Christians Must be Prepared for Intimidation
Tony Beam Dr. Tony Beam's Weblog
- 2006 Feb 27
Accordingt to IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson the Internal Revenue Service found a "disturbing" amount of illegal politicking talking place in churches related to the 2004 election cycle. That "distrubing" amount he is referring to amounts to 82 actual investigated cases out of 100 complaints with some kind of action being taken in 3 out of 4 of the 82 cases investigated. The total number of churches and other organizations affected came to a staggering 59 with (take a deep breath) 39 of the 59 organizations being churches.
These numbers may seem significant until you realize there are more than 1 million churches and charities in the United States. To refer to this number as "disturbing" disturbs me because it makes me suspicious that someone would like for believers to stop being politically active. Using the IRS to scare pastors and the people in the pews is nothing new. Ever since 1954 when Congress enacted legislation to grant tax exempt status to churches many on the left have used the IRS like a club to beat back attempts of conservative Evangelical Christians to express their values through the electoral process. Just before the 2004 election, letters were sent to churches reminding them of the dire consequences they would face if they crossed the fuzzy line between endorsing candidates and simply discussing moral issues. Just how fuzzy is that line? In the Washington Times article, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said, "Clearly political intervention by charities and churches is an area where the IRS must tread carefully. There are few bright lines for evaluating political intervention. But I am convinced we must act. We can't afford to have our charitable and religious institutions undermined by politics."
Here is an idea....since Mr. Everson admits there are "few bright lines for evaluating political intervention", why not leave these organizations alone and allow them to freely express their political views unless