Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The United Church of Christ announced today that the IRS has cleared the church of allegations that it engaged in improper political intervention following an address by Barack Obama at its 2007 General Synod. The IRS concluded in its May 13 determination letter:
[The IRS determination outlined several steps taken by the church that indicated compliance with the law. The letter said the church's invitation to Obama came] well before he announced his candidacy and that [he] was invited to speak … in a non-candidate capacity, on how his personal faith intersected with his public life. You further established that the United Church of Christ had verbally communicated to those in attendance that Senator Obama was there as a member of the church and not as a candidate for office, that the audience should not attempt to engage in any political activities, and that the church's legal counsel had advised Senator Obama's campaign on the ground rules for the speech. ...
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 in violation of the requirements of section 501(c)(3), and that the United Church of Christ continues to qualify as an organization described in section 501(c)(3).