The IRS has reversed courses, now granting tax-exempt status to a Christian group which has previously been deemed too political because it advised voters on what the Bible says on issues regarding sanctity of life and marriage.
Last Wednesday, Christians Engaged, a Christian group led by conservative activist Bunni Pounds had their tax-exempt status approved after major backlash. The First Liberty Institute, which assisted and represented the Christian group, declared it a major victory for religious organizations. “This is truly great news for our client, as well as religious organizations and churches across America,” said Lea Patterson, Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “We are grateful the IRS changed course to bring its decision into line with the Constitution and its own regulations” (First Liberty).
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Christians Engaged is described as “a Texas-based nonprofit group that encourages religious citizens to vote and get involved in politics” (The Daily Wire). The IRS rejected the Tax-exempt status because they believed the “Bible teachings” on marriage, abortion, and the political aspects which primarily affiliated with the Republican Party were enough for the organization to be disqualified and not receive a nonprofit status.
While the IRS didn’t explicitly state why they reversed their decision, they sent a letter to Christians Engaged. “We’re pleased to tell you we determined you’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code 501(C)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC Section 170,” the letter reads (The Epoch Times). What went under the radar was in addition to the appeal, two Republican lawmakers, Reps. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Kevin Brady of Texas came together and wrote a letter to the IRS.
The letter demanded that the agency provide congress with clear records that relate the IRS’s decisions to either grant or not grant certain tax-exempt status to organization. Sen. Ted Cruz also provide his own take on the IRS’s decision. “Sadly following in the footsteps of the Obama IRS, the Biden IRS was likewise politically weaponized when it indefensibly denied tax-exempt status to the Texas nonprofit organization Christians Engaged,” Cruz said in a statement this week.
“Thankfully, under public scrutiny, the Biden administration was forced to change course; today’s reversal is a victory for our religious freedoms and for Americans of faith across our country,” Cruz added. “But the initial denial stands as a warning that if we don’t stand up for our liberties and fight to hold this administration accountable, the Biden administration is more than willing to use the IRS as a political weapon” (The Daily Wire).