for the record, I voted against 8.

  257. Jared says:

    No case here. The IRS prohibits lobbying and promotion of a candidate for public office. Organizations with these types of activities receive special treatment in other sections of the code. 501(c)(3) does not prohibit campaigning or grassroots efforts. Although I’m sure the IRS has a nice big round file where they are keeping any letters being sent. Not a big difference here from the LDS church’s opposition to the ERA in the 70’s.

    I’m with Elton John–Marriage is for heterosexuals, not lesbigays.

  258. Dana says:

    A letter read in some sacrament meetings is not substantial activity when put in context with everything the LDS Church does – any lawyer worth a blade of grass could tell you that.

    I can’t believe I’ve even wasted my time reading this tremendous example of wasted effort. This attempt at revocation of tax-exempt status was dead before it even got started.

  259. Kid says:

    I just want to say one quick thing about an earlier post (can’t remember the exact one….) concerning Romney and the 2012 election. It said something about how the LDS Church’s role in the passing of Prop. 8 just goes to prove that the Church wants to influence politics, and in the instance of Romney being elected the Church would have more power in the politics of this nation.

    Hopefully that last sentence made sense.

    Now, this year, in eighth grade, while I was writing a paper on Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs for History Fair I came across something interesting:

    In the Kennedy campaign many people across America discriminated Kennedy for his Catholic religion. Nixon himself used the argument of saying that Kennedy would largely be controlled by the Pope, although the Pope didn’t even speak english. I would just like to draw the comparison between the discrimination against Kennedy and the worry of him being controlled by the Catholic church and Mitt Romney being controlled by the LDS church.

    Now please don’t be angry with me comparing Kennedy to Romney, Kennedy was a great President that holds the most deep and undying respect in my heart.

    -13 year old anonymous

  260. Pat says:

    From the debate over the bail out, it’s clear that America is faltering badly, and the election of Obama shows that America is desperately trying to help itself survive. If the change we need was not an idle slogan, it is imperative that the Obama administration consider a tax exempt moratorium for the present until America is back on its feet.

    The gravy train that America has been riding on with respect to non-profit growth must be considered a part of its financial failure, and even churches must be required to contribute to get America back on track.

    Temporarily rescinding tax exempt status for all is the only way to see what America still has to work with. It would be irresponsible for him to do otherwise.

  261. Marc P Antoine says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I have filed a complaint with the IRS regarding the Mormon Church’s tax exempt status. I would also like to file one against the Evangelical Church & the Knights of Columbus. Could you please email me the pertinent information to do so?

    Thank you,

    Marc Antoine
    marcpantoine@gmail.com

  262. Ray Perry says:

    I would like to make a complaint about an organization which started out as one name but has changed its name three (3) times in a year and is using the first name’s 501c3. But this group is scamming the people all over the America. I want to see these people stopped. They are harming and affecting a community and have them against one another because of this scam they are attemping to get away with. Look at soundsofthunderscam.com to see what I am talking about.

  263. Reebes says:

    what a stupid thing you have written here you liberals just attack anybody or any organization that you disagree with I think south park said it best when a liberal on it say, “We are intolerant of anyone who intolerant”. You are lame get a life Mormons aren’t the only ones who voted against it and are you saying that Mormons that big of a pull in California that if they say something then people are going to follow them get real. It should have helped you gay cause but it didn’t because the big groups that voted against prop 8 were black and latino but you people are too afraid to say anything to them.

  264. Concerned Citizen says:

    I hope you also work make an equal complaint against church’s that allow political candidates to give political messages at their church. Also, preachers engaged in political activity, either preaching it in church or otherwise should also be held accountable. How many times was Bill or Hillary Clinton or even Obama speaking at a church about their campaigns. If rasing money against a moral law is wrong then so is this. I hope someone makes a case agains these other churches. If you have a problem with the mormons then these others are wrong too.

  265. Carla Canada says:

    This is sad …. Please allow me to apologize for what I am about to say….But this is what I believe….Let’s see hum…

    Church, Christian, God, Jesus, Holy Bible, Replenish the earth…….

    Gay marriage is wrong……..and that is why I voted against it…..any true christian should have voted NO on Prop 8…… stand up and chose the right…..

