Let’s hear it for the United Churches of Christ (UCC) which managed the feat of providing a platform for a political candidate during its convention in Hartford CT last year, without violating IRS regulations about religious groups not engaging in politics.

Yes, you heard that right. A church group, which is not supposed to be political, gave a candidate a speaking venue to sell himself, but somehow didn’t actually do so, according to the IRS:

The Internal Revenue Service says the United Church of Christ did not violate rules when it hosted Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at its convention in Hartford last year.

The IRS says Obama’s appearance at the UCC’s national meeting in June 2007 did not violate federal rules governing the appearance of politicians at religious events.

Earlier this year, the IRS had said there were questions that the speech violated restrictions on political activity for tax-exempt organizations. The denomination has denied any wrongdoing.

However, in a letter to the national church the tax agency says it found the UCC had taken the necessary steps to avoid any appearance that Obama’s appearance was of a political nature.

Let’s all give the UCC a round of applause for successfully skirting the law in the cause of Jesus! Hallelujah!

If this sounds familiar, you’re not seeing things or experiencing deja vu; there really has been a recent spate of news stories in which religious folks are being allowed to violate laws in the name of their religions (see this blog entry and this one). Hopefully this trend unnerves you as much as it does me.

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