Church-State Separation Advocate calls Grassley Staff Recommendation “Breathtakingly Wrongheaded”

In response to the recommendation of Senate Finance Committee minority staff to repeal the IRS rule prohibiting electioneering by churches, which I reported on here, Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, tells RD:

By suggesting that Congress scrap the IRS ‘no-politicking’ rule for churches and non-profits, Sen. Grassley’s staffers have gone seriously off course. I have to wonder what they could possibly be thinking. This investigation got under way because of allegations that several high-profile TV preachers were abusing non-profit status by living high on the hog while raking in millions tax-free every year. The answer to that would seem to be more accountability and oversight. Yet Grassley’s staffers have just recommended doing away with the ‘no politicking’ rule, which would only turn these same ministries loose in the world of partisan politics to do what they will with no oversight. It’s a breathtakingly wrong-headed suggestion. This is a disappointing conclusion to an investigation that could have done some good.