Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I am one of the growing numbers who love “The Bee” and its uniquely irreverent satirical slices at the pompous, politically correct, condescending buffoons who make up the bulk of our “elite” leadership class these days. Like so many, I look forward to my daily newsletter from The Bee, as it is guaranteed to lift my spirits at least a littl; relief so welcome in our daily cascade of inanities issuing forth from our Anointed Class.
So when I saw the following headline, I immediately told My Lady it had to be another piece of genius parody from the Bee:
IRS Denies Tax Exempt Status for Christian Group, Claiming Bible is too Similar to Republican Beliefs
Imagine my astonishment, one of the most polite words I could choose, at learning that this was not satire, but were the words of an official letter of the Director of Exempt Organizations of the Internal Revenue Service — of our government.
Does the name Lois Lerner immediately spring to the mind? It should- the “official” who wrote this pernicious piece of perfidy occupies the very same office she occupied when she single-handedly shut down a similar organization, True The Vote, among others, in 2013.
The target of the current version of the Obama-Biden weaponization of the IRS to stifle political oppression is a Texas-based Christian non-profit which describes itself in these words on its website:
Christians Engaged exists to awaken, motivate, educate, and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ to:
PRAY for our nation and elected officials regularly
VOTE in every election to impact our culture
ENGAGE our hearts in some form of POLITICAL EDUCATION OR ACTIVISM for the furtherance of our nation
The shock (…and awe?) one experiences at learning of this action of the IRS is best described in a press release of its legal team, First Liberty Institute, when it referred to the letter as one “you really have to read to believe”, so I did. Not only did I find it hard to believe that even a denizen of this thoroughly corrupt administration could write such a blatantly unconstitutional piece of garbage, I came away with a feeling of real and deep foreboding at what this kind of autocratic tyranny portends for the future of the Nation I love beyond measure.
Before launching the less-than-savory task of closely analyzing the letter it will be helpful to take a brief look at the background of this “Republican activist’s” application for tax-exempt status. As explained in a recent article:
The non-profit first applied to become a 501 (c)(3) in late 2019. They received a rejection letter on May 18, 2021, from Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin saying the group “engage[s] in prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican] party.”
In considering the letter in detail, it helps to keep in mind a few salient facts– not opinions- such as the fact that this abomination comes shortly after
…a massive leak of sensitive taxpayer information that targeted wealthy individuals, now the IRS is denying tax-exempt status to a religious organization because their beliefs may possibly inform their political opinions,” Comer said, referring to the recent leak of tax information on hundreds of America’s richest citizens to ProPublica, a website focusing on investigative journalism.
And, if the letter itself isn’t chilling enough for your taste, consider this:
[House Majority Leader Kevin] McCarthy said the new IRS scandal comes as President Joe Biden plans to add 87,000 new employees at the agency and significantly boost its power.
“Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s plan to double the size of the IRS, grant it an unprecedented expansion of power to access every Americans’ bank accounts, and exempt it from congressional oversight will only subject Americans to more harassment and abuse at the hand of political operatives masquerading as public servants,” McCarthy said.
“The IRS should get no more power than it already has.”
The letter begins, oddly enough, with a truly bizarre key to letter symbols—especially the letter M:
B- July 22, 2019
F= The Texas Eagle Forum
G= Promise Keepers
H= Collin County
J= Collin County Republican
K = Collin County Victory Efforts
M= Word of God
Having set the tone of weirdness, it then proceeds to what one can only assume was at the forefront of its author’s thinking, assuming, arguendo, anything resembling that process went into the drafting of this document:
Your founder and President is a motivational public speaker, former D Congressional Candidate, political consultant and Preacher of the Gospel. Your Vice President is a motivational public speaker, former President of F, intercessor, former Prayer Coordinator for G and a homeschool mom. Your Secretary you describe as a conservative millennial thought leader with a marketing and political consulting background. He now serves as the Executive Director for the K, where he manages the J Party’s field teams in H as well as the grassroots get out-the-vote efforts for H.
It then proceeded to list more of the Christian-based activities it apparently found so abhorrent:
You also educate believers on national issues that are central to their belief in the Bible as the inerrant M. You educate Christians in areas where they can be instrumental as in areas of the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, laws vs. lawlessness, freedom of speech, religious liberty, government and business ethics, human trafficking, fiscal responsibility in government budgeting, defense, borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations.
To further your mission, you conduct educational activities including a month-long political activism course. The thrust of the course is to create onramps of practical education and mentorships for people to engage in political activism with a basis in a biblical/Christian value system. Topics include instructing individuals on becoming a citizen lobbyist, working with elected officials and candidates, discerning between the lessor of two evils, keeping the Christian soul right when working on politics, practical steps and pitfalls in political activism, how to work with an interest group focused on an area that you are interested in including the sanctity of life and fiscal responsibility, how to use mentoring to encourage Christians to engage in political activism. You will establish key leadership positions in each Congressional district across the state, so ordinary Christians can learn through action.
