Eric Holder, IRS Plan To Speak To Black Pastors
May 31, 2012 by Bryan Nash
Attorney General Eric Holder will be among those telling several hundred black pastors how to participate in the upcoming election.
He will join the Internal Revenue Service and lawyers in an attempt to educate church leaders.
“We will have representatives from nine denominations who actually pastor somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million people, and we’re going to first of all equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS,” Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told MSNBC.
“In fact, we’re going to have the IRS administrator there, we’re going to have the Attorney General Eric Holder there, we’re going to have the lawyers’ organization from around the country, the ACLU — all giving ministers guidance about what they can and cannot do.”
Because of their tax exemption, churches cannot campaign for candidates.
Cleaver said they would not be endorsing a candidate, but they do plan to discuss the evils of voter ID laws. Although they do not plan to support a candidate, Cleaver has voiced his belief that the policies of Republican Presidential front-runner Mitt Romney will not appeal to African-American voters or Latinos.
“We want to let them know that there is a theological responsibility to participate in the political process, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition,” Cleaver said.
Earlier this year, there was no tolerance for conservative church leaders espousing political views. In April, a complaint was filed with the IRS against Bishop Daniel Jenky, a Roman Catholic bishop who compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.