Once again I find myself on the verge of pulling my hair our and screaming out "WTF is the IRS doing about this?" Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code very clearly states that non-profit charitable organizations with tax exempt status CANNOT back political candidates or specific legislation. This clear wording is clearly lost on the Diocese of Yakima which will be shaking down parishioners in the pews for money donations to support the ballot initiative to overturn Washington State's marriage equality law. Here are highlights from what's what the Diocese is saying on its website:
Dear Pastor,Labor Day Weekend marks the beginning of Preserve Marriage Month, the official start to our educational program to inform parishioners about Catholic teaching on marriage and Referendum 74 (R‐74), which would redefine marriage. R‐74 will appear on the ballot in November.I am asking you to announce a special parishioner financial appeal at each Mass on the weekend of August 25/26 or September 1/2 – whichever one you choose – to promote the September 8/9 in‐pew collection for the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign. This important appeal will benefit the campaign to reject R‐74.
1. Next week you will receive from Catholic Printery, whether they publish your bulletin or not, special envelopes and informational flyers for inclusion in your bulletin on the weekend you choose.
2. A security envelope addressed to Preserve Marriage Washington will also be included with the mailing. Please use it to return your donation envelopes.In addition to informing ourselves and others about R‐74, we can contribute to the campaign by using the envelope in this week’s bulletin to make a generous donation to Preserve Marriage Washington.These donations are not tax deductible.
Each individual donor must provide the requested information on the envelope, including your name, and address. You may drop the envelope into the regular collection today or September 8/9, or mail it to Preserve Marriage Washington as indicated on the envelope.Fraternally in Christ,
Most Reverend Joseph J. Tyson
Bishop of Yakima
Given the nation's budget deficit, what better way to address it than taking away the tax exempt status of partisan organizations like the Roman Catholic Church. Non-Catholics, atheists and certainly LGBT Americas should not be forced to indirectly underwrite the Church's bigotry and efforts to interfere with the civil laws. Oh, and did I mention underwriting the Church hierarchy's world wide conspiracy to protect child rapists?