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Beloved Unbeliever - Part 2

Guest: Jo Berry

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May 21, 2013

When the IRS Targets Anyone, America Loses

Who knew that I would be a victim of the oppressive attacks of the IRS on people of conservative values and Christian faith. But I have, and it is a personal stinging reminder of how terribly close we are to losing all of our freedoms. Like many readers of my column, I have been watching accelerated attacks against Constitutional government, free speech, free markets, freedom of religion - you name it, we have lost much over the last few years.

Even so, I wasn't expecting that I would be caught up in the latest scandal to rock the Obama Administration. But I am not surprised to find out that Obama, et al are pinning the Nazi-like tactics on government bureaucrats deep in the bowels of the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS last week offered a tepid apology for “inappropriate” actions by two low-level employees in Cincinnati, who subjected “about 75” conservative organizations to “extra inquiry” before deciding their eligibility for tax-exempt status. Ho-hum. Just a case of well-meaning bureaucratic excess, right?

No way.

Here’s what the IRS really did: Employees in at least three offices singled-out and harassed up to 500 groups that favor limited government, oppose abortion, and reflect conservative and/or Christian ideals and values.

I serve on the board of directors of one such group: Family Talk Action, a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Well known psychologist, author, and family advocate, James C. Dobson, Ph.D., serves as Family Talk Action’s President and CEO and is the primary host of the radio show, FamilyTalk (You can hear FamilyTalk at drjamesdobson.org )

Dr. Dobson founded FamilyTalk and Family Talk Action Corporation after he left Focus on the Family, an organization he also founded many years ago.

After nineteen months of waiting for a response from the IRS, our attorney (who has successfully filed and received the tax exempt status for scores of organizations) was finally able to reach the IRS representative handling our paperwork, one Ms. R Medley. Ms. Medley told him that the tax exempt status we had requested would probably be denied. Her reasons? She actually said that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan right-wing group” that only presents conservative viewpoints. She then added, “You’re political” because you “criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.” And then, despite the fact that Dr. Dobson has an earned PhD, that he was a practicing pediatrician at the University of Southern California, that FamilyTalk is heard on 1100 stations teaching parents how to strengthen their families, despite the fact that Dr. Dobson has written some 80 books and is one of the great educators of our day, Ms. Medley had the audacity to say that our organization is not educational. "Strangely," after our lawyer threatened legal action we were suddenly granted the 501(c) (4) status we had requested.

Other groups waited for three years without receiving a "yes" or "no" on their applications for tax-exempt status—while progressive groups received approval in a timely fashion. Many conservative groups were subjected to intimidating requests to expose their donors, document their beliefs, and name participants in group’s activities. Far from being the actions of “rogue” employees, as the now-resigned IRS Commissioner said, informants say the targeting appears to have been what “their bosses ordered.”

In spite of the clear viewpoint-based scrutiny engaged in by its employees, the IRS official in charge denied that “partisan” politics motivated the improper actions. That’s preposterous, given that employees of the IRS “disproportionately” donated to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and liberal groups were not subject to the same harassment.

And the Obama administration’s response?

Political posturing. President Obama announced the resignation of the IRS Commissioner over the “intolerable” behavior and spoke of the need to “restore confidence” in the government. But he took no personal responsibility for the climate of governmental arrogance and constitutional disregard he helped create. Nor did he admit what everyone knows: the IRS wielded government favor like a club, intimidating groups with conservative beliefs and tromping over the rights of American citizens seeking to exercise their constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of association.

Over the past four and a half years, the Obama White House has projected its belief that power ought to reside in the all-knowing ‘government,’ rather than the people it serves. It’s nothing more than arrogance fed by power. The administration’s track record—of ignoring constitutional boundaries on everything from religious liberty to Executive powers to fiscal budgets—reflects an attitude that progressives are entitled to do whatever is necessary in order to further their radical agenda, no matter how many constitutional freedoms or limits they trample upon in the process.

How to Save Your Family: Fight Back, Patriots!

Americans, this is the time to stand up and demand accountability. The IRS employees implicated in the scandal, as well as their do-nothing superiors, must be fired. A thorough Congressional investigation must be undertaken, in addition to the one Obama’s Justice Department is supposedly going to conduct, to see how deep and wide the IRS scandal really is. New laws, along the lines of legislation proposed by Senator Jeff Flake to prohibit the IRS from discriminating on the basis of ideology, must be passed. And conservative groups that have been unfairly targeted must take their stories to the media and pursue justice in the courts.

It’s time to push back.

It’s also time to look ahead and gear up for the 2014 elections. We must clean house in Congress and restore the power of the American people, expressed in limited government. America's freedoms will not survive if we do not stop the madness.

Continuing down the present road is unthinkable. Today the IRS harasses citizens because of their political and religious views; tomorrow the IRS, empowered by Obamacare, will harass citizens because of their choices regarding medical care and insurance. And in the meantime, the government will build a massive database of American’s most sensitive, personal information, effectively at the disposal of thousands of faceless bureaucrats who, we are supposed to believe, will never stoop to snooping in or leaking such information.

It’s time to put an end to the ‘progressive’ agenda which threatens all of our constitutional rights. It’s time to be a Patriot. You can make your voice heard on the IRS scandal at a special website set up by another great organization I am associated with, FreedomWorks. Simply log on to www.FreedomWorksforMe.com to demand immediate action by our elected officials. Because when government tyranny strikes even one of us, all Americans lose.

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