  266. Keith says:

    It is a fool, that says in his heart there is no God.
    And for you to think that there should be gay and lesbian marriages, You then say you dont believe in God.
    I am not Morman and do not support most of their beliefs, but this is one subject we have incommon. I just wanted to say a few words. I support what the mormans a doing here.
    I believe all churches should un-incorporate and get rid of the 501c3(remove the government from the affairs of the church). Churches do not need it anyway, we are already tax exempt to begin with. Read the IRS tax laws. Churches are automatically exempt.

  267. Andrew says:

    This website is a literal “Fool’s Errand”.

    The IRS states that churches are naturally tax-exempt. Which MEANS, if the LDS’ 501(c)3 was revoked, they would continue to be tax-free :)

    Read for yourself: IRS Publication 557

  268. [...] Just read this post that mentions the Mormon church bankrolling the cause for passing prop. 8 (to the tune of 25 [...]

  269. If a religious group can’t lobby for what they believe in, what freedom are we defending?

  270. Lois says:

    “Mormons aren’t the only ones who voted against it and are you saying that Mormons that big of a pull in California that if they say something then people are going to follow them get real. It should have helped you gay cause but it didn’t because the big groups that voted against prop 8 were black and latino but you people are too afraid to say anything to them.”

    The Prop 8 supporters are officially losing it. Few comments in the news today reporting that Prop 8 supporters may resort to civil disobedience and violence. Other comments include Ban marriage for everyone. You guys are officially losing it.

  271. Jake says:

    Generally speaking, referendums and other public votes are not considered “legislation”, are they? Maybe I am off on this point, just curious.

  272. John says:

    One of the things I find so disturbing in all of this is the wholesale lack of Christian feelings from members of a church that claims to be the “one and only” church sanctioned by God himself. Next I find it hypocritical of an organization to disregard several of their own “Articles of Faith”. One of which states: #12 “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Clearly the violation of the rules (law) of the 501(c)(3) IRS code have been also disregarded.

    Finally, I am not gay, however I have a respect for those who stand for their rights as human beings. Our form of government was designed to provide the freedom of choice for everyone. If an organization believes in a different morality they may preach that to their members with all the zeal necessary to convince and guide. However, when any organization presses their ideoligy on the masses without their consent they are in violation of the greater moral code of freedom.

  273. George Barber says:

    I would suggest you put your resources to better use. All churches are tax exempt with or without a 501(c)(3). Stripping their 501(c)(3) does them no harm as a church. Many churches dont file for 501(c)(3)at all.

  274. LMH says:

    “The Rock” – Does anyone have any information regarding the position of “The Rock” church on homosexuality? We just went through an awful experience with a friend of the family who has basically been disowned by family – and the family held an “intervention” in the church facility yesterday, with the pastor and youth pastor (also his uncle)present. They told him that if this is the life he chose “he is no longer a part of their lives and he is not welcome in any of their homes.” It was a heart breaking scenario, as this young man is the most beautiful soul you will ever meet. Any help would be appreciated. I will not give the exact location, but “The Rock” I am referring to is in NE Georgia. When he tried to leave the meeting, they tried to physically restrain him.

  275. Pat says:

    Though all humans have been trained as children to believe in God and the mysticism of religion, there is no evidence to prove that it exists. As close to “witchcraft” as it is, there is no reason to accord it tax exemption as a matter of logic.

    1) If it were true, there would not be so many religions or sects. The fact that there are shows that religion is being used more as a social club, cultural entity, and congregation collector.

    2) After all of the respect and reservation for religion, mankind is no closer to humanitarian assistance than he might have been if there had been no religion to begin with.

    3) Churches and religion began as a method for mankind to organize itself and present some kind of leadership that government now fulfills provided it has no competing authorities (which religion provides).

    4) In equating government and religion, mankind refuses to choose 1 method over another, and therefore, they must remain separate, or conflict with one another. Allowing tax exemption merely provides the means of competition without providing the plethora of benefits that religion claims to offer.

  276. Mykelb says:

    You can also file an IRS 3949a form found here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf to report False Exemption False Deductions, Multiple Filing,
    Organized Crime, Unsubstantiated Income, Kickback,
    False/Altered Documents, Failure to Pay Tax, Unreported Income, Narcotics Income,
    Public/Political Corruption, Failure to File Return, Failure to Withhold Tax, Wagering/Gambling Earned Income Credit, Other (Describe)

  277. Mykelb says:

    The National Organization for Marriage is a 501(c)(4) organization. How do we report thier intervention in political affairs?

