Catholic Answers, an apologetics organization which elucidates the various teachings of the Catholic Church, is suing the IRS for intimidation. It seems that the IRS came after Catholic Answers and its 501c3 status over the fact that this organization was spelling out matters of Catholic doctrine that touch on political life, but without (and this is important) endorsing any particular candidate or political party. Tax-exempt organizations are prohibited from involvement in political life.
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, a famous blogger in Catholic circles, particularly on liturgical subjects, has a post up about this mess.
Thomas Jefferson said that the line between taxation and tyranny is very thin, and here we have yet another example of that, though I would go so far as to say that the mere existence of taxation is tyranny. The whole idea of 501c3’s, that tax-exemptions are a privilege, is a laugh. Taxation is theft, pure and simple.
It seems that the State is using its complicated tax code to try to shut people up. This seems to me, however, to be taking place on a selective basis. How come I haven’t heard of any tax-exempt arts organizations being slapped for lobbying for public funding of the arts? That would seem to be more properly considered political speech than a religious organization’s assertion that abortion or embryonic stem cell research is immoral. Perhaps there is a method to this madness. It does not take a religious person to see that one of the most potent checks on the State’s power is religion. Murray Rothbard, who as far as I know was an atheist, asserted this constantly. Jesus and Gandhi lived it. So did Martin Luther King Jr. and St. Thomas More.
So the pertinent question is this: Is the IRS doing the State’s bidding, making the crooked places straight and the rough places plain on behalf of tyranny by intimidating those who exercise legitimate religious expression?