Thursday, June 13, 2013

Huckabee to churches: Give up tax breaks to speak out

Former Arkansas Gov. -- and one-time Southern Baptist preacher -- Mike Huckabee says it may be time for churches to give up their tax-exempt status. That way, he says, they'd be free of the accompanying restrictions on political speech.

Huckabee's remarks, reported by Bob Allen of the Associated Baptist Press, came this week during a pastors' conference on the eve of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Houston.

"You may not clap real loud for this, but at least hear me out and think about it and pray about it," the Fox News pundit and ex-GOP presidential candidate told the Southern Baptist pastors. "I think we need to recognize that it may be time to quit worrying so much about the tax code and start thinking more about the truth of the living God. And if that means we give up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions, I choose freedom more than I choose a deduction that the government gives me permission to say what God wants me to say."

Churches that want to keep their tax-exempt status can't openly endorse candidates and have to be careful how political their pastors get in the pulpit.

Huckabee said recent reports that the IRS had targeted certain conservative groups should also cause churches to be concerned about religious freedom in the United States.

Some of Huckabee's toughest comments during his speech were directed at those in the Republican Party want to re-brand the GOP and appeal more to young people by down-playing social issues important to conservative Christians.

"Of late, the Republican Party has tried to tell those of us who are evangelicals that maybe we need to dial it back a little when it comes to issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage," said Huckabee, who ran second to U.S. Sen. John McCain for the 2004 GOP presidential nomination. "Well, I've got a news flash for the GOP: I plan to take my last ride in life on a white horse, not on an elephant and not on a donkey. And I will stick with the word of God and if the party, any party, goes a different way, I stick with Jesus. I believe he is forever."

-- Tim Funk


Zon said...

Why would they? The current IRS rule is un enforceable.

Anonymous said...

It won't matter. This administration will just find another way and do anything to attack it's enemies (Conservatives, Christians, Military Veterans, Republicans, etc.) Does anyone remember when they bailed and bought out GM that they went after Republican and conservative leaning car dealership owners and closed them out This was taken to court and sued and they were even found guilty but our so called media never covered it, because Obama's Hawaiian vacation was more important. It's no coincidence that we're now seeing scandal after scandal come to light. This will be a very interesting year and I predict no one responsible will be fired or put in jail, just relocated to another position and we'll just let them keep doing what they are doing ... no one has the balls to stand up for liberty anymore.

IAN Mcteller said...

Hey Anonymous,

Nah, I don't recall, but do you recall, Bush leaving the WH in an Economic Cesspool, Super Sizing the Gov't and decided to spend Taxpayer money like a drunken sailor??? Wait one minute, didn't Reagan do the exact same thing....

Anonymous said...

I don't WANT my church to tell me to vote for candidates I do not trust and do not think are good for America. I don't WANT my church to conflate my support for God to also be support for economic policies that prey on the poor. In my view, those do not precisely match up. Mr. Huckabee, I am a Christian but I am NOT Republican!

Anonymous said...

No church is going to give up their non-profit status. Most already have a non-prophet status and this makes a likely pair for those that choose to subscribe to them.