The IRS Is At It Again

No sooner have the Democrats retaken the White House than the IRS again feels free to use its power to advance partisan interests. This actually happened in May, but it is just now hitting the news: the IRS denied 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to an organization called Christians Engaged. The IRS explained that Christian doctrines are Republican:

You also educate believers on issues that are central to their belief in the Bible as the inerrant M. [The writer of the letter weirdly encodes certain words and phrases, and provides a key. M means “word of God.”] 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.

How Republican can you get?

[Y]ou are serving the private interests of the D party [D means Republican] more than incidentally in contravention to Treas. Reg. Section 1.501(c)(3)-1(d)1(ii) as well as serving a substantial nonexempt private purpose. For example, 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 [Republican] and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

It is quite remarkable to see an agency of the federal government publicly take the position that freedom of speech and national defense are Republican values. That is what I always thought, but I didn’t expect the IRS to admit it.

Of course, if this logic were applied evenhandedly, a great many nonprofits would be out of business, starting with Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club. But the IRS has no intention of being consistent.

Christians Engaged has gone to court to overturn the IRS ruling. I assume they will win, unless the facts are a lot more compelling than anything set out in the IRS letter, which is embedded below.

Responses