September 20, 2019
The Ends Justify the Ways and Means?

The Ends Justify the Ways and Means?

Tony Perkins

Eight months into their control of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hasn't missed many opportunities to draw a stark contrast between the two parties' policies. From defending infanticide and trying to gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the job-killing New Green Deal, hardly a day passes that the Left's radicalism isn't on display. But yesterday, liberals took their extremism to new heights -- demanding a tax on Bible-believing Americans.

Thursday's hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee wasn't the first time liberals have tried to use the IRS to do their dirty work -- but it might be the most revealing. At a Thursday event that was either unnoticed by the press (or intentionally sidestepped by it), Democrats spent almost three hours bloviating on "How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate." Their solution? Strip mainstream Christian organizations -- and anyone else guilty of the Left's version of "hate" -- of their tax-exempt status.

"Our tax code," chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) insisted, "is no place for hate. Groups that propagate white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and hatred for the LGBTQ community, among others, do not deserve a government subsidy through tax exemption. Hate is not charitable..." Of course, it should come as no surprise that while the rest of society has written off the disgraced and discredited Southern Poverty Law Center, the Democratic Party still relies on the SPLC's reckless labeling to define "hate" for them. That's astounding, many would point out, since the one-time civil rights group was just revealed by its own staff to be one of the most bigoted organizations in the country. With its own leaders engulfed in decades of racist and sexist charges, only House liberals would continue using SPLC as a platform to launch their anti-conservative attacks.

When it was the Republican members' turn to speak, one after another condemned the idea of hate and hate-motivated violence. Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) was clear that both parties could unite around the true animus is "repulsive." He even understands the desire to "limit such offensive and disgusting views." But, as his colleague Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) pointed out, the IRS isn't the place to start.

Our tax code, he argued, "should not be used as a political tool to discriminate against organizations that differ in viewpoints or ideologies... This country is the beacon of freedom because of our First Amendment rights. And the First Amendment applies to all speech -- not just speech we politically agree with. We can't use political disagreement as a metric to define 'hate.' This type of labeling can and has led to violent acts targeting groups..."

LaHood brought up FRC, and how Floyd Lee Corkins walked into our headquarters with the intent to shoot and kill as many people as possible. Why? Because Corkins had seen us labeled as an "anti-gay hate group" on the SPLC website. Now, Democrats are willing to use that same bogus list -- the same politically-motivated definition of "hate" -- to single out Bible-believing Christians for punishment. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) admitted as much when she said her party got the names of these 60 targeted organizations (including FRC and American Family Association) from the SPLC. "Taxpayers are subsidizing the continued operation of these organizations," tweeted the Ways and Means Committee, quoting AFA's scriptural views on marriage, sexuality, and gender. "These remarks are vile and only work to perpetuate hate crimes and stir division."

This is exactly what conservatives warned about after Obergefell. Before the Supreme Court forced same-sex marriage on the country, President Obama's solicitor general admitted that faith-based organizations would be the single most vulnerable group in America. When Justice Samuel Alito asked Donald Verrilli point blank if Christian institutions could lose their tax-exempt status for holding biblical views on marriage, he was frighteningly honest. "It's certainly going to be an issue. I don't deny that. I don't deny that, Justice Alito. It is -- it is going to be an issue." If the Supreme Court found the invisible ink granting a "right" to same-sex marriage in the Constitution, we were told in advance: it will be a declaration of war on principled objectors. Any nonprofit that holds to a biblical view -- the same definition Barack Obama held -- would have a target on its back.

Now, Democrats want to weaponize the IRS against Christian nonprofits and others with whom they disagree. But don't think for a second that they'll stop with a list of 60. If they succeed in making the Bible "hate speech," they'll march on to America's churches -- and then to anyone with politically incorrect views. Imagine what's happening to Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein occurring on a national scale to Christians. We thought Lois Lerner's IRS was bad. But if the Left has its way, liberals will use the power of government to financially punish believers.