One of the most hideous ways the Internal Revenue Service usurps power and control over Americans is through its oppression over nonprofits, especially religious groups. Threatening to withdraw tax-exempt status and to levy penalties are just a couple of ways it exercises its tyranny.
For example, April 3, Catholic Answers, one of the nation's largest lay-run apologetic (or defense) ministries for the Catholic movement, filed suit in federal court against the IRS for violating its right to free speech.
What spurred on the lawsuit is that the IRS imposed fines on Catholic Answers because Catholic Answers' president, Karl Keating, wrote in one of his "E-letters" that 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry shouldn't be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) because of his pro-abortion stance, advocacy and voting record. Whether you agree or not, Keating was voicing his conviction and opinion, which he has a First Amendment right to do. At no point did Catholic Answers even tell people for whom to vote or not to vote.
Does that letter-writing act sound like something that deserves IRS fines and further taxes?
You can imagine the long uphill battle that will ensue for Catholic Answers as it attempts to sue the IRS. Catholic Answers confesses that it is doing so "not just for (itself), but on behalf of non-profit organizations and churches all across the country that are constantly harassed, threatened, intimidated, and persecuted by the IRS." That is the reason it also is appealing to the public for donations.
Everything is wrong and ludicrous about this type of governmental action, from the dictatorial power of the IRS to the violations against American rights and freedoms. And two major historical inconsistencies emerge from these situations, as well. First, early in our country's formation, the pulpits were the conscience of this nation. Preachers never were restricted in their political voices in any way, per the First Amendment. In fact, clergy and politicians used the pulpits to rally support without threat of governmental intrusion or penalty.
Second, the IRS wasn't started until nearly 100 years after the Revolutionary War, in 1862 as the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Its creation coincided with the creation of the income tax, which it was designed to collect, though income tax later would be ruled unconstitutional. In 1913, income tax was established via the 16th Amendment. Both were the initial work of President Abraham Lincoln and Congress. They saw them as necessary to pay for Civil War expenses.
But could Lincoln even have imagined how the IRS would become the most bloated federal bureaucracy on the planet?
Of all the present fallacies in the American system, the IRS must be the one that causes America's Founding Fathers to roll in their graves the most. Not only are its control and power unconstitutional but also its outrageous taxations strike at the core of the very reason for America's secession from Great Britain. The Founders would be horrified by the power of the IRS and its plethora of taxes we now have to pay: income taxes, employment taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes, gas taxes, etc.
The Founders were opposed to domestic taxes. They regarded high taxes and aggressive tax collectors as tyrannical and always to be guarded against. Patrick Henry warned: "Excisemen may come in multitudes, for the limitation of their numbers no man knows. They may, unless the general government be restrained by a bill of rights or some similar restriction, go into your cellars and rooms and search, ransack and measure everything you eat, drink and wear."
That is one of many reasons I encourage everyone this Independence Day to join a "tea party" and let it be known that we're "taxed enough already." You may not think your participation contributes much, but it was dozens and then hundreds of small resistances that eventually led a revolution in the beginning.
You might not agree with everything Catholic Answers believes, but you must commend its courage to stand up and fight the goliath of government agencies. We already know its odds of losing. Yet we also must remember how the biblical story ends: It just took the right person with the right stone to bring Goliath down.