About 5 months ago, I sent emails to US Senators and Representatives as I wrote about in http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/members/politics/215126/1/Ive-Been-Sooo-Bad-Hopefully-Something-Good-will-Happen. I received a response from Senator Harry Reid's office about my email to him today (see email without my identifying information below). The email was not very positive about what I wrote, but it wasn't negative either. I feel that my next email(s) should try to differentiate between dangerous cults and religions and show how dangerous cults do not benefit society. It would help if other JWN members would write about how the WTBTS has helped them to educate senators and representatives about how dangerous cults are and that the US government is involuntarily helping those cults to prey on unsuspecting citizens.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
January 27, 2012 Mr. Robert Dear Robert: Thank you for your thoughtful letter regarding the tax exemption status of certain religious institutions. I appreciate hearing from you. As you know, non-profit organizations such as social welfare organizations, unions, and trade associations are exempt from federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code pending adherence to specific rules and regulations. These requirements are outlined in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. As you may know, churches are automatically recognized as tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 501(c)(3). As a 501(c)(3) organization, churches must adhere to IRS guidelines to maintain their non-profit status. Among other guidelines, 501(c)(3) organizations may not intervene in political campaigns, nor may a substantial part of their activity attempt to influence legislation. Like countless other non-profit organizations, churches are granted tax exemption under the philosophy that they serve the public good, and often provide needed assistance in their communities in the form of charitable works and donations. Also, some fear that taxing religious institutions may encroach upon religious freedoms. I understand that this is a complicated issue and again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I will certainly keep your views in mind as we look toward the 112 th session of Congress. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. For more information about my work for Nevada, my role in the United States Senate Leadership, or to subscribe to regular e-mail updates on the issues that interest you, please visit my Web site at http://reid.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. My best wishes to you. Sincerely, A HARRY REID United States Senator Nevada HR:BK