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‘Throw those bums out of office’: Houston Pastor calls for congregation to vote out county elected officials, potentially violating IRS rules

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HOUSTON – In a series of tweets, Mayor Sylvester Turner defends the city from Second Baptist Church’s Pastor Dr. Ed Young’s sermon.

Over the weekend, Young encouraged his congregation to vote out Houston and Harris County elected officials over crime, police staffing, and bonds.

“In all probability, Houston is one of the two of three most dangerous cities in the world to live in,” Young said from the church pulpit in a video posted on the church’s website. “Ladies and gentlemen if Houston and Harris County is to survive, we better throw those bums out of office. They are not doing the job that we have called them to.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW YOUNG’S SERMON

“Houston is not the most dangerous city in America,” Turner said on Twitter. “That is factually not true, and people should not say it to gain some political benefit. Facts from the pulpit should still matter.”

Texas Southern University’s Distinguish Law Professor James Matthew Douglas and Prairie View A&M University Eddy Carder, Ph.D., J.D., say Young comes extremely close to violating the Internal Revenue Service’s restriction on political statements for tax-exempt 501(c)(3)s.

The I.R.S. states, “under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

“If he starts endorsing, if the church begins to endorse candidates, then that crosses the line,” Douglas said. “He’s talking about what he thinks ought to happen now if it makes it happen then he has crossed the line but talking about it didn’t cross the line.”

“If he starts endorsing, if the church begins to endorse candidates, then that crosses the line,” Douglas said. “He’s talking about what he thinks ought to happen now if it makes it happen then he has crossed the line but talking about it didn’t cross the line.”

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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