Current Events – Religious Freedom Challenged

“One woman sits at the center of the developing—and utterly confusing—Internal Revenue Service scandal. It was Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division, who let slip at an American Bar Association meeting on Friday that, between 2010 and 2012, conservative nonprofit groups were improperly scrutinized by the IRS. And it is Lerner who has since become the target of a number of accusations and conspiracy theories, lobbed from both ends of the political spectrum. As the media waits impatiently for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to release an investigative report detailing who knew about the IRS’s inappropriate practices and when, it seems crucial to get to know the main character in this unfolding drama and the core issues swirling around her.”, May 14, 2013.

“The IRS has admitted to unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.”, May 29, 2013.

“The framework for 501(c) organizations —what we commonly call nonprofits—was established over 75 years ago, when the federal tax laws were first codified. Because these are tax designations, any and all 501(c) organizations—regardless of function—are approved by, and primarily regulated by, the IRS. At present, there are over 29 different sub classifications for the 501(c) designation. But, for the case in question, there are only two that really matter:

  • 501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations
  • 501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees”, May 29, 2013.

“Let not one who believes the truth, be silent now. None should be careless now; let all urge their petitions at the throne of grace, pleading the promise, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do.” It is a perilous time now. If this land of boasted liberty is preparing to sacrifice every principle which enters into her constitution, making decrees to suppress religious freedom, and for the enforcing of papal falsehood and delusion, then the people of God need to present their petitions in faith to the Most High. There is every encouragement, in the promises of God, for those who put their trust in him. The prospect of being brought into personal danger and distress, need not cause despondency, but should quicken the vigor and hopes of God’s people; for the time of their peril is the season for God to grant them clearer manifestations of his power. We are not to sit in calm expectancy of oppression and tribulation, and fold our hands, doing nothing to avert the evil. Let our united cries be sent up to heaven. Pray and work, and work and pray. But let none act rashly. Learn as never before that you must be meek and lowly in heart. You must not bring a railing accusation against any, whether individuals or churches. Learn to deal with minds as Christ did. Sharp things must sometimes be spoken; but be sure that the Holy Spirit of God is abiding in your heart before you speak the clear-cut truth; then let it cut its way. You are not to do the cutting.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 902.