Congressman: IRS asked pro-life group about 'the content of their prayers'


#1

Congressman: IRS asked pro-life group about 'the content of their prayers’
Charlie Spiering
WashingtonExaminer.com
5/17/13

During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa.

“Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’" Schock declared.

“Would that be an inappropriate question to a 501 c3 applicant?” asked Schock. “The content of one’s prayers?”

Just. AMAZING!

Seriously! How is it the business of the IRS to know what the members of that Pro-Life group pray?! As if the leaders of the group could know that! Yet those same leaders have to sign, under the penalty of perjury, that what they say is true and complete! “To the best of their knowledge,” but even that’s a trap! Once the IRS accuses them in court of perjury, with the evidence of a prayer petiton that wasn’t in the group’s response, the group has to go toourt, which is very expensive! And their signs … suppose those signs will include pictures of the bodies and body parts of babies killed and ripped apart by abortionists … or maybe a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe with the caption to the effect that Mary would not approve. How is that the business of the IRS?!


#2

During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa.

“Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’" Schock declared.

Congressman: IRS asked pro-life group about ‘the content of their prayers’ | WashingtonExaminer.com

In the course of all these scandals it is obvious that this administration wanted to expand their hit list to target any possible dissent of this administration.

Just like before when the democrats were pushing the “fairness doctrine”, the real purpose was to silence voices that held opinions contrary to this administration.


#3

These being the same topic and article, I merged the threads.

I’d say GMTA, but I don’t know that I’m in that class.


#4

So…Still think the Left means well?

War has been declared on America from an enemy within, its soldiers are Liberals and they wield the sword of bureaucracy without accountability.

We will ignore this to our own peril, anything short of complete eradication of these apostate organizations will glean nothing but more of the same after the GOP milks the story for whatever political capital they think it has.

America has not lost this fight for Constitutional Integrity, we have surrendered to a gutless enemy by refusing to fight for fear of seeming “unpleasant”.

There should not be one single Conservative left in the GOP after they finish bellowing about this while offering nothing tangible as a course correction, but if history is any indicator most will remain to continue tying their own noose.


#5

They asked this, specifically:

“Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood, are considered educational as defined under 501©(3),”

Sounds like the pro-life group attempted to call their public prayer rallies outside Planned Parenthood educational for tax purposes.


#6

Yeah, how’s anyone going to know what anyone else prayed privately? The leader should have told him (among other things) that he has no way of knowing what they pray for.

I think maybe it’s a little bit like the old story about the bar in a community that trouble the Christians, and they prayed that God would strike it with lightning and burn it down. He did, and the bar sued . . .


#7

Really?
“Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa:** ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’" Schock declared.**


#8

So you’re trusting Schlock over what they actually said? Got it. The IRS asked about their public prayer rallies because they claimed they were educational in order to get a tax break.

The full quote from their letter:

Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood, are considered educational as defined under 501©(3). Organizations exempt under 501©(3) may present opinions with scientific or medical facts. Please explain in detail the activities at these prayer meetings. Also, please provide the percentage of time your organizations spends on prayer groups as compared with the other activities of the organization.

A 501©(3) is a charitable organization. If they’re claiming to be a charitable organization, they have to fit the criteria.

To be tax-exempt under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must beorganized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501©(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.Organizations described in section 501©(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501©(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501©(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.
Section 501©(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

Source: The IRS Asked a Pro-Life Group to Explain Its Prayers Outside Planned Parenthood, Which is Now a Scandal


#9

An IRS office in California ordered **Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas **to explain the content of prayers “as if they were engaging in highly offensive or criminal behavior,” the Thomas More Society charged.

Agents also ordered** Coalition for Life of Iowa **to provide detailed information about the group’s prayer meetings.

Two separate instances, amigo. Two different organizations.

carry on.


#10

Maybe they shouldn’t be trying to claim their prayers get them tax breaks?

It’s funny that this pro-life organization is committing tax fraud and the first instinct is to blame the IRS for investigating them.


#11

[quote=“Trekky0623, post:10, topic:39507”]
Maybe they shouldn’t be trying to claim their prayers get them tax breaks?

