Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Webcasting of Sermons Increases IRS Scrutiny of Political Endorsements

Today's New York Times reports that the increasing presence of webcast sermons on church websites or on YouTube has made it easier for the IRS or watchdog groups to locate improper poltical endorsements by clergy. Several cases have come to the attention of the IRS this year after a sermon was webcast online. For example, Harlem minister James David Manning's sermon attacking Barack Obama spread from his church website to YouTube to right-wing talk shows, and gained the attention of the IRS after Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint two weeks ago.