Last week Christians Engaged, a Texas-based Christian education and activism group, was denied tax-exempt status by the IRS on the basis that the bible teachings used to educate voters “are typically affiliated with the (Republican) party and candidates.”
Christians Engaged was notified that their mission to “educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental, including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations … disqualifies you from exemption under IRS Section 50I(c)(3).”
Bunni Pounds, President of Christians Engaged and a good friend of Texas Right to Life, responded, saying: “We just want to encourage more people to vote and participate in the political process. How can anyone be against that?”
Christians Engaged is challenging the IRS ruling. They argue that the IRS assertions misrepresent the group and the denial of tax-exempt status on the basis of biblical values is in violation of the First Amendment.
This IRS decision demonstrates an alarming lack of consistency in who is eligible for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
Lea Patterson, Counsel for First Liberty Institute which is representing Christians Engaged in their appeal, points out that the IRS has granted tax exempt status to similar voter activism and value groups in the past. Patterson specifically pointed out how Michelle Obama’s activism group When We All Vote has been granted 501(c)(3) status.
These IRS actions come at a time when Democrats and the media are denouncing primarily Republican voting reforms as attacks on democracy, hailing the actions as “voter suppression.”
Yet, the implication made by the IRS in this decision is that biblical values should not be used to form or influence public or voting decisions. This is an absurd assertion and a frightening example of the IRS engaging in the voter suppression of Christians.
Patterson explains that; “If the IRS going forward thinks that Bible teaching is Republican-affiliated, then that could endanger the tax-exempt status of many religious organizations — including potentially churches, which obviously teach the Bible with some frequency.”
Unfortunately, this IRS decision is not the first attack on Christian Pro-Life biblical values, nor will this be the last.
“Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat,” Patterson said.
As the Christians Engaged appeal develops one thing is painfully clear, our Pro-Life biblical values are under attack.
Yet you do not have to stand helplessly on the sidelines as these attacks on Christianity intensify. If you are Pro-Life and believe strongly in the value and dignity of all human Life, then we need you to step up to defend the most vulnerable!
As the war on Christian principles builds up we know you want to make a difference for Life. The Texas Right to Life Ambassador Program will enable you to become a Pro-Life leader and expert in your community.
Pro-Life leaders are needed during this critical time. Click here to learn more about becoming an Ambassador for the defense of Life!