Yesterday, the Ohio House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee met to hear from victims of the IRS targeting scandal. One of the witnesses, Tim Savaglio, a board member of the Liberty Township Tea Party, detailed the experiences of his group and stated that a local church was threatened with losing tax exempt status if they allowed the Tea Party group to continue gathering there.
So, in addition to being harassed by the IRS, the church where the Tea Party group met was also harassed.
Lucy May of the local ABC affiliate, WCPO, reported yesterday,
“Savaglio declined to name the church and said he didn’t know exactly who had made the threats, which he said occurred in early 2010. But the church took those threats seriously enough to ask the group to find a new meeting place, he said, and that had a big impact on the organization’s attendance.”
Churches need to stand up to this intimidation. And parishioners should support those churches that do not fear the government. If a church remains silent, hoping that the government will continue to provide for them, is that not undue influence of the government?
Churches have long been under attack for daring to voice concerns about politics. However, this seems to be a one-way street. There are clear double standards, and it has everything to do with ideology.
Consider the rhetoric of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who loudly spoke against Hillary Clinton and was successfully represented by Obama appointee IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins in regard to his tax exempt status. Wilkins, by the way “was responsible for coming up with guidelines used to target conservative groups,” as reported by Katie Pavlich of Town Hall.
What a coincidence.
Recently, the Examiner reported that Ivy League professor Anthea Butler, a self-described “progressive Christian,” spoke of “good things” in the church, like “souls to the polls” and “people getting people out to vote in the 2012 election.” Are these churches being threatened with losing tax exempt status?
Progressive Christians, after all, are heavily involved in politics, and often use religion as a tool to promote policy positions. It is time that churches stop depending on the government and start depending on God. After all, Thomas Jefferson, who coined the phrase “separation of church and state,” attended religious services in the House of Representatives throughout his administration.
Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and check out her news and political commentary on Gather and TavernKeepers.com for news you won’t find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.