Under Lois Lerner we saw IRS abuse in the form of multi layered investigations of individuals, their businesses and Republican donors by the IRS, OSHA, the FBI and other alphabet agencies. We also know that the IRS, withheld for years, an up or down determination of tax free status that resulted in the loss of foundation grants to some groups. Much of this, according to e-mails, was directed by Democrat congressmen, with the apparent blessing of the DOJ.
In Houston, Texas we saw an out of control mayor, unsuccessfully, require 5 pastors to turn over their sermons to a City Official. We have seen the government require churches to abandon their firmly held beliefs in order to comply with healthcare mandates and now we have the IRS trying to intimidate churches into conforming to a government agenda.
IRS Agents Pretend to be Clergymen to Spy in Churches
No, the title of this article is not hyperbole and yes, the title is accurate. The IRS sometimes has their agents pose as clergymen to deceive church parishioners in attempts to gain information from them surreptitiously.
I kid you not.
Reverend Patrick Mahoney is the Director for the Christian Defense Coalition and he told the Christian Post that, “It is an absolute disgrace that IRS undercover agents can pose as members of the clergy. It is the role of government to protect religious freedom and the First Amendment, and not to use it to gather information and spy on American citizens.”
The IRS says that they do not believe that agents had ever posed as clergy members to gain information from privileged relationships but they would not say if agents had ever posed as clergymen to obtain information that was not privileged!
It is entirely possible that IRS agents have pretended to be clergymen to hear a churchgoer give confidential information to use against the church or other targets – like someone giving confession in a confessional booth, or seeking advice from a pastor.
The IRS rules explicitly state that agents may pretend to be clergymen if the need arise.
Read more at http://eaglerising.com/11725/irs-agents-pretend-clergymen-spy-churches/#yf8DO0E8G1KAAkU5.99
This is not the first time the Obama Administration has shown a disrespect for Christian religious organizations:
The Examiner reported, in June of 2013:
On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.
But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.
The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.
But pastors have long maintained that there are a myriad of areas where political and moral/spiritual issues overlap, and thus, the pastors feel obligated as the guardians of spiritual truth to speak out concerning these issues.
Abortion, for example, is both a political and a spiritual issue. Most conservative, evangelical Christians believe that Biblical principles are abundantly clear concerning the sanctity of human life. And many pastors thus feel constrained by their calling to condemn abortion as a hideous and barbaric assault on the sacredness of human life.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, were both targeted by the Obama IRS.