The Internal Revenue Service is poised to start targeting churches. The IRS is reportedly bowing to the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), settling a lawsuit after the IRS promised to monitor churches for politicking.
The settlement is being held up by Father Patrick Malone and Holy Cross Anglican Church, which filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss without prejudice. If FFRF dismisses the lawsuit without prejudice, the atheist organization can renew the lawsuit if the group deems the IRS is not targeting churches.
"Churches are tax-exempt inherently from the moment of creation," says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "Churches do not need a letter from the IRS to be tax-exempt.
"No church has ever lost its tax-exempt status for opposing or supporting a candidate for political office. Churches and pastors may speak on biblical and moral issues. Pastors can educate about the candidates' viewpoints. Pastors can encourage people to vote and can assist them in getting to the polls," Staver points out.
"Pastors and churches must be empowered to confront the assaults on our culture, our faith and our freedom," continues Staver. "German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann coined the expression 'spiral of silence.' Noelle-Neumann began her career working for a newspaper during Hitler's years, where she found that people conceal their views when they think they are in the minority or may face reprisal for their beliefs. We saw how the spiral of silence had devastating results in Nazi Germany. We need to stop the spiral of silence in America," Staver said. "As pastors and churches begin to stand up and speak out against evil and injustice, the spiral will unravel and justice will prevail."
This year Liberty Counsel has distributed more than 35,000 copies of its Silence is Not an Option DVD to pastors throughout Florida and Texas, as part of Liberty Counsel's Pastors & Patriots Initiative. This is the first of an estimated 150,000-plus DVDs that will be sent to pastors between now and November, encouraging pastors to address biblical and moral issues and educating them about the IRS rules on political and lobbying activity. In addition, Liberty Counsel is conducting meetings with pastors and Who Will Stand? rallies at churches across the country. Visit WhoWillStandRally.com.