‘Attack IRS’ to ignore courts, deem church religious exhortation to be ‘electioneering’

‘Attack IRS’ to ignore courts, deem church religious exhortation to be ‘electioneering’

[Ed. – This agency is way out of control. Emphasis added.]

As the IRS continues to come under well-aimed fire for harassing conservative groups, on Friday it secured a final court order formalizing what amounts to a secret agreement to monitor the pulpits of ill-favored churches.  The serious danger, as former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams told Fox News, is that the IRS will start treating “theology as politics,” and regulate it accordingly. …

According to a June 27 IRS letter to the Justice Department, 99 churches merit “high priority examination” for allegedly illegal electioneering activities. The letter was sent in reference to a now-dismissed lawsuit filed by the atheist group known as the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). …

In a 2012 letter to the IRS, for example, FFRF complained that Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wis., diocese, had dared send out an election-season letter stressing the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion and homosexual marriage. The letter said that “no Catholic, in good conscience,” may vote for candidates who are “pro-choice,” who support same-sex marriage, or “who would promote laws that would infringe upon our religious liberties and freedom of conscience.”

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To FFRF, it didn’t matter that the bishop did not mention a single candidate by name, instead leaving it up to voters to apply this generic, well-established teaching of the Catholic Church. “The Diocese of Madison appears to have inappropriately intervened in a political campaign,” wrote the group’s staff attorney, Rebecca Markert. How? “Those issues are generally what distinguish Republican and Democratic social platforms,” Markert explained. “Likewise, the paragraph about ‘religious freedom and freedom of conscience’ is a clear reference to the current HHS mandate of the incumbent candidate for president, Barack Obama. …”

Likewise, FFRF asked the IRS to sanction Billy Graham’s ministry for newspaper ads urging voters to consider the same three issues, so “that we will turn our hearts back to God.”

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