  278. Mykelb says:

    The NOM is a 501(c)4 organization. However, the regulations for 501(c)4 status state “Reg. 1. 501(c)(4)-1(a)(2)(i) provides that:
    [A]n organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the community.” Seems to me that by discriminating against gays in a city with a Human Rights Law on the books that this organization does not meet the statutory definition and should have its offices closed down in DC.

  279. tax relief check…

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  280. Heron says:

    You quote 501(c)(3), but you conveniently ignore the fact that 501(c)(3) references 501(h) – activities *permitted* by 501(h) are permitted by 501(c)(3).

    The LDS Church’s minor involvement in Proposition 8 was permitted under 501(h), and therefore permitted under 501(c)(3).

    The IRS obviously knows the tax code better than you; your push to file complaints on this issue does nothing but waste the IRS’s time and raise our taxes to pay for that lost time.

    So, thanks for raising my taxes with your pointless complaint.

  281. Heron says:

    As an additional comment, I asked a tax accountant about these sections of the tax code. This is what he said:

    “The tax code prohibits non-profit organizations, including churches, from lobbying for or against any individual political candidates. That is strictly prohibited, and that is why you won’t hear the LDS Church endorse or oppose any individual candidates.
    “Non-profits can lobby for issues which they believe have social impacts related to their tax-exempt purpose. These kinds of lobbying activities are required to be reported to the IRS on form 990 (annual information return for non-profits), but they are perfectly fine.
    “A non-profit can be formed solely for the purpose of lobbying, but then it is required to report as a political action committee which have their own list
    of special reporting requirements.”

  282. Pat says:

    Concepts of public education open to all lie at the heart of educational tax exemption by public universities. All other educational institutions operate on the principle of private preference in acceptance that for most of society, the public will never enjoy the benefits of, but pays for anyway through tax exemption and subsidies.

  283. Dr. Lowrey says:

    Oh,I think it is disgusting and anti-christian for the church to practice bias like this.

    But as I understand LDS structure, the “Church” is organised as an unincorporated association and is thus immune to IRS controls.

    The church does hold two incorporations, one held by the presiding bishopric that controls church properties and another that controls non LDS promoting businesses owned by the church.

    If the directive is made by the unincorporated church it is not under government control. If the directive was issued say, by BYU (the church’s college – owned by the COPB (corp. of the presiding bishop) then the IRS could threaten to take away their tax free status – but could not go after the church proper.

    The LDS church has made the study and manipulation of the law one of their main occupations for almost 200 years. They are pretty good at it.

  284. Heron says:

    “The LDS church has made the study and manipulation of the law one of their main occupations for almost 200 years.”

    Ignoring your characterization of “the study and manipulation of the law” as nefarious, it’s hardly evil to take advantage of the law.

    “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” Isn’t that what Jesus said? If Caesar (the government) allows the organizational setup in question, then you can’t very well complain about it unless you get the law changed (at which point the Church would change its policies to obey the law).

  285. Lillian says:

    Thanks for your excellent essay. Exactly what I needed to learn. You might consider writing another one about how and why blogs eventually die out.

  286. Brian says:

    I am not tax expert but it would seem to me that your desire for the LDS Church to lose its 501(c)(3) status would be a blessing for the Church, not a hindrance. I submit the following for your consideration:

    Most churches in America have organized as “501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations.” This is a fairly recent trend that has only been going on for about fifty years. Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson for that. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping “public policy.”

    Although Johnson proffered this as a “favor” to churches, the favor also came with strings attached (more like shackles). One need not look far to see the devastating effects 501c3 acceptance has had to the church, and the consequent restrictions placed upon any 501c3 church. 501c3 churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day.

    For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a “chilling effect” upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.

    Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: “Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    Religion cannot be free if you have to pay the government, through taxation, to exercise it. Since churches aren’t taxable in the first place, why do so many of them go to the IRS and seek permission to be tax-exempt? It occurs out of:

    Ignorance (“We didn’t know any better”)
    Bandwagon logic (“Everyone else is doing it”)
    Professional advice (many attorneys and CPAs recommend it)
    Does the law require, or even encourage, a church to organize as a 501c3? To answer that question let’s turn to what the IRS itself has to say.

