This report appeared on the WND site.
Imagine uttering the words “pro-life” in your church and finding yourself targeted by an investigation from the feared and reviled Internal Revenue Service.
An expert on the First Amendment conflict between pastors and the federal agency, which says it is investigating speech delivered from pulpits, confirms that’s possible.
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel for the Becket Fund, told WND a recent case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation against the IRS raises the prospect of investigations of pastoral speech.
FFRF demanded that the IRS investigate sermons, focusing on certain politically charged “code words.”
But the case suddenly was dismissed at the request of FFRF, which said it was satisfied because the IRS agreed to adopt standards for determining whether churches and religious organizations are complying with restrictions on political activity. The case was dismissed without prejudice, so FFRF could file another lawsuit if it believes the IRS is not following through with its promise.
Blomberg said the case was brought by the foundation to force the IRS to attend church services and launch investigations.
My guess: no chance. Today, the IRS is under investigation by the House with respect to its refusal to grant tax exempt status to conservative outfits. The IRS is now in turtle defense mode. Turtles do not go on the attack.
Second, the IRS does not want to poke the churches into arousal. This kind of stunt would awaken pastors who never preach on politics or pro-life. They do not want to be under scrutiny by outsiders.
Third, IRS employees do not want to listen to sermons.
Fourth, atheists and Lefties do not want to listen to sermons.
Enforcement all depends on tip-offs. What’s in it for the IRS to get involved? Maybe more hearings in front of the House.
The woman who was in charge has taken the fifth amendment. All those emails have had to be lost. How many more emails will have to be lost? IRS emails are the opposite of church testimonies: “I was saved, but now I’m lost.”
Here is the bureaucrat’s number-one rule: “Don’t make waves.”
This is going to go nowhere.