A top IRS official has informed a Christian group that “Bible lessons are usually affiliated” with the Republican Party as a reason for denying their tax-exemption application.
The Christians Engaged organization filed an appeal this week against the IRS’ denial, objecting to the agency’s opinion that it is partisan.
In their May denial letter, Stephen Martin, the IRS Exempt Organizations Director, said the group was involved in “banned political campaign interruption” and “works for a large non-exempt private reason for the private interests of the GOP.”
A “legend” on the letter reveals nine alphabet letters being used to mean something. In this example, strangely, the “D” represented “Republican.”
“You speak to Christians about what the Bible says concerning topics where they might be instrumental, including abortion, marriage, free speech, and immigration., Martin said. “The Bible lessons are usually affiliated with the D party. This disqualifies your group from exemption.”
Christians Engaged first sent in their application for tax-exempt status in 2019. First Liberty Institute, a religious freedom law firm, is supporting the group with its appeal.
“We only want to push more Americans to vote and get involved in the political process., the President of the group, Bunni Pounds, said in a comment. “How can anyone be opposed to that?”
The IRS’ depiction of the Bible may be inconsistent with that of Biden, said Lea Patterson, attorney for the First Liberty Institute.
“The IRS says that Biblical opinions are only Republican in nature. That could be news to Biden, who some say bases his politics on his religious beliefs., Patterson said in a comment.
“Only a politicized IRS would see Americans praying for their nation, voting in elections, and working to encourage others to get involved the process as a problem., Patterson said. “The IRS broke its own rules in denying tax-exemption due to teaching biblical values.”
Author: Blake Ambrose