You educate individuals on how to choose between imperfect candidates as well as instruct individuals that parties matter. They should look at the party they represent and the core beliefs and values of that party. They should look at what the candidate says about the issues and see if their beliefs align with the Bible. Individuals should know the Bible, vote the Bible and vote on values.
Let us pause here to ask: who in the world but a lifetime bottom feeder of the Federal bureaucracy would ever refer to the Word of God as “the inerrant M”? Is it just me, or does that seem bizarre to anyone else?
This is followed by a discussion of the applicable law and here I will make full disclosure that I was never involved with tax law so I would welcome the views of anyone who had that background to offer whatever commentary may be appropriate.
However, in the section discussing the applicability of the law to Christians Engaged’ s activities, the IRS not only makes shocking statements regarding its activities but one or two of the statements seemingly are not supported by any evidence that I could find anywhere. The most glaring such statement is emphasized below:
You instruct individuals on issues that are prominent in political campaigns and instruct them in what the Bible says about the issue and how they should vote. These issues include the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and biblical justice. These issues generally distinguish candidates and are associated with political party platforms. These facts preclude you from exemption under IRC Section 501 (c)(3).
There is, in the record I was able to find for my research, no evidentiary support whatsoever for the statement that Christians Engaged instructs anyone on “how they should vote.”
Then followed one of the most preposterous statements to be found in an official document of OUR government since, perhaps, the days when Lois Lerner was cracking her whip at those ghastly (smelly!) Tea Party devotees:
For example, you educate believers on national issues that are central to their belief in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. 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. The bible teachings are typically affiliated with the D party and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).
Christians Engaged has filed an appeal from this wretched ruling, making many salient points:
Lea Patterson, who is representing Christians Engaged and serves as counsel with First Liberty Institute, said the decision from the IRS is strange and not in line with their past practices. Patterson said the IRS is discriminating based on religion.
“If the IRS going forward thinks that Bible teaching is Republican-affiliated, then that could endanger the tax-exempt status of many religious organizations — including potentially churches, which obviously teach the Bible with some frequency,” Patterson told Breitbart News on Saturday.
In the appeal letter, Patterson pointed out that the IRS has approved 501(c)(3) status for several other organizations that behave almost identically to Christians Engaged. Most notably, the letter mentioned a non-profit Michelle Obama started called Civic Nation, whose “When We All Vote” initiative says its mission is:
[T]o change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings together individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to register new voters across the country and advance civic education for the entire family and voters of every age to build an informed and engaged electorate for today and generations to come. We empower our supporters and volunteers to take action through voting, advocating for their rights, and holding their elected officials accountable.
“Denying tax-exempt status for Christians Engaged while recognizing the exempt status of other organizations who encourage civic engagement from different viewpoints demonstrates the IRS’s impermissible viewpoint discrimination,” Patterson said in the appeal letter.
Patterson also noted that Martin is not following protocol when he assumes that Christian values belong to one political party.
“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.
Going forward, Christians Engaged must wait while the IRS goes through its official internal administrative appeal process over the next few months. If they are denied again, the IRS and Christians Engaged could end up in federal court, Patterson said.
As is perhaps too painfully clear by now, I consider this totally unconstitutional action by the IRS, and, therefore, by OUR government, to be appallingly tyrannical, autocratic and chillingly indicative of things to come in the next three years under this most anti-Religion administration in modern history, with the possible exception of the “first Obama administration.”
I will leave it to others to express the revulsion more and more will feel as they learn about this disgusting action of OUR government in words of eloquence I only wish I could claim.
A guest author on the website of Chayim b’Yeshua (Life in Yeshua) Ministries, Tony Perkins, writes in an article entitled “Christian Organizations Everywhere Should Brace Themselves For Weaponized IRS”, these words of cautionary advice:
It’s cancel culture come to the IRS, he laments. And with their scandalous history of shunning groups they dislike, faith-based groups need to be on guard.
Under Obama, the IRS has engaged in some of the most vicious ideological censorship in American history, systematically silencing dozens (if not hundreds) of conservative groups.
Now, with Joe Biden in charge, it’s like nothing at the IRS has changed. The lawlessness that characterized the Obama-Biden administration seems to be back — and is uglier and more aggressive than ever.
Richard Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, said:
“The IRS has ruled that the inerrant Word of God is partisan and benefits Republicans. I am anxiously awaiting the outcry from the new left-wing ‘evangelicals’ in defense of the Bible,” Manning said.
“Their silence would be agreement with the IRS that Republican ideology better approximates how Jesus would vote than their own. Time for the Left to either claim the Bible or agree with the IRS that they have abandoned it.”
The “last word” on this miserable exercise in intolerance must go to Seton Motley, President of Less Government:
Democrats have a standing invitation to worship God, too; it isn’t this group’s fault that so few accept it.
Motley also asked, “If worshiping God means ‘Republican,’ who are Democrats worshiping?”
If I may be so bold as to say: Pray that the Federal Court filing which will follow the all but certain denial of the organization’s administrative appeal brings a return to the bedrock principles the Founding Fathers thought they had designed for us and a rejection of the exact kind of attempt at thought control and religious intolerance they most feared.
God Bless America!Published in