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Oklahoma City-area churches may face IRS investigations

Greg Horton October 9th, 2008

Two metro churches are facing possible Internal Revenue Service investigations because their pastors endorsed Sen. John McCain during the Sunday worship service on Sept. 28. Fairview Baptist Churc...

or the churches involved, but both Blair and Fisher believe this is an issue worth fighting about.

"This is not a political issue," Blair said, "it is a constitutional and biblical issue. It is important for my congregants to know where each candidate lines up according to the clear teaching of Scripture pertaining to issues of biblical morality. It is my right under the First Amendment and, indeed, my duty to God to provide that vital instruction."

Andy Spiropoulos, an Oklahoma City University law professor, said the constitutional issue comes down to whether a tax exemption is a benefit or a right.

"Churches did endorse candidates before the Johnson Amendment," Spiropoulos said, "but the government made a policy change. It's been long understood that the government can place conditions on tax-exempt organizations. You can't place an unconstitutional condition on someone's rights, but a tax benefit is a benefit, not a right."

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