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Michael Swartz / June 23, 2021

IRS Says the Bible Is Republican?

A Christian nonprofit was denied tax-exempt status in what seems like a continuation of Obama’s enemies list.

One of the little-known achievements of Donald Trump’s administration was its settlement of lawsuits brought forth by various Tea Party groups that claimed Barack Obama’s IRS was using “inappropriate criteria” to deny their applications for tax-exempt status. That’s putting it mildly. As was his standard practice with the federal government, Obama had weaponized the IRS against his political opponents.

At the time the lawsuit was settled, Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin correctly claimed, “These are groups of law-abiding citizens who should have never had their First Amendment rights infringed upon by the IRS.”

Well, in the words of the great philosopher Yogi Berra, under Joe Biden’s administration, it may be déjà vu all over again. But since the Tea Party has essentially met its demise — thanks in part to the arbitrary denial of tax-exempt status — the target is shifting to religious-based groups.

It was recently revealed that a Christian voter advocacy group called Christians Engaged was denied tax-exempt status by the IRS.

“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,” read a letter from IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen Martin explaining the rejection. “The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican Party] and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).”

In announcing an appeal, First Liberty Institute — a religious freedom public interest law firm — claimed this could be grounds to shut down Christian groups around the country.

After all, the IRS may be threatened by any group that “invites individuals to pledge to pray regularly for the nation, vote in every election, and ‘commit to some form of political education or activism for the furtherance of our nation.’” But in this case, Christians Engaged “also follows up with election reminders, but it does not produce voter guides or otherwise suggest that recipients should vote for or against any particular candidate or candidates.”

Obviously, the IRS contention regarding Bible teachings was not lost on several commentators, which also led to the comparison to Joe Biden’s Catholicism. Some, like Townhall’s Michael Brown, took it even further, concluding, “While the IRS ruled quite wrongly in denying Christians Engaged tax-exempt status, it ironically got one thing right: if you teach the Bible accurately, by and large, you’ll end up siding with the Republicans rather than the Democrats.”

But the reason we brought this issue to readers’ attention once again was to refresh memories of the litany of abuse that nonprofits endured under the Obama regime, and to ponder just what else this really signals. “This IRS ruling is more than just shutting down an attempt by a Texas organization to energize Christian voters,” as one RedState commentator put it. Eventually “it will be seen as one of the first acts to ban Christianity from the public square.”

Where we differ with this assessment is in degrees. We happen to see this IRS action as not a “first act” but as just another step in a long march by the Left and Democrats against Christianity. One that, for example, could use some of those billions of additional dollars Biden intends to give the IRS to enhance enforcement of the Johnson Amendment to strip churches of their tax-exempt status, a long-cherished dream of the atheist Left. (The ones who constantly scream about “separation of church and state” completely misunderstand the original intent.) While many churches could survive that kind of expense, it would render unto Caesar money that they would otherwise render unto God for their mission.

For those who hate religion because it reminds them they have a conscience, their mission is to neutralize any church that overtly preaches the Word. Getting the government involved is just icing on the cake to them, so it’s a sure bet they’re rooting for the corrupt IRS on this one.

Update 7/8: The IRS has reversed course and granted tax-exempt status to Christians Engaged.

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