There has been much written about how conservative and religious affiliated groups were singled out and harassed by the IRS. During the Obama Administration, many groups who were critical of the occupant of the Oval Office were fingered for extra IRS harassment. Red State reported in May 2013, “Among the ministries targeted are the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse and the Biblical Recorder–the newspaper of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. The revelations seem to indicate the IRS was targeting more than just Tea Party groups and conservative political organizations.” Did these groups set themselves up for such harassment?
The IRS is one of only a couple of government “agencies” that have the unconstitutional power to suspend the presumption of innocence and force the victim to prove his innocence–meaning you are guilty until proven innocent. The Constitutional guarantees of presumption of innocence are found in the Fourth Amendment that prevents the government from unreasonable searches and seizures of personal property without a warrant and probable cause. Presumption of innocence is also found in the Fifth Amendment when it says that you cannot be forced to testify against yourself, and also the Sixth Amendment that juries must be impartial and witnesses are allowed on behalf of the defendant.
I would contend that the IRS is an unconstitutional agency of the government that could not exist if the Constitution was strictly followed, and most certainly its actions of harassment and seizure of personal property, even houses, is specifically prohibited by the Constitution. If religious organizations, especially church-affiliated ministries, know that the First Amendment guarantees their tax exemption and freedom of speech, why would they submit to and invite the IRS authority over them? They do so by establishing 501C3 and 501C4 government-regulated corporations and operating their ministries from them. They are voluntarily submitting their ministries to IRS controls on their speech and actions.
When the government violates their First Amendment rights, they cry foul. Have they not given up many of those rights by becoming a legal entity of the government? Notwithstanding, they can raise lots of money with those government designations. It is a trade off. Do you do and say what God leads you to, or do you put government imposed limits on that and raise more money? People should be demanding IRS reform or even abolished. But religious groups ought to embrace their First Amendment rights that prevent government interference in their ministries–people will still give according to what the Lord lays on their hearts. Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and innocent as doves.”