Bad enough that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which, by the way, our president assures us has “not even a smidgen of corruption” at its heart, has pretty much been exposed when it comes to targeting conservative groups. Now new evidence indicates that the organization may have committed to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) that it would target “rogue political churches” as well. While churches remain free from taxes because they are apolitical institutions and can lose their tax-free status if they do not remain such, the IRS’ recent exposure for targeting conservative groups has created a rift of mistrust that Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a civil rights organization, says is hugely problematic. ADF responded to FFRF’s public announcement of its triumph that the IRS will now essentially do its bidding when it comes to investigating and targeting churches by filing a demand that the IRS disclose all of the information it has about discussions between the tax agency and the FFRF.
While the emails and other correspondence has not yet been disclosed (and, let’s face it, will probably be “lost” anyway), the FFRF itself has publicized that the IRS committed to monitoring sermons, something that the organization has allegedly been lax on according to the FFRF. The organization also celebrated that “the IRS no longer has a blanket policy or practice of non-enforcement of political activity restrictions as to churches.” At this point in time, the issue is somewhat moot since there is a moratorium in place preventing the IRS from investigating tax-exempt groups.
Do you think that churches should be investigated more thoroughly when it comes to their tax-exempt status? Should churches be tax exempt? Should the IRS be working directly with atheists on the issue?
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