The church subpoenas

I’d be interested to know what you all think about this one. Several churches, including Eddie Long’s in Atlanta, are getting subpoenas from the United States Senate relating to extravagant lifestyles.

Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is doing the subpoenaing, but he needs the support of the Democratic Chairman of the Committee, who I’m told is fully supporting Grassley in this endeavor.

it also appears to be a fairly

24 comments

  1. jackson says:

    I think it is a great idea. I think preachers and pastors ought to be completely transparent about what happens in their church. what are they hiding? Most of the documents requested are ones they need to provide to the IRS anyway.

    I think the ones that are nervous about it are driving around in bentley’s and have like a bunch of vacation homes.

    And NONE of them are members of the ECFA (Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability)- the group formed after all the televangelist scandals to monitor and keep these type of churches in check.

  2. Dawgfan says:

    Jackson you make some good points, but I’m still a little uncomfortable with it. It looks like a fishing expedition to me. There has been no credible accusation of abuse of church funds. Sure, there has been some conspicuous consumption goin

  3. atlantaman says:

    I think it comes down to simple accounting for a non-profit. If the heads of the “non-profit” are making an astronomically higher amount than their peers you’ve got to ask yourself is it really still a non-profit or has the organization become a shell for the directors to profit.

    A little like these legalized ponzai schemes I suppose, where one pays ten times the amount for a water filter that he could just buy off the shelf at Depot and then the profit makes its way down the pyramid. It’s legal because an actual profit is invovled, but on some level the product is irrelevant.

    I’m not saying the folks accused have done anything wrong, but you’ve got to keep an eye on them so they don’t take advantage of those tax deductible contributions.

  4. I Am Jacks Post says:

    “Conspicuous consumption?” That’s being generous.

    A, ahem, er, “minister” driving a $350k crunked-out Bentley? These guys are slime balls who are A. making a mockery of scripture, and B. fleecing their congregation AND the taxpayers.

    TV interviewer: Minister Dollar, how do you justify the church providing you with such a extravegant automobile?

    Minister Dollar: “Look here, Jesus told me to get 22s!”

  5. I Am Jacks Post says:

    “Conspicuous consumption?” That’s being generous.

    A, ahem, er, “minister” driving a $350k crunked-out Bentley? These guys are slime balls who are A. making a mockery of scripture, and B. fleecing their congregation AND the taxpayers.

    TV interviewer: Minister Dollar, how do you justify the church providing you with such a extravagant automobile?

    Minister Dollar: “Look here, Jesus told me to get 22s!”

  6. NonPartisanGA says:

    Dawgfan,

    If you read the letters sent to each of these televangelists, it is pretty clear that this is more than a fishing expedition. The questions are very specific and it is very apparent that insiders have blown the whistle on these ministries.

    Tax exempt status is a privilege not a right. As long as these ministries are subsidized in part by taxpayers, we through our elected officials and government agencies have a right to disclosure of relevant financial information to ensure that these and ALL non-profit entities are abiding by the requirements to gain tax exempt status.

    Any non-profit that resents or does not wish to disclose legal inquiries under the law is free to renounce their tax exempt status and be as secret as for profit public companies are under Sarbanes Oxley disclosure requirements LOL….

  7. Bill Simon says:

    When are these gutless wonders going to start investigating and subpoening groups like Grover Norquist’s ATR for his laundering (and commission taking) of Indian tribe funds for Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff?

  8. jackson says:

    For the first time in my life, I think I also agree with Bill Simon. Wow. I’m going to take a shower now.

  9. This is just another example of Congress wasting time instead of doing the important work they were elected to do. Where’s the federal budget by the way?

    So what if these preachers live well? Most of these people get their personal money from the sale of books they write. They all submit documents to the IRS yet the IRS doesn’t seem to have a problem with what they’re doing so why does Congress?

    Joyce Meyer’s ministry for example spends 92% of their donations and revenue (from sale of her many best selling books) on hospitals in India and Africa and other things like that. Surely Grassley doesn’t have a problem with that?

    Eddie Long’s Church spent an enormous amount of money helping over 200 families affected by Katrina. They spend lots of time trying to help people lift themselves out of poverty and break the cycle of of government dependence. Ministries like Meyer’s and Long’s should be celebrated not investigated.

  10. Think Grassley would be better served investigating the 501(c)3 organizations that have opted out of their benevolent status to be mere political influence peddlers.

    Or if he really wants to be useful, perhaps he should investigate all the con job 501(c)3 organizations that are mere shell organizations to shelter money from taxations. Problem is, there are far more of them than of the mega churches. Cracking down on all the tax evaders really isn’t sexy enough.

  11. GOPeach says:

    Buzz-

    Great points! I agree.

    I have always wondered why Rabbis and Priests
    never get called on these things … Come to find’
    out .. Catholic Churches and Jewish Synagogues
    are NOT 501 (c) 3 !

    They are NOT under statutory law but cannon law. Catholics’ are loyal to Rome and Jews are loyal to Jerusalem – not Washington!

    It’s time the Protestants WAKE UP!

  12. jsm says:

    I heard on last night’s news that there have been no subpoenas in this whole ordeal, and that the churches are not required by law to turn over their books. Creflo Dollar does not get a salary from his church, because of all the money his books make. He does get “percs,” which include the Rolls that he says is used only for special events and a private jet that transports him between his church here and his church in NY. Eddie Long has reportedly transferred millions from his personal ministry to his church, but I haven’t heard what the church pays him.

    These churches get all this money in voluntary donations, and you’d think the donors would revolt or give to another church if they disapproved of the way it is spent. This is not the government’s business, unless donations are being used to commit crimes.

  13. Doug Deal says:

    GOPeach,

    So nice of you to finally admit to your biggotry. No wonder the GOP has been bleeding support from the neck the last several years.

    You do realize the Catholics are the single largest religous entity in the US as well as the world?

  14. Doug Deal says:

    Okay GOP, I took your seriously. All is forgiven.

    Yes, the cats are great, but I cannot take credit. I got that in email and thought it was funny enough to host.

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