Despite 675K Signatures, The White House Will Honor The Westboro Baptist’s Tax-Exempt Status

westborochurch-620x342After five separate petitions with nearly 675,000 signatures demanded that the White House legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group, the White House responded last Tuesday by telling organizers it does not maintain a list of hate groups, and attached a map showing that most of the petition’s supporters were densely concentrated in two areas—Kansas, the home state of WBC, and Newtown, CT. Isn’t that nice of them?

One of the petitions pointed out that the church “is better-known for homophobic displays, suing people and picketing funerals than for providing Christian care to a community,” while another calls it “a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.”

But “hate group” status wasn’t the only motivating factor behind the petitions—reports show that more than 260,000 of the signatures were in support of revoking the church’s tax-exempt status.

White House officials also reminded petitioners that Barack Obama signed a 2012 law that restricted defamatory protests within 300 feet of military funerals, and added:

“That all said, we agree that practices such as protesting at the funerals of men and women who died in service to this country and preventing their families from mourning peacefully are reprehensible.

Moreover, one of the remarkable things about this set of petitions is that it shows just how strong the bonds that unite us can be. Together, we’re more resilient than those who would try to drive us apart.”

United we stand, divided we fall without results, right?


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  • Deepdow

    The only institutions in this world that don’t get taxed are the ones that tell you you’re going to hell and the ones that rob you blind. Seems legit.

  • alterego1980

    I don’t agree with the idea (law) that religious institutions should be tax exempt. One of the consequences/benefits to that would be that they wouldn’t have nearly as much money to front for political causes. The two SHOULD remain separate.

  • Jackhoffsky

    I think they can be tax exempt all they want. They just shouldn’t be allowed to call the police when trouble strikes or the fire department if something catches on fire.

    The WBC, at it’s foundation is pretty much no different than any other organized Christian religion. They have the bible, they believe in Jesus and the redemption of his sacrifice. Okay, fine. BUT…they read the words of the bible literally and then take this “normal” core religious concept TO THE EXTREME. But that’s their only difference – method of proselytizing.

    Fundamentally MOST religions are a hate group. If they aren’t they’re not following the bible very well.

  • Charles175

    Even if their tax exemption status was removed, the entire family are lawyers. They would have take this all the way to the US Supreme Court and won. All the while creating a circus atmosphere and making money along the way.

  • balehead

    WHERE can we email the whitehouse and media to let them know our CONCERNS?…

  • Freddie27

    Firstly, the US Government does not have a list of hate groups. The SPLC and other private organisations might, but the US Government doesn’t have a legal list of official hate groups, and it’s good they don’t. I don’t want the Government to have some nefarious list of private organisations which it calls “hate groups”.
    Secondly, there is a genuine debate over whether churches should get 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status. But the Government has chosen to do so and until the day it revokes that, the Government is absolutely prohibited by the First Amendment’s Free Exercise, Establishment and Free Speech clauses from selectively removing tax-exempt status from churches whose speech it disagrees with. It is a dystopian future to imagine the US Government from casting judgement on the teachings of churches and punishing those with which it disagrees by removing its tax-exempt status. As horrific as the WBC undoubtedly is, the separation of church and state and free speech rights means the Government cannot impose “regulation” on it or punish it for its beliefs.

  • KevinG

    I’m as opposed to the WBC as anyone, but it was a stupid petition and the White House’s response was entirely correct.

    The White House does not maintain a list of hate groups. Do you really think they should?

    The President does not have unilateral authority to rescind the taxpayer ID status of any organization. Do you really think he should? Wouldn’t an anti-gay politician rescind the tax IDs of HRC, NCLR, Lambda Legal, and other LGBT groups.

    WBC has done some despicable things, but they aren’t really political. They don’t make campaign contributions or engage in direct lobbying. They’re a lot less political than many, many other groups.

    They’re gross and stupid, but this was such a dumb approach.

  • chris89

    So now its okay to vote away their rights? If we want to dance in the street in a thong at pride then they can stand around holding their signs. Get a grip.

  • Harley

    I want to start my own religion also so I can enjoy tax exempt status. I’m calling it the Church of the Universal Horizontalist. It’s founded on the principle of worshiping the Creator of Life (my dick) and I will need lots of followers to help in my daily Worship Services. AND I WON’T NEED TO PAY ANY TAXES. YIPEE!!!!

  • gppm1103

    @Harley: I’m in:-)

  • Kieru

    They are a hateful, awful group. But their tax-exempt status is not based on a popularity contest. 675,000+ signatures don’t mean a damned thing if they meet the criteria needed for their status. This isn’t Survivor. You cannot vote them off the island for being assholes.

  • John

    You guys! You can help us stick it to Westboro Baptist Church and send them to Hell this October! Look and pitch in if possible! http://igg.me/at/GHTS/x/201529

  • ttt

    @2eo: When will you hateful bigots learn. You tried to take away their homes their jobs their kids and now their tax exempt status. Face it. they’re smarter than you.

  • Freddie27

    @2eo: You’re right, the US Constitution doesn’t guarantee tax exempt status for churches. But it does guarantee that if you provide it to one church, you can’t refuse to give it to another because you disagree with its message. Exempt all churches from tax or none of them, there’s no other choice.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Tax all churches involved in politics.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Tax all churches.

  • chris89

    @2eo: I was speaking to their rights not about taxes… which a totally different argument. So you shut up….

Comments are closed.