The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm that provides pro-bono representation with a focus on life, marriage, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm provides these services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
Yesterday, the firm presented over 150 pages of analysis and evidence to the House Ways and Means Committee concerning repeated IRS harassment of pro-life organizations. Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) requested the memorandum, which was prepared by Thomas More Society President Thomas Brejcha, Executive Director Peter Breen, and Special Counsel Sally Wagenmaker.
The material they prepared presents solid evidence of IRS harassment of pro-life organizations dating back to 2009.
According to the Press Release, prepared by Tom Ciesielka of the Thomas More Society,
The memo details the history of IRS misconduct in the cases of three organizations represented by the Thomas More Society. The abuse dates back further than the now publicized 2010 complaints and extends beyond the IRS’s recently exposed Cincinnati office to also include the tax agency’s California operations in the charges of blatant bias.
The IRS office in El Monte, California, began harassing Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas in 2011. In a series of questions penned by Exempt Organization Specialist Tyrone Thomas from the California office, the IRS asked a series of unwarranted questions ordering Christian Voices for Life without any foundation, to explain its content, message, and prayers as if they were engaging in highly offensive or criminal behavior.
Coalition for Life of Iowa found itself in the IRS’s crosshairs when the group applied for tax exempt status in October 2008. Nearly ten months of interrogation about the group’s opposition to Planned Parenthood included a demand by a Ms. Richards from the IRS’ Cincinnati office unlawfully insisted that all board members sign a sworn declaration promising not to picket/protest Planned Parenthood. Further questioning by the IRS requested detailed information about the content of the group’s prayer meetings, educational seminars, and signs their members hold outside Planned Parenthood.
In yet a third matter, an IRS agent in their Chicago office repeatedly harassed Daniel and Angela Michael of Small Victories, a pro-life organization, with an intrusive investigation, calling the leaders every 2-3 weeks over the course of 2011, beginning in January of that year. The IRS officially closed its investigation in January 2012, having found no illegal activities.
Are we still in America?
After Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over Mother Russia, Russian Orthodoxy, the predominant faith in Russia, was persecuted almost to extinction within 20 years. The Communists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of priests, sisters, and brothers.
Between 1917 and 1937, more than 50 million people were murdered by KGB extermination squads or in death camps, and 8 million people died of starvation in man-made famines designed to consolidate Communist power. All land was confiscated by the state.
Those who were left alive were allowed to live under Communist totalitarian control to help rally the people to fight the Nazi German invasion in 1939.
The Commies let some churches stay open if they were licensed by the Communist government. Of course,they were very limited in what they could do: they could celebrate liturgies and the sacraments, but they could not teach Russian Orthodoxy to children or to adults.
The Orthodox Church became just another a highly regulated arm of the Soviet government, and all newly ordained priests and bishops became agents or cooperators of the Secret Police (KGB). The sacraments of baptism and marriage, as well as funerals, were usually performed only after substantial fees were paid.
In all levels of the Soviet School System, Students were forced to learn and believe atheism as scientific truth. This belief system was reinforced in all youth organizations, as well.
There were no private Christian schools or clubs.
The fear of persecution and government reprisal during the period in which Joe Stalin ruled Russia (1927-52) made parents afraid to tell their children about the Triune God.
It only took two generations for Russia to become an atheistic society.
Freedom of religion finally came back to Russia in 1991. However, by then, less than 25% of the population were Christians.
As it stands today in the former Soviet Union, less than 0.50% (one-half of one percent) practice any faith at all.
Are we headed in that direction?
I mean, look at the brazenness of The Obama Administration. Never in my wildest dreams, could I imagine an agency of OUR government, asking a Christian what they prayed about!
Did any of us ever think that this would happen in a land founded by Christian men and women?
The U. S. House Judiciary Committee wrote the following in 1854,
Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle… In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity… That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.
When you tell a Liberal that the Founders of our country were Christians, they always bring up Thomas Jefferson, claiming he was a Deist…or something.
Here is what Jefferson had to say about it:
The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.
The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.65
I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.
I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Jefferson, while President, allowed church services to be held on Sunday mornings in the Capitol Building, which he attended. The practice continued until 1848.
So, what can we do about this encroaching darkness, brokered by an administration who is seeking to turn us into a Marxist nation, with limited personal freedoms, dictated by the State?
President Ronald Reagan said,
I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.
One of those whom Obama’s IRS attacked, Rev. Billy Graham, once remarked,
Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.
My fellow Americans, it is high time we started a National Conversation with Our Creator.
Until He Comes,