ucc.jpgThat was quick. Especially by IRS standards.
An Internal Revenue Service inquiry into whether the United Church of Christ violated IRS rules against church politicking by giving denomination member Barack Obama a speaking sport at its annual meeting last year has cleared the church of any wrongdoing. The IRS announced the inquiry in February.
The official UCC blog reports:

The Internal Revenue Service has concluded that the UCC did not violate tax
laws when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama addressed the denomination’s 50th anniversary
General Synod in Hartford, Conn., in June 2007.
“Based on your response to the inquiry, we have determined that the activity about which we had concern did not constitute an intervention or participation in a political campaign … and that the United Church of Christ continues to qualify as an organization described in section 501(c)(3),”according to a May 13 letter from the IRS.

UCC blogger Rev. Chuck Currie’s response sounded remarkably like Focus on the Family’s when it was cleared of allegations that it, too, was involved in partisan political activities. Here’s Currie:

Every single charge leveled at the UCC was found to be without merit by the IRS. No one around here is much surprised. The UCC does not engage in partisan political politics and we have done nothing to promote any candidate. It is clear that the complaint filed against the UCC was frivolous, without merit and meant to undermine the prophetic role of the church. But that effort has failed completely.

Here’s Focus on the Family’s response to news that it had been cleared by the IRS last year:

Dr. Dobson said on his national radio broadcast today that the real target was conservative Christians nationwide.
“The purpose for this was not only to see if they could damage us and take us out,” he said, “but to scare every pastor and every nonprofit that’s out there.”
Under fire, Dr. Dobson said, are churches and Christian groups that speak out about social and moral issues, including marriage, homosexuality and the sanctity of life.
Dr. Dobson summarized what the IRS letter said: “No dings. No criticisms. Not a single allegation was found to have substance.”


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