A top Internal Revenue Service official told a Christian group that “Bible teachings are typically affiliated” with the Republican Party as a rationale for denying its application for tax-exempt status.
Article by Fred Lucas from Daily Signal.
The Texas-based Christians Engaged filed an appeal on Wednesday to the IRS’ denial, objecting to the tax agency’s assertion that it is partisan.
In a May 18 denial letter, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin said Christians Engaged is involved in “prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican Party].”
A “legend” at the top of the letter shows nine letters of the alphabet being used as shorthand to represent something. In this letter’s example, oddly, “D” represented “Republican.”
“Specifically, you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental, including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations,” Martin wrote. “The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the D party and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under lRS Section 50I(c)(3).”
Christians Engaged first applied for tax-exempt status in late 2019. First Liberty Institute, a religious freedom public interest law firm, is representing the Christian group in its appeal.
“We just want to encourage more people to vote and participate in the political process,” Christians Engaged President Bunni Pounds said in a statement. “How can anyone be against that?”
The IRS’ characterization of the Bible might be inconsistent with that of Democratic President Joe Biden, said Lea Patterson, counsel for First Liberty Institute.
“The IRS states in an official letter that Biblical values are exclusively Republican. That might be news to President Biden, who is often described as basing his political ideology on his religious beliefs,” Patterson said in a statement.
Patterson appeared to make a vague reference to the tax-exempt unit that was at the center of the IRS targeting scandal during the Obama administration. The ruling also comes amid Biden’s push for an $80 billion expansion of the IRS over 10 years, and the latter could be complicated if the tax agency appears to be more politicized.
“Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat,” Patterson said. “The IRS violated its own regulations in denying tax-exempt status because Christians Engaged teaches biblical values.”
In its administrative appeal, Patterson contends the IRS made three legal errors:
By finding that Christians Engaged does not meet the operational test, Director Martin errs in three ways: 1) he invents a nonexistent requirement that exempt organizations be neutral on public policy issues; 2) he incorrectly concludes that Christians Engaged primarily serves private, nonexempt purposes, rather than public, exempt purposes because he thinks its beliefs overlap with the Republican Party’s policy positions; and 3) he violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech, and Free Exercise, and Establishment clauses by engaging in both viewpoint discrimination and religious discrimination.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,