Published On: Sun, Jun 27th, 2021

IRS Violated First Amendment in Tax Exemption Denial That Linked Bible Teachings to GOP: Legal Group

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A Texas-based legal group said the IRS violated the First Amendment when it denied tax-exempt status to a religious group by tying Christianity to politics, claiming that biblical “teachings are typically affiliated with” the Republican Party. Texas-based First Liberty Institute, a conservative legal organization that litigates First Amendment cases on religion, said in an appeal (pdf) to the IRS that the agency had mischaracterized Christians Engaged, the organization it represents, and violated the Constitution’s religious freedom protections when it denied the group the ability to operate as a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of First Liberty, told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program that he believes that, with its determination, the IRS broke the First Amendment. “We’re going to get a precedent here and make it clear for every group across the country, that they’re totally free to follow their biblical values, to be involved in the political arena, and speaking …

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