Yesterday, I had a nice lunch at the Golden Corral with my Senior Pastor, Scott Eynon and Youth Pastor, Tim Gray. Our family has belonged to Community Christian Church for ten years, and we’ve been truly blessed by the messages and the programs which have greatly improved the spiritual development of our two daughters, Aubrey and Austen. So as we sat there and did some serious chow down time at the GC, it pained me to know our Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now has its sights on the churches in America — well, with the exception of churches like Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s in Chicago of course.
As reported by The Blaze, “The Internal Revenue Service has settled a lawsuit brought by a secular activist group, reportedly agreeing to adopt standards for determining and investigating whether churches and religious organizations have violated restrictions on political activity. The precise terms of the settlement are still unclear, as is how the IRS will amend its policies to enforce tax law on churches in a way that is palatable to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which has long decried “rogue political churches.”
My immediate question is who is this group, Freedom From Religion Foundation, that they can influence IRS policy? And who are they to demand tax law be made palatable to them? What in my God’s name has happened to the First Amendment right of freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof?
And I suppose the group FFRF gets to be the adjudicators of what they deem as acceptable messages from the pulpit? Imagine this: the Bible addresses choosing life, what if a minister delivers a pro-life message — will FFRF “Brown Shirts” report this to the IRS for punishment? Or what happens if a pastor delivers a message on traditional families — one man and one woman — is that church leader hauled off before the new collective group of atheist Sadducees and Pharisees? And you can bet that churches in agreement with FFRF’s progressive socialist secular humanist agenda will be just fine.
This represents just another instance of the “War on Christians.”
What then is the difference between ISIS demanding Christians pay a subjugation tax, a jizya, and the persecution of FFRF with increased tax punishments? In my humble assessment, none. This is precisely why we must be concerned about the IRS under the progressive socialist Obama administration’s purview. It is an IRS that uses its power against deemed political opposition and has become a completely politicized agency — just like the Department of Justice.
The Blaze reports that “the core of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s lawsuit is the Johnson Amendment, a controversial IRS code added in 1954 that precludes nonprofit organizations — churches included — from engaging in campaign activity. “FFRF was asking that the Johnson Amendment be enforced against churches. The IRS has been enforcing the Johnson Amendment against churches since it was passed by Congress in 1954,” Erik Stanley, an attorney at Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm, told The Blaze. “The agency took a brief break from enforcing the law against churches in 2009 after its procedures for auditing churches was declared unlawful by a federal district court in Minnesota.”
Mr. Stanley stated, “Every American should fear an IRS that uses its vast power to target, threaten, and punish political opponents,” he added. “Churches have succumbed to this regime of fear for the last 60 years under the Johnson Amendment, which was added to the tax code specifically to silence speech a politician didn’t like.” There’s also the fear that the IRS might have new policies and procedures regarding churches that have not yet been released to the public — a potential factor that could lead to “unequal enforcement of the law,” Stanley said.” He added, “Our goal is to have the Johnson Amendment declared unconstitutional and to restore a pastor’s right to speak freely from the pulpit.”
However, what I always find interesting is how liberal Democrats go into certain churches and do all the campaigning they want. Is there some kind of duplicitous hypocrisy going on? What am I thinking – of course not. There’s no hypocrisy on the Left. Although I just have to note the FFRF has tax-exempt status as a 501(c)3.
Let us not forget the Pilgrims came to America and landed at Plymouth Rock because of religious persecution in England from the State. What a sad day that we’ve now turned back the clock of time and all these years later, this is the situation. I pray my pastors will not have to succumb to special interest state sponsored religious censorship in my lifetime — but groups like Freedom from Religion Foundation appear — shall I say — hell bent on doing exactly that.