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I got this message and photo from a Benton resident and I'm posting it here because it troubles me that a church would tell people how to vote - in particular, one that's a polling place.



There is a church on Edison called "Trinity" church, at the corner of Edison and Church St. They have a huge sign out front advocating a "no" vote on the medical marijuana issue. I contacted the Clerk's office and they stated that legally they cannot do anything since technically it isn't election day. She did agree I had a point in the fact that people that vote at this location drive by and see this advocacy position everyday, and early voting is indeed taking place. I have a problem with a polling place advocating a political position.

Tags: 5, Election, arkansas, benton, church, issue, leader, marijuana, medical, pastor, More…preacher, religious, saline, state, vote

Views: 2638

Replies to This Discussion

I find it troubling that the government tells churches what they can and cannot discuss.
Hah! What's new…they've done it from the pulpit for years. And it wasn't subtle then either.
TAX-FREE! That's why! Pay taxes and they can say whatever the hell they want to.
They will have to take that down on Election Day if it is a polling place.
What exactly is the logical relationship between tax exemption and the right to free speech and the right to religious expression as you see fit?


With regards to taking the sign down, how far is the sign from the entrance used for polling? My understanding is that if the sign is 100 feet from the entrance then it's fair game.

Here is the relationship between tax exemption and prohibition of supporting a political campaign:
http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizat...
It applies to endorsing candidates, but it doesn't specifically say it applies to issues.

1) I asked about the logical relationship between tax exemption and and the IRS's ability to impose limits on free expression. I am aware of the IRS'sposition, I'm asking what justification they have for that position. Hint: The answer is none.

2) This sign by the church is not prohibited political activity by a tax exempt organization as a) it is issue advocacy rather than an endorsement of a campaign or candidate and b) it is not a substantial activity of the church and the church spent no or an inconsequential amount of money on this message.

I personally think it is great that a church has the backbone to take a stand on an issue.  Christians have been told to be tolerant lest we offend someone.   Being tolerant has put our nation where it is today & it's about time that we take a stand.  I go to church there & support our pastor 100%.

Joy I agree 100%...Go Trinity Baptist Church!!!

Why would a church, and Christians, be against relieving the pain and suffering of people who are very ill?

Why do people say such obviously foolish and ignorant things because someone doesn't agree with their narrow minds?

Glad to see a church step up so publically.

Totally wrong....When they pay taxes they can tell me how to vote. It is NOT the churches job to teach or push how they feel about politics onto the parishioners or the rest of society....We have a brain, use it without the influence of the Church...

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