IRS Harassment of Pro-Life Groups Continues Despite Claims to Contrary
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Aug 02
On August 1, the Thomas More Society submitted an updated second memorandum to Congressman Aaron Schock of the House Ways and Means Committee, detailing additional evidence of continued IRS targeting of pro-life organizations, the Christian Newswire reports. Despite claims by the Obama administration that the harassment has ceased, the Society produced over 250 pages of documentation showing the federal government is still interrogating pro-life groups beyond the scope of its legal authority, infringing upon these organizations' First Amendment rights of assembly, free speech and religious liberty. "Despite claims to the contrary, the IRS continues to target and harass pro-life and conservative charities, illegally questioning their religious activities and withholding their tax exemptions," said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society. "We have now produced irrefutable evidence of six clients whose First Amendment rights were trampled upon by the IRS because of their position upholding the sanctity of life. Even after public disclosure of this wrongdoing, the Obama administration's IRS has refused to cease its illegal activity. We will continue to aid Congress in its investigation until those responsible are brought to justice and the IRS is made to respect every American's constitutional rights." Since the Thomas More Society disclosed evidence in May showing IRS harassment of three pro-life groups, the Society has been contacted by numerous additional organizations seeking legal counsel related to IRS issues. The Society has now presented Congressman Schock and the committee with compelling documentation of six different groups which have experienced viewpoint-biased discrimination by the IRS, dating back to 2009 and involving multiple IRS offices and agents, including those in El Monte, Calif., Chicago, Ill., and Cincinnati, Ohio.