Although the IRS is mired in scandal arising from its own admission that it engaged in illegal activity by targeting conservative and Tea Party groups and individuals, the agency has shown no remorse or intent to change its illegal behavior. The opposite is true. The IRS has done nothing but double down on its tyranny even after Congress has discovered felonies committed by IRS employees and supervisors.
Not only has the agency continued to lie to Congress about its activity -- a felony that comes with heavy prison terms -- but it continues to withhold vital documents subpoenaed by Congress. A new front has been uncovered, however, by the watchdogs of religious freedom. The IRS has agreed to appease an atheist group by monitoring and tracking churches, particularly those that promote traditional marriage which the Bible defines as a sacred union between a man and a woman. Churches will also be monitored if they are known advocates of the sanctity of human life, a precept that is intended in part to encourage families to refrain from having abortions.
Further, according to the Liberty Council the IRS wishes to prevent pastors and lay teachers from helping their members understand and clarify the Bible's teaching about political issues of the day, many of which are directly addressed by the Bible. This may or may not include naming candidates or politicians who exhibit views that are contrary to scripture. Apparently the IRS and the atheist group that is goading it on are determined to make sure "politically correct speech" is firmly implanted in the churches. In short, the IRS wishes to silence speech that it deems to be "unacceptable." This it will do by removing the tax exempt status of churches that engage in the unacceptable speech, the net effect of which will be a dangerous infringement on the free speech rights of pastors.
The atheist group, Freedom From Religion Foundation, has a long history of attempting to infringe on the free speech rights of Christians and pastors. The organization appears to believe that in spite of the First Amendment guarantee to protect freedom of speech and freedom of religion, the religion clause of the First Amendment also inherently protects the right of the non-religious to be totally free from any and all religious influence, symbols, and speech. Such a point of view is grossly inaccurate and misleading. The religion clause guarantees not only the freedom to engage in religious practice but also to refuse to engage in religious practice. The Freedom From Religion Foundation already has the right to refuse to engage in religious behavior. But to twist and mischaracterize that freedom to include the right to muzzle religious speech and expression simply because they do not like it is beyond the pale. The only way to be truly "free from religion" is to move to an area of the world where there is no freedom of religion and where all forms of religious expression are outlawed. It is unrealistic and disingenuous to claim you believe citizens have the right to freedom of religion while at the same time advocate to silence religious people and disallow their religious symbols from being displayed.
But not only does Freedom From Religion Foundation engage is this subterfuge to silence religious people, but it now has the IRS helping it conduct its war on religion. The IRS is in essence attempting to get churches to pay for the right to free speech. If you wish to say whatever you want in church, then you must pay taxes. The church, all churches, must pay taxes. But in the United States such a thing has never been required. As soon as a church was established, it was automatically afforded tax exemption, and it didn't even need an official letter from the IRS to certify it since there was no IRS for the first 130 years of our history as a nation.
Thus, given its recent history, the present course of action of the IRS against churches is designed to do one thing -- to muzzle pastors and churches who wish to address issues the Bible condemns but which many modern politicians accept heartily. And this alone is worthy of hauling more IRS officials back before Congress to answer for their continued tyrannical behavior.
You may also be interested in the following:
My personal blog, The Liberty Sphere.
My popular series titled, Musings After Midnight.
My ministry site, Martin Christian Ministries.