Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

IRS Deals Blow to Christian Coalition

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

IRS Deals Blow to Christian Coalition

Article excerpt

The Christian Coalition, long a major force in American politics and religious conservative activism, has been dealt a major blow.

According to a published report, the Internal Revenue Service has denied the Cheseapeake, Va.-based organization federal tax-exempt status, a move that will likely limit its ability to keep playing a significant role in American elections.

The coalition's signature activity has been the distribution of millions of voter guides, sheets that list candidates' positions on issues important to religious conservatives. By denying the coalition its tax exemption, as reported yesterday in the St. Petersburg Times, the IRS has in essence ruled that the group's primary activity was political, not educational. Individual churches, the vehicle for distribution of the guides, will now likely shy away from handing them out, to avoid any problems with the IRS themselves. "It's a devastating blow to the ability of {Christian Coalition President} Pat Robertson to politicize American churches," says Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a coalition opponent. …

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