Magazine article The Christian Century

Bill Would Alter Limits on Church Politicking

Magazine article The Christian Century

Bill Would Alter Limits on Church Politicking

Article excerpt

A bill introduced in Congress recently would allow churches to spend 20 percent of their money on lobbying and up to 5 percent on campaigning for or against individual candidates without risk of losing their tax-exempt status. Congressman Phil Crane (R., Ill.) introduced the "Bright-Line Act of 2001," which would make clear how much churches can engage in political activities.

At present, churches are allowed to push political causes as long as such activities do not constitute a "substantial" part of the congregation's work--widely interpreted to be about 5 percent. "Given the state of confusion surrounding the activities allowed by religious organizations, I believe it's time that Congress draw a bright line between sanctioned and unsanctioned activities that religious groups can participate in," Crane said.

So far, Crane's bill has the support of two leading House Republicans--Majority Leader Dick Armey and Majority Whip Tom DeLay, both of Texas. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, where Crane is the No. 2 Republican. The proposal is indirectly related to a bill sponsored by Republican Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.