Are you aware that religious liberties, cherished by millions of Americans, are being attacked, viciously and relentlessly, by various departments of the federal government? These agencies are being led by appointees of President Obama, who gives them their marching orders. His policies are intended to implement what he refers to as the “transformation” of America. This is his word for it. We call it unconstitutional!
Not only are our fundamental rights being stripped away, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from tyranny; but those of us who follow the dictates of Scripture are being targeted for disapproval or harassment. I know this to be true because my organization, Family Talk Action, and I have been victimized by it.
To illustrate, the Internal Revenue Service has now admitted profiling conservative organizations for their religious and political views. Their purpose has been to silence, intimidate and harass those who dare to stand by their principles and beliefs. When the illegal practices of the IRS became public, President Obama and Attorney General Holder feigned outrage. Obama fired the man in charge, Acting Commissioner Steven Miller, who was going to leave in a couple of weeks anyway. It was a slap on the wrist. Does anyone think his firing will fix the problem? Speaker Boehner said the question isn’t a matter of who would be fired; it is “Who will go to jail?”1
More than 300 organizations have been harassed, intimidated and targeted by the IRS in the past three years, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and their associated ministries, Concerned Women for America and the Tea Party. And now, Family Talk Action has also been hit. Our experience is illustrative. We submitted an application to the Internal Revenue Service in September 2011, requesting a 501(c)(4) status. That permits organizations, such as ours, to deal with conservative Christian issues in the public policy arena and to support or oppose legislation. The attorney who handled the application for us has had 26 years of experience with such matters, and he has never had one turned down.
After receiving our application, an agent for the IRS acknowledged receiving it and then “went dark” for about six months. Then they contacted us for more information, asking questions that I have never had to answer in my 36 years of broadcasting. The agent wanted to know what subjects would be addressed by the opinions and commentaries mentioned in our application. They also asked for sample tapes or transcripts of our radio programming. We sent two CDs for their review: 1) The Heartbeat of the Pro-Life Movement, and 2) Young Conservatives Arise!
The IRS remained silent for six more months. Our attorney then called, but he couldn’t get through. He requested a return call. Finally, on March 19, 2013, a female agent named R. Medley called to tell us she did not think our application would be approved. Our attorney wanted to know why.
Ms. Medley said that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan, right-wing group,” because, according to the agent, our organization only presents conservative viewpoints. Then she added, “You’re political” because you “criticized President Obama [when he] was a candidate.”
The programs we submitted were not aired in the year when Obama was a candidate, and they were provided as examples of the additional information the IRS had requested.
Ms. Medley also said, “I don’t think your Form 1024 will be granted because Family Talk Action is ‘not educational’ since it does not present all views.” Not educational? I have an earned Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and was a professor of pediatrics for 14 years. I have been broadcasting for 36 years, totaling more than 8,000 radio programs, and have published 80 books. But, the agent felt Family Talk Action was not worthy of a 501(c)(4) status because we don’t devote the airtime, for which we have paid, to espouse a different worldview.
Ms. Medley then asked the attorney for Family Talk Action if he wanted to revise our application.
He said, “No, if we have to litigate, we will.”
Nine days later, the IRS granted our request for 501(c)(4) status.
It is clear from this experience and that of other Christian ministries that the IRS has profiled us for political and religious reasons. Our agent didn’t want our opinions to be heard. Charles Krauthammer, a brilliant Fox News commentator, said that the scandal that frightens the American people most is the one emerging from the IRS. Krauthammer said everyone knows the enormous power of the taxing authority. As Chief Justice John Marshall said in 1819, “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.”2
Now that you know how the IRS operates and the illegal policies that prevail in government, how do you feel about this agency having access to all – yes, ALL – your medical records at the click of a computer? The developing data bank will soon contain the most intimate details of your private life. Agents already know everything about your finances; and soon, with the designated watchdogs of Obamacare, there will be no privacy left. Nothing can be hidden from them!
I had a short hospital visit in May and was asked to sign documents attesting that the medical staff had made me aware of my HIPAA rights without acquiring a written waiver. That is the policy imposed by our Congress, declaring that not even your spouse or children can be told anything about your treatment. That was done to protect our privacy. What a tragic joke. Now every detail of your health, from your sex life to your various diseases and disorders, will be available to bureaucrats in Washington who couldn’t care less about your welfare. Obamacare dictates that more than 1,900 newly hired IRS agents will keep track of us. If you are frightened by this plan, then you are not alone.
The very employees who will be able to grant or deny a mastectomy, a heart bypass, or chemotherapy in times of crisis, will also know everything about your finances. The IRS has already proved itself unworthy of our trust.
By the way, have you heard that the woman who was in charge of the IRS debacle when the Tea Party was targeted, Sarah Hall Ingram, has been promoted and is now the bureaucrat who’ll be in charge of the implementation of Obamacare? She reportedly received $103,000 in bonuses for her “good work” at the IRS. We can’t make this stuff up!
I said that numerous departments of government are involved in chicanery. A much more serious assault on religious liberty traces back to the Department of Health and Human Services. That is because embryonic human life is being sacrificed according to the Obamacare regulations. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Cabinet appointee, has also mandated that all businesses and enterprises, including Catholic hospitals and charities, must ensure that their female employees, regardless of age, have access to free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
That is anathema for those of us who support the sanctity of human life. Millions of business people are now going to be forced to support highly unethical behavior through their insurance coverage. Forget your religious liberty. It is already in the tank.
Catholic hospitals may have to close their doors, and others such as Family Talk are facing an enormous ethical crisis. How dare this President and his Secretary violate our most deeply held moral commitments in this manner. God help us!
Steve Green, president and CEO of Hobby Lobby, is in a make-or-break lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services. He and his associates have refused to provide baby-killing meds to their employees. If Hobby Lobby loses that case, it will result in a million-dollar fine on the company every day. It might not even survive. That is how Steve Green feels about it. He is a Godly and conscience-driven man. He and Hobby Lobby need our prayers.
It comes down to this: ours is a government out of control. It is bloated and horribly led by a president who, when elected in 2008, had never done anything noteworthy. He was an Illinois State Senator in earlier days, when he voted “present” 130 times.3 One of the few issues he became passionate about was the legality of killing babies born alive after botched abortions. He fought for it tirelessly in the Illinois State Senate. Let me remind you that this is the procedure that led to Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s conviction of first-degree murder last month.
I wish I had time and space to talk about what is happening to our liberties in other governmental departments, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department, and even the U.S. military. The Pentagon made Mikey Weinstein, a virulent anti-Christian activist, its consultant regarding religion in the military after Weinstein announced last month that those in uniform must cease sharing their faith with each other. It was suggested that individuals who violate the policy be subjected to court martials. The push back was so vociferous that it quelled the issue for now, but it will resurface if our President has the final word; and when it comes to the military, the Commander in Chief always has the final word.
Well, that has to be it for this month. Our nation desperately needs prayer. Please join us in asking the Lord to be merciful and to put His blessing on this country again.
I also ask you to help Family Talk financially. Summer is right around the corner, and we are not prepared for its challenges. If we understand what you are saying to us, most of you believe in the values and principles that we are fighting for. Help us continue that work if you can.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you more than you know.
Blessings to you all,
James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder and President
This letter may be reproduced without change and in its entirety for non-commercial and non-political purposes without prior permission from Family Talk. Copyright © 2013 Family Talk. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Printed in the U.S.A. Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is not affiliated with Focus on the Family.