    Churches Need Not Apply
    In order to be considered for tax-exempt status by the IRS an organization must fill out and submit IRS Form 1023 and 1024. However, note what the IRS says regarding churches and church ministries, in Publication 557:

    Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include:
    Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).
    Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Exempt”
    According to IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A):

    Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations.
    (a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status.
    (c) Exceptions.
    (1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to—
    (A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.
    This is referred to as the “mandatory exception” rule. Thus, we see from the IRS’ own publications, and the tax code, that it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for tax-exempt status. In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-exempt.”

    Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Deductible”
    And what about tax-deductibility? Doesn’t a church still need to become a 501c3 so that contributions to it can be taken as a tax deduction? The answer is no! According to IRS Publication 526:

    Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions
    You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.
    In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-deductible.”

    Churches Have a Mandatory Exception To Filing Tax Returns
    Not only is it completely unnecessary for any church to seek 501c3 status, to do so becomes a grant of jurisdiction to the IRS by any church that obtains that State favor. In the words of Steve Nestor, IRS Sr. Revenue Officer (ret.):

    “I am not the only IRS employee who’s wondered why churches go to the government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn’t owe to begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they’ve always had anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique position, but they don’t seem to know or appreciate the implications of what it would mean to be free of government control.”
    from the Forward of In Caesar’s Grip, by Peter Kershaw

  287. Heron says:

    Brian,

    I’m no tax expert either, but 508(c)(1)(A) only says churches don’t have to *apply* to get tax-exempt status; they still have to meet the requirements set forth in 501(c)(3) in order to qualify for tax-exempt status. In other words, 508(c)(1)(A) only exempts churches from filing form 1023, it doesn’t exempt churches from having to meet the requirements of 501(c)(3) to maintain tax-exempt status.

    I will ask my father, who happens to be a tax accountant, and post an update here when he answers.

  288. Heron says:

    My father (who is, as I mentioned, a tax accountant) agrees with my understanding of the sections Brian referred to, if anyone was wondering.

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  290. Brian Terrill says:

    This just proves that liberals are the reason we live in a dictatorship that is ran by the IRS. You are the scum the the universe that creates institutions like the IRS, you communist homosexual scum are good at quoting IRS rules. Well sorry, but there is this little thing called the First Amendment and when actually read (instead of interpreted by a liberal) restricts the government from telling churches and people what to do or say. The first amendment is not a restriction from the government on churches like the wacky left with their perverted behavior would have us think.

    Butt humping someone of the same gender is bad on the brains that’s for sure.

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  293. Heron says:

    The Church is quite clear about their policy on taxes. I’ll quote a recent interview with Presiding Bishop, H. David Burton:

    “Any parcel of property the Church owns that is not used directly for ecclesiastical worship is fully taxed at its market value.”

    You know, in case you were still trying to believe the Church is dodging taxes.

    In other words, it’s hypocritical to demand the LDS Church lose its 501(c)(3) status without also demanding that EVERY OTHER CHURCH also lose its 501(c)(3) status.

  294. [...] Or, of course, if you think it’s a lost cause or you don’t give a shit ’cause you’re not Mormon, then do this. [...]

  295. silversprings says:

    Seperate of state and law was not first established whe this country was!! Stupid people slowly started thinking if they didn’t like something about the country it should be changed. This country does not listen to the majority of what it’s people is saying, it listens to the minority and that is one of the reasons why this country is being flushed down the toilet and no longer stands on the values of which it was founded. I’m sure Geoerge Washington is rolling in his grave right now about what has happened to the wonderful country he fought so hard for!! People have a right to fight for what they believe even if it means trying to show the goverment that it is morally wrong. If we bent every single rule trying to “give people their rights..rights at which they believe them to be” then this country would have no rules, it would be founded on nothing no longer! If an American disagrees with an issue/law the government wants to pass, they have a right to stand up for themselves. It is not just the LDS church that believes this, it is many other denominations as well and just because the LDS is taking more of a stand, doens’t mean they are the only ones who want things done right. Little blogs/websites like these are just plain stupid!! Don’t want to feel all alone in your quest to bring someone down! I only came across this in google research of section 501 C3. Get a life!!

  296. Heron says:

    Wow… I’ve read some sketchy conspiracy theories in my day, but Frank, yours just takes the cake for the most absurd set of fragile, unrelated “connections” I’ve ever seen.

