Numerous Republican members of Congress rebuked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for overt political bias last week after it denied tax-exempt status to Christians Engaged, a Texas-based nonprofit.
The IRS denied the group tax-exempt status in May, stating that the “Bible’s teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party and candidates,” The Daily Wire reported.
The letter of rebuke was sent by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and was signed by 14 other members of Congress. It asked IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig to review the case personally and to fire those involved with the decision.
It began by saying that “[W]e write today to express extreme concern regarding a recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determination on the tax-exempt status of Christians Engaged, a nonprofit organization in Texas. We urge you to personally review this determination, and remove the individual, or individuals, responsible for the blatantly biased, discriminatory, and flawed reasoning that led to that determination.”
The letter then named IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Stephen Martin specifically, since he was the one who accused the nonprofit of being involved in “prohibited political campaign intervention.” It said that “Specifically, Mr. Martin alleges that Christians Engaged’s ‘…bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.’ Among the issues that the IRS determined to be ‘associated with political party platforms’ were ‘the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and biblical justice.’ These issues have always been at the core of Christian belief and classifying them as inherently political is patently absurd.”
The members of Congress also warned that “[I]f the IRS applied this interpretation broadly, it would jeopardize the tax-exempt status of thousands of Christian churches across the country.”
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