Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Taxman vs Free Speech

The IRS is putting churches and other tax-exempt organizations on notice that the hammer will be falling fast and hard on "improper campaigning" this election season. And after the dramatic changes of McCain-Feingold which severely hampered the historic rights of free speech, churches and charities may well find themselves in trouble with the taxman. For how does a church teach biblical values on such crucial topics as sanctity of life, marriage, decency, gambling, and many others which unavoidably connect to political contests without drawing the censure of the IRS?

Will churches cave in?

Or will churches finally force a confrontation with the outrageous and unconsitutional powers that have been ceded to the IRS?

And will they realize that whatever the government threatens as a penalty, the church has responsibilities "to preach the truth in season and out of season." Yes, Reverend, that means election season too.

The bold encroachment on civil liberties of the McCain-Feingold law and the subsequent hunger of the IRS to police it, should have us all realize right now this simple truth -- tax exemption isn't worth the moral cowardice it may demand.