by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Internal Revenue Service has denied tax-exempt status to the non-profit political activism group Christians Engaged, asserting that the group’s Bible teachings typically align with Republican party policies, and that it engages in “prohibited political campaign intervention.” The Texas-based organization is appealing the decision, asserting that the IRS denied tax exemption because Christians Engaged “teaches biblical values.”
Christians Engaged explains on its website that it exists to “awaken, motivate, educate and empower” Christians to pray for America, vote in every election to impact the culture, and engage in political education or activism for the “furtherance” of the nation.” CE offers an extensive range of Bible studies, articles, courses, and prayer meeting resources for individuals and churches.
In a May 18 letter to Christians Engaged, the IRS wrote that the organization does not qualify under IRC Section 501(c)(3) because it serves “the Republican party more than incidentally.” According to the IRS, CE Bible teachings “typically affiliate with the Republican party and candidates.”
The IRS notes in its letter that, among other conservatives in the organization’s leadership, CE President Bunni Pounds is a former Republican congressional candidate. In a CE website piece ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Pounds wrote: “While none of us know what the future holds, based on the stated policy positions of President-elect Biden, we know that his administration will not be very friendly toward many of the issues that we care about as believers in Jesus (i.e., the sanctity of life, religious liberty, and economic freedom).”
Representing CE in its appeal against the IRS decision, attorney Lea Patterson of First Liberty Institute said in a statement: “Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat.”
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