It’s funny that this pro-life organization is committing tax fraud and the first instinct is to blame the IRS for investigating them.
[/quote]They are not committing tax fraud. Do you truly think they gave the same shakedown to Reverend Wright’s Church?
Their prayers are irrelevant. Is the money they receive used in accordance with the Law? THAT is the only criteria they should be interested in. What their doctrine is, and what they believe in is IRRELEVANT.
The Coalition for Life of Iowa promotes respect for human life from fertilization until natural death through prayer, education and raising awareness. So, they educate people on Pro life matters. They have prayer, which all major religions profess to. Some pray to allah, some to Yahweh, and some to Space Aliens. And, they raise awareness, just like Autism Speaks raises awareness for autism. They are also a tax exempt group, but I bet none of them were asked to explain the prayers.
It is an overreach by the IRS. You cannot single out one, without singling out all. They did nothing wrong, but oppose the agenda of liberals.
The public prayer rallies are more than constant prayer sessions. They have speakers and other activities. You, nor anyone can tell a group whom to pray to and what to pray for.


#12

Tiny, they are claiming their public prayer rallies constitute their organization as a 501©(3). They don’t. The activities of a 501© are what give it tax exempt status. If they’re just going outside Planned Parenthood and praying, then they don’t deserve a status as a non-profit. They need to be actually doing something.

The basic requirement of getting tax exempt status is that the organization is specifically limited in powers to purposes that the IRS classifies as tax exempt purposes. Unlike for-profit corporations that benefit from broad and general purposes, non profit organizations need to be limited in powers to function with tax exempt status, but a non profit corporation is by default not limited in powers until it specifically limits itself in the articles of incorporation and/or nonprofit corporate bylaws. This limiting of the powers is crucial to obtaining tax exempt status with the IRS and then on the state level.

[…]

Section 501©(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from supporting political candidates, and are subject to limits on lobbying. They risk loss of tax exempt status if these rules are violated.


#13

Exemption requirements: 501©(3) organizations

To be tax-exempt under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization **must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501©(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation **as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Exempt Purposes - Internal Revenue Code Section 501©(3)

The exempt purposes set forth in section 501©(3) are **charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. **The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

That is straight from the IRS. That crud you are spewing is liberal talking points. They were organized and operated for advancing religion, one of the tax exempt purposes. They do not try to influence legislation. Did not participate in campaigns.
Their prayers have nothing to do with tax exempt status. Where they pray also has no bearing on their 501©(3) status.
Face it, this was unconstitutional, overreaching and completely political. Therefore, illegal. Spin it however you want, but liberal dishonesty, is evident. If you cannot see the ramifications of this, and you choose to make excuses for an inexcusable policy from the Dems, you are being completely dishonest.


#14

You don’t think abortion prayer rallies have the potential to become political? The same IRS code prohibits political activity, but you left that out.


#15

[quote=“Trekky0623, post:14, topic:39507”]
You don’t think abortion prayer rallies have the potential to become political? The same IRS code prohibits political activity, but you left that out.
[/quote]You’d wiggle yourself to death, trying to justify your unjustifiable position.

And no, I did not leave that out. Can you not read? I even bolded it. But that is not what went on. They simply pray. They advance their religious beliefs. And the IRS allows limited involvement in political activities.

**

…it may not attempt to influence legislation** as a substantial part of its activities **and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

**

But POTENTIAL political participation, is not mentioned. Face it, they were wrong, just as you are now, too.


#16

You know that for a fact? You know for a fact that their prayers were not attempts to influence politics or support candidates through out-loud prayers? I suppose you’d have to ask them what exactly a prayer rally constitutes.

…oh wait.


#17

You have absolutely no conscience do you?


#18

[quote=“Trekky0623, post:16, topic:39507”]
You know that for a fact? You know for a fact that their prayers were not attempts to influence politics or support candidates through out-loud prayers? I suppose you’d have to ask them what exactly a prayer rally constitutes.

…oh wait.
[/quote]IT DOES NOT MATTER what they pray. They can pray to Thor. They can pray to aliens. They can pray to goddess Marijuana. The Federal Government cannot mandate whom you pray to, not what you pray about. If it is your religious beliefs, and it violates no laws, they must allow 501©(3) status. The statute allows limited political expression. Praying that “the Democrats see the error of RvW and begin to save the lives of the unborn” does not constitute political activity.
C’mon man! Get real. This is definitely one of the lamest excuses for an argument that you have ever espoused, and that says something.
They are wrong, and may be prosecuted for it. Are you willing to be wrong, to justify the actions of a corrupt administration?


#19

Wait a minute! Trekky made an important and verifiable point. He said this Pro-Life group committed tax fraud. Very well. Let Trekky produce a link to the court verdict with that finding. Or to a news story reporting that verdict. Trekky wouldn’t post a claim of criminal action based on absolutely nothing, right?


#20

I said they were committing tax fraud, and they are if they’re saying their prayer rallies make them a tax exempt 501©(3) organization. I can’t believe there are people here who think a pro-life organization that protests outside of Planned Parenthood is not involved in political action, and further that they are a religious non-profit, eligible for tax exempt status.