Jarrett’s partisan pulpit speech may have violated IRS church-state rules

Neil Munro
The Daily Caller
1/17/2012

Valerie Jarrett’s partisan speech at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church may have violated the IRS tax rules for churches’ political activities, said a prominent free speech attorney.

“It is problematic under current regulations,” said Erik Stanley, a senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is campaigning to roll back IRS curbs on believers’ speech.

But if the IRS concludes that the church violated the IRS code, the ADF “will represent the church, just as it would represent any church for what is said from the pulpit,” he said.

“We believe in pulpit freedom,” he said.

On Sunday President Barack Obama’s controversial aide, Valerie Jarrett, used the Ebenezer pulpit to tell the congregation that the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters “are now in jeopardy because Congress — well, let me be specific — because [of] the Republicans in Congress.”

Jarrett is a longtime aide to Obama, and worked with him in Chicago. She’s deeply unpopular among White House staff, but remains influential with the president.

Shortly after the religious service, the church hosted a voter registration drive for its mostly African-American congregation. In 2008, more than 95 percent of African-Americans voted for Obama. His 2012 campaign managers are now funding registration drives and other efforts to repeat that level of support this November.

This church’s hosting of partisan statements and technically non-partisan activities threatens its tax-exempt status, according to rules posted on the IRS’ website…

…The tone at the church event was political, according to Will Frampton, the CBS TV reporter who attended the event. “There were times during the service when it really felt like a political rally, perhaps even an early campaign stop, as much as it was a church service,” he hold his viewers Sunday night…

The entire article is at The Daily Caller.

RelatedValerie Jarrett Uses MLK Day to Blast Republicans From the Pulpit

Also, Letting Obama Be Obama; And in so doing the indispensable Valerie Jarrett insists on being allowed to be Valerie Jarrett, unvetted, unknown, unaccountable. 

…“We have kind of a mind meld,” Jarrett says of her and Obama. “And chances are, what he wants to do is what I’d want to do.”

And what might that be?…

Update: Liberals Use MLK Services to Attack Newt Gingrich From Pulpit

Update 2: DaTechguy points out the obvious: The left believes in a wall between church and state…sometimes

And RI State Rep. Peter Palumbo Calls Jessica Ahlquist ‘Evil Little Thing’ Over Prayer Banner

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