Different Laws For Different Groups

PJ Media posted an article today about the latest attack on religious free speech.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)recently released a press release that included the following:

FFRF filed suit against the IRS shortly after the presidential election in 2012, based on the agency’s reported enforcement moratorium, as evidenced by open and notorious politicking by churches. Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in fact, has become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity. The IRS, meanwhile, admittedly was not enforcing the restrictions against churches. A prior lawsuit in 2009 required the IRS to designate an appropriate high-ranking official to initiate church tax examinations, but it had apparently failed to do so. 

The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations. While the IRS retains “prosecutorial” discretion with regard to any individual case, the IRS no longer has a blanket policy or practice of non-enforcement of political activity restrictions as to churches. 

In addition to FFRF’s lawsuit, IRS enforcement procedures with respect to political activity by tax-exempt organizations have been the subject of intense scrutiny by Congress. As a result, the IRS is reviewing and implementing safeguards to ensure evenhanded enforcement across the board with respect to all tax exempt organizations. 

Until that process is completed, the IRS has suspended all examinations of tax-exempt organizations for alleged political activities. The current suspension, however, is not limited to church tax inquiries. 

The article at PJ Media points out:

Democrats routinely campaign from the very pulpit of majority black churches. It happens every single election cycle. Pastors in those churches regularly push parishioners to support the Democratic Party, to support specific government social policy, and even specific candidates for office.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has not sued to get the IRS to investigate any of that. Its targets are churches that align with the more conservative Pulpit Freedom Sunday movement. That tells us what the foundation and the IRS will really be investigating.

The IRS will be monitoring churches to listen for pastors supporting the right to life, the sanctity and traditional definition of marriage, traditional values in general, perhaps even patriotism. Those are the churches, based on the angle that the foundation lawsuit takes, that will potentially find themselves under IRS investigation.

It appears that there will be one set of rules for conservative churches and one set of rules for liberal churches. What happened to equal justice under the law? Why do only liberal churches have First Amendment rights?

FFRF filed suit against the IRS shortly after the presidential election in 2012, based on the agency’s reported enforcement moratorium, as evidenced by open and notorious politicking by churches. Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in fact, has become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity. The IRS, meanwhile, admittedly was not enforcing the restrictions against churches. A prior lawsuit in 2009 required the IRS to designate an appropriate high-ranking official to initiate church tax examinations, but it had apparently failed to do so. 

The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations. While the IRS retains “prosecutorial” discretion with regard to any individual case, the IRS no longer has a blanket policy or practice of non-enforcement of political activity restrictions as to churches. 

In addition to FFRF’s lawsuit, IRS enforcement procedures with respect to political activity by tax-exempt organizations have been the subject of intense scrutiny by Congress. As a result, the IRS is reviewing and implementing safeguards to ensure evenhanded enforcement across the board with respect to all tax exempt organizations. 

Until that process is completed, the IRS has suspended all examinations of tax-exempt organizations for alleged political activities. The current suspension, however, is not limited to church tax inquiries. 

– See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/20968-ffrf-irs-settle-suit-over-church-politicking#sthash.rEhbLVZy.dpuf

FFRF filed suit against the IRS shortly after the presidential election in 2012, based on the agency’s reported enforcement moratorium, as evidenced by open and notorious politicking by churches. Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in fact, has become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity. The IRS, meanwhile, admittedly was not enforcing the restrictions against churches. A prior lawsuit in 2009 required the IRS to designate an appropriate high-ranking official to initiate church tax examinations, but it had apparently failed to do so. 

The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations. While the IRS retains “prosecutorial” discretion with regard to any individual case, the IRS no longer has a blanket policy or practice of non-enforcement of political activity restrictions as to churches. 

In addition to FFRF’s lawsuit, IRS enforcement procedures with respect to political activity by tax-exempt organizations have been the subject of intense scrutiny by Congress. As a result, the IRS is reviewing and implementing safeguards to ensure evenhanded enforcement across the board with respect to all tax exempt organizations. 

Until that process is completed, the IRS has suspended all examinations of tax-exempt organizations for alleged political activities. The current suspension, however, is not limited to church tax inquiries. 

– See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/20968-ffrf-irs-settle-suit-over-church-politicking#sthash.rEhbLVZy.dpuf

I Guess It Depends On Which Religion You Want To Be Free From

On Friday, Breitbart.com posted an article about the proposed Ohio Holocaust Memorial. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wants to remove the Star of David from that memorial.

The article reports:

In a June 14 letter to Richard H. Finan, chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, two FFRF officials said they have no objections to a Holocaust memorial at the statehouse, but claimed that the cut-out version of the six-pointed Star of David would be a violation of the separation of church and state as provided for in the Constitution.

“Permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol… would create the legal precedent, for instance, to place an equally large or larger permanent Latin cross on Capitol grounds,” wrote Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents of the Madison, Wisconsin group. Gaylor is the daughter of Anne Nicol Gaylor, author of Abortion Is A Blessing. Barker said that the Holocaust memorial, as currently proposed, would amount to a “constitutionally problematic endorsement of religion.”

Yes, I realize that people other than Jews were sent to Concentration Camps and executed, but we need to realize that the majority of the people killed by the Nazis were killed because they were Jewish. When the Nazis took over a country, they forced the Jews to wear the Star of David on their clothes in order to separate them from the rest of the population. The Star of David played a very important role in the Holocaust.

But let’s look at some of the past work of the FFRF. The article reports:

In March 2012, the FFRF also placed an anti-Catholic ad that was published by the New York Times. The ad, which criticized the Church’s position against ObamaCare’s HHS mandate, stated, “It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages?”

The ad accused the Catholic Church of promoting “acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, overpopulation, social evils and deaths.”

In an appeal to Catholic women, the ad asked, “Apparently, you’re like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go.”

In response to the publication of the FFRF ad by the New York Times, Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs submitted an ad along the same lines to the Times entitled, “It’s Time To Quit Islam.” The Times, however, rejected Geller’s ad because “the fallout from running this ad now could put U.S. troops and/or civilians in the [Afghan] region in danger.”

The Catholic Church never told its female members that it was okay for their husbands to beat them. The Catholic Church never forced women to cover themselves from head to foot before they went outside. The Catholic Church has never advocated the hanging of homosexuals. Why is there a double standard here?

The Holocaust directly involved the Star of David. To exclude the Star of David from the memorial is another form of anti-Semitism.

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Denying America’s Heritage

The Metro West Daily News reported on Saturday that the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) (on behalf of a local parent) has lodged a complaint against Wayland High School because their band played “God Bless America” on Pearl Harbor Day and Memorial Day.

The article reports:

In a letter to Stein (Superintendent Paul Stein), the Freedom from Religion Foundation, on behalf of a local parent, argued that playing and singing the song at school functions violated the U.S. Constitution’s provision of separation of church and state.

The story also pointed out that when the song was played only the music was played–the words were not sung.

Superintendent Stein is handling this with common sense. The article reports:

At a School Committee meeting this week, Stein said the district’s lawyer said the foundation’s letter does not merit a reply now.

“Certainly if they pursue this in court, they should be writing directly” to the committee’s attorney, Stein told the School Committee.

He added, “I don’t dismiss these concerns, I respect these concerns. … Where I would draw the line is obviously different from where this organization would draw the line.”

The whole idea that “God Bless America,” one of our great patriotic anthems, can be banned because one person thinks it endorses religion is ridiculous. If this does wind up in court, I would like to see the FFRF have to pay all court costs as well as a hefty settlement in apology to the school district.

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