The Obama Internal Revenue Service targeted several Christian groups including a 180 year-old Baptist paper.
Todd Starnes reported:
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Several well-known religious organizations say they were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, including the ministry founded by famed evangelist Billy Graham and a 180-year-old Baptist newspaper, Fox News has learned.
Among the ministries targeted are the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse and the Biblical Recorder – the newspaper of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. The revelations seem to indicate the IRS was targeting more than just Tea Party groups and conservative political organizations.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” wrote Franklin Graham in a letter Tuesday to President Obama. “This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”
Graham is president of the ministry his father founded – as well as the international charity known as Samaritan’s Purse. Both organizations were notified of the IRS audits on the same day – not long after running advertisements supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment.
The editor of the Biblical Recorder said the organization “was curious” following the audit by the IRS.
From The Recorder:
The IRS inquired about forms filed in 2010 by the Recorder. Earlier today on Fox News’ website, an article referenced all three audits with concerns that the IRS had also targeted conservative, religious groups.
The IRS notified Allan Blume, the Recorder’s editor, in March that the publication was being audited. An IRS agent visited the publication and conducted an interview with the editor and the organization’s attorney. The IRS agent completed his work with Blume and the BR’s attorney on May 9.
Blume remained cautious about making too many assumptions.
“We have no evidence that we were directly targeted by the IRS,” Blume said. “We were told there were questions about three consecutive years of what is called ‘unrelated business income.’ Attention seemed to be drawn to this item because much of our income comes from Cooperative Program gifts.”
“Once the agent understood the Southern Baptist way of giving and supporting mission causes, there seemed to be no serious concerns.”
Blume said, “The IRS agent was courteous and professional throughout the audit. We did not experience any form of intimidation by the agent. As expected, he had some suggestions about procedures, but affirmed that our records were in good condition. We are waiting for the agent’s official letter on the results of the audit. Such a letter typically takes up to six weeks.”
With that said, Blume added, “We are curious.”
More… The number of targeted groups swells to 500.