IRS And Atheist Group Working Together To Silence Religious Freedom From Church Pulpit

Guest Post by Mara Zebest

On the heels of a well documented IRS scandal targeting conservatives, it seems the IRS is also teaming up with an Atheist group—FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation)—to target Churches.

It’s enough to make one’s blood boil. Possibly enough to consider the blueprint of the founders in which they refused taxation without representation. It seems the IRS is merely a means to the end for the progressive agenda to ultimately destroy the constitution. The IRS priorities certainly do NOT reflect the consent of the people.


Obama’s IRS offenses range from funneling money to Hamas, flying illegals to Hawaii, arming Syria in Benghazi, and conspiring against a free people. It is not hard to imagine a time in which the people of this great nation may one day collectively decide to follow the lessons of the founders. A good starting point might be to study the case of Tom Cryer or Joe Banister.

For anyone who has not heard of Joe Banister, he is a former IRS special agent. Meet Joe Banister in the video flashback below which was recorded in 2009 (a fascinating recount of his story and experiences with the IRS):

Christianity Today reports the following:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has agreed to investigate the political activity of churches after reaching a settlement with an atheist legal group. But a court has yet to decide whether or not to close the case.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the IRS jointly asked a Wisconsin federal court last week to dismiss a 2012 lawsuit, FFRF v. Koskinen. The FFRF had alleged that the IRS failed to have a policy in place for investigating political activity at tax-exempt churches and religious organizations, nor did the agency enforce its 501(c)(3) codes against electioneering.

Meanwhile, more than 1,600 churches have deliberately broken the existing law since 2008, endorsing political candidates from their pulpits during Pulpit Freedom Sunday events organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The next “showdown” will be October 5.

“This is a victory, and we’re pleased with this development in which the IRS has proved to our satisfaction that it now has in place a protocol to enforce its own anti-electioneering provisions,” said FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor in a press release.

However, the case has not yet been closed. Father Patrick Malone of Holy Cross Anglican Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had been granted permission to intervene on the side of the IRS, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (which represents Malone) has asked the court to dismiss the case but “with prejudice.” In other words, Becket argues the FFRF should not be able to sue the IRS again on this particular issue, while the FFRF argues that it should be able to do so.

Regardless of the court’s final decision, the IRS won’t be free to investigate churches until a moratorium related to the agency’s controversial scrutiny of tea party organizations is lifted after a congressional investigation closes.

CT has noted how the six-year run of Pulpit Freedom Sunday has tried to provoke the IRS into (ironically) punishing pastors as a means to reexamine the rights of pastors to promote politicians from the pulpit. The initiative even gained an unexpected ally last year in Sen. Charles Grassley and the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations (CAPRO).

Meanwhile, LifeWay Research has found that only 10 percent of Protestant pastors believe pastors should endorse political candidates (while noting that is a different question from should the IRS ban the practice.)

The IRS has not released the language of the settlement, and ADF is concerned about how secretive the church investigations will be—if they indeed happen. ADF has issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in pursuit of the documents surrounding the settlement between the FFRF and the IRS.

“This is one of the major problems with the IRS,” said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with ADF. “They are secretive, which breeds mistrust and leads to problems in knowing just how they will enforce and interpret the law.” […]

Read more here.

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