Douglas Kmiec, an otherwise Republican law prof at Pepperdine has been denied communion by his priest because he expressed an endorsement for the pro-choice Barack Obama rather than the (presumably) pro-life McCain. Kmiec remains pro-life; he’s just done the math this time around and believes that on the whole, Obama is the better candidate for our country in spite of his disagreement on the subject of abortion. In other words, like most voters, he knows he can’t get everything he wants, and he’s happier with the set of values promoted by the Democrat this time around.
And for that, his priest and church are punishing him. They are of course free to do so, since the church is a private entity, but it is very, very difficult to see how this should not result in an immediate re-examination of this diocese’s 501(c)(3) status. Churches pay no taxes on their income, but to keep it that way they must stay out of politics; from IRS.gov:
Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one “which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
And more from here, also at IRS.gov:
…[V]oter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.
Let them, and any church, behave any way they want — but they shouldn’t get a free ride if they decide to ignore the rules under which they operate.