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  304. Will says:

    To the author and all supports of this blog or forum:

    I’ll add to the other people who have noted that the idea presented here doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. First, and again, you’d have to try to prove that a “substantial” part of its activities were dedicated to the idea behind this post, Secondly, you’d surely fail as it isn’t even possible because churches don’t have to disclose any of that information. Think of the catholic church… same situation.

    The people who are pro prop 8 have gotten very angry at the LDS churches’ involvement in this legislation. But listen closely: IT IS THEIR RIGHT UNDER UNITED STATES LAW. Just like it is the right for people to support it. Own your own opinion and rally your troops to your cause. Both honorable and admirable actions. You lose your integrity when you decide to slander or libel another person or corporation’s opinion by putting up ridiculous forums such as this. Do your homework first. I’m sad for the world when I see such a flailing attempt to oppose something you disagree with. You might as well throw rocks at the banners and signs opposing the proposition. You’d accomplish about the same.

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  324. C. Burns says:

    I am not here to state who is going to hell or who is righteous or not. I am here to ask this question: why are homosexuals so bent on calling what they want “marriage”? First, from its origin, marriage does not reflect the model that the homosexual community is presenting—-the same gender being joined as life partners. Second, the concept of “marriage” is a biblical endeavor whose standard is set with the first man and woman.

    Marriage is meant to reflect the relationship between GOD and his creation; displaying the love, provision and interaction that He communicates along with man’s role as expected to show gratitude as well as reciprocating love and interaction is only part of what’s to be mirrored. Also, in a marriage, commonly, it is rightfully assumed that a couple will reproduce or “procreate” which furthers this reflection of the marriage mirroring GOD’s dealings with man whereas GOD “creates”. Even in a case where a man and a woman are joined and cannot (whether the problem lies in the man or the woman physically) procreate it at least has the appearance of the possibility of procreation.

    The pretentious petition for “same sex marriage” is an attempt to make a mockery of faith and of its essence is to Edge God Out! Marriage holds for mankind a reminder that GOD is a Great Creator, in fact, the Creator of all things. Every time a child is born it is a reminder of the awesomeness of creation. Life is first in the man delivered to the woman for her to carry for a hopeful 9 months. This is why we call GOD a “He”, not because He has gender in His Spirit form but because He “is the first cause of a thing”. A homosexual couple cannot represent this possibility which is why it would be redefining “marriage” to ultimately become something that is not Marriage at all.

    It is evident to me that the attempt of the homosexual community is indeed pretentious. I firmly believe that those for “same sex marriage” have set out to “DESTIGMATIZE” homosexuality and are on a quest to normalize its lifestyle. In doing this they are doing to others what they don’t appreciate having done to them; they are disregarding the faith, convictions and a wholesome societal paradigm for a selfish behavioral cause AS homosexuality is a BEHAVIOR and not an ETHNICITY. Though I am not for same sex unions at all, I ask, why not call it something else if these attempts to legalize such unions have no ulterior motives?

    We must continue to argue from a faith perspective but we need to become more wise than “blunt”. Simply saying “Adam & Eve and not Adam & Steve” doesn’t cut it anymore.

    We must take the position to meanings and definitions.

    Marriage by definition means to take two separate and complimenting components and merging or blending them. Testosterone and testosterone don’t merge neither do they compliment one another. A lamp isn’t complimented by a lamp but by a bulb. A plug isn’t complimented by a plug but by a socket outlet. To compliment something is to bring something to the table that the first component does not possess of its own; this is illustrated when you try to connect “north and north” or “south and south” poles of a magnet-it doesn’t work!

    If you were covered with necklaces and you added another necklace there would be no complimenting effect. But if you have on a plain black turtleneck sweater and you add something ornamental (something different) then you have complimented the sweater, right?

    What the homosexual community is purposing is to change the very “generic” definition of marriage whether from a biblical or none biblical perspective. So then, it cannot [from a terminological standpoint] be consider marriage at all by reason of the noncomplimenting components that are attempted to be joined.

    P.S. Let’s stop calling it “Gay” which means Happy and call it as it is “homosexuality”.

    Find Article at this link: http://www.nwitimes.com/lifestyles/article_823bcc05-4d11-5377-8331-bc4246448c8b.html

  325. 501c3team says:

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