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IRS Targets Catholic Critics of Obama Regime
Crisis Magazine ^ | May 20, 2013 | Stephen M. Krason

Posted on 05/20/2013 6:23:41 AM PDT by NYer

IRS Building DC

The revelations of the scandals within the Obama administration in the past couple of weeks make those of us who are old enough recall 1973, when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigative reporting and then the hearings of a special Senate investigative committee brought to the public one astounding detail after another about Watergate. The current developments have been even more striking. One scandal or possible scandal after another, reaching across different executive branch agencies, have come to light in breathtakingly brief succession. There has been the apparent cover-up about the Benghazi episode, the Justice Department’s open-ended seizure of phone records from a wide array of Associated Press offices (including one in the U.S. Capitol Building), the disclosure of apparently politically-motivated decisions and actions by the IRS, the seeming policy of the EPA of waiving fees and fines on the basis of groups’ political views, the reports that HHS Secretary Sebelius has been contacting companies—including possibly those regulated by her department—to solicit funds to help implement Obamacare, and accusations of sexual assault against military men in two branches of the armed forces whose jobs were to prevent sexual assaults.

Of all these possible or acknowledged scandals, however, especially troubling for most Americans is the one involving the IRS—if for no other reasons than that its sights can easily be turned on them. The IRS has admitted to singling out TEA Party and other conservative groups that were applying for tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code. It delayed their applications—sometimes for years—and made excessive and irrelevant inquiries. It often flagged organizations just because they used terms such as “patriot” or “limited government” to refer to themselves and their work. Sometimes it asked for donor or even membership lists (this directly violates the standing U.S. Supreme Court precedent of NAACP v. Alabama [1957]), which held that such membership queries violated the freedom of association implicitly protected by the First Amendment. At the same time, leftist groups got a pass. Such disparate treatment flies in the face of another long-established constitutional doctrine, in which the Court has forbade viewpoint discrimination under the First Amendment free speech clause.

The IRS apparently also leaked confidential information, a violation of federal law. It appears that they provided information about pending 501 (c) (4) applications by conservative groups to ProPublica, a leftist media organization. During the 2008 campaign for the anti-same-sex “marriage” Proposition 8 in California, it also appears that the IRS leaked confidential information about the National Organization for Marriage’s donors to its adversary, the pro-homosexualist Human Rights Campaign. The head of the HRC was Obama’s 2008 campaign co-chairman. NOM plans to sue the IRS over this.

There have also been revelations that the IRS made as a condition of a favorable ruling for tax-exempt status for a pro-life group that it not actively protest at Planned Parenthood facilities. Another pro-life group—a Christian organization—was closely scrutinized for involvement in the annual “Life Chain” and prayer vigils and was probed about the viewpoint content of its educational materials. The Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm, has taken up their cases. The one involves an attempt to stop constitutionally protected peaceful picketing, and the other more unconstitutional viewpoint-based discrimination and a threat to the freedom of assembly.

Perhaps most troubling is the situation of Dr. Anne Hendershott, my colleague on the Franciscan University of Steubenville faculty and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists Board of Directors. Dr. Hendershott is one of the leading Catholic sociologists in the U.S. When the current IRS scandals broke, she decided to go public about the questionable audit she was subjected to in 2010, apparently because she wrote articles that: questioned the true Catholic character of two well-known sister non-profit organizations, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United; exposed the funding sources from these organizations (which included George Soros’ Open Society Institute and a major Democratic party fundraiser); and her raising tax questions about the leftist activist leader of these organizations. She had also written a series of articles critical of Obamacare. According to reports—I have not communicated with Dr. Hendershott about the matter—she was called into the IRS’s New Haven office for an audit of her “business” affairs connected with her writing. She said that at the audit session she was asked about who paid her for writing the articles and what their political viewpoint was. The effect of the audit was that Dr. Hendershott stopped writing about these topics. This is the very essence of “chilling effect.” The Supreme Court has consistently held that government cannot act in such a manner that it will have a “chilling effect” on speech so that people will be fearful of expressing their opinions. Moreover, the fact that Dr. Hendershott’s criticism was partly questioning whether these organizations were correct in understanding and interpreting Catholic social teaching adds another possible constitutional dimension to this. Did the IRS violate both the establishment and the free exercise clauses of the First Amendment? Did it effectively make an official governmental judgment about correct Catholic doctrine relating to certain public questions, and then called Dr. Hendershott to task for criticizing the positions of these left-tilting Catholic organizations?

It is not an overreaction to say that these IRS scandals sound like official favoritism of certain organizations and political viewpoints and an attempt to suppress opposition. The question of undue political influence also presents itself. For example, did the people who were prominent in the Obama campaign and the Democratic party go to contacts in the administration or in the agency itself to ask for the IRS action? While the IRS has had a history of taking actions that curry favor with the current political powers and has sometimes been accused of a pro-Democratic bias, the funneling of information to ProPublica and the HRC, the “hands-off Planned Parenthood” demand, the Hendershott matter, and the late-breaking news that information about the scandal was known about but not disclosed during the 2012 election year suggest political pressure from outside the agency. That would not be surprising. After all, this is the administration that has given us the HHS Mandate, supported the claim in the Hosanna-Tabor case that a religious body could not choose its own ministers, wouldn’t defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, increased federal financial support for Planned Parenthood, and is trying to stop military personnel from sharing their faith. This all indicates an agenda of hostility to traditional Christian morality and a willingness to share in the repressiveness that has come to characterize the political left.

Congressional hearings on the IRS scandals have begun. The respective Congressional committees should invite Dr. Hendershott and the heads of NOM and the pro-life groups in question to come before them to tell their stories. The committees need to be unrelenting in their effort to reach to the depths of this scandal, which may be one of the most serious in U.S. history. While I have not always been a supporter of special prosecutors—I wonder if their concerns have always been with seeing that justice is done and if they have sometimes promoted political agendas—the questions about the Obama administration’s role in this and the seriousness of the matter indicates that one might be needed. Both high and low-level officials and civil servants and political appointees in the IRS should also be aware that such behavior—along with any attempts to silence critics of the agency—is the “stuff” of massive civil rights lawsuits, not just against the government so that the taxpayers pick up the bill but also against them individually.

In light of all this, one also hopes that the public will see the grave danger of having the IRS enforce the Obamacare law and demand that it be stopped.

Beyond this, it is time for the serious debate—that has been avoided for years—about the entire federal tax structure. A flat tax that would necessitate a smaller and less intrusive collection apparatus than the IRS may be indicated. It could easily bring in as much revenue as currently, and meet the demand of Catholic social teaching that it be geared to the principle of “ability to pay” as much as a graduated tax does.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics

1 posted on 05/20/2013 6:23:41 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...


2 posted on 05/20/2013 6:24:12 AM PDT by NYer (“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possibl)
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To: NYer

Why not open up the can of worms that was Obama’s GM bailout of the UAW while we are at it? That certainly warrants a thorough investigation.

3 posted on 05/20/2013 6:27:18 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: NYer

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

4 posted on 05/20/2013 6:27:58 AM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: NYer

5 posted on 05/20/2013 6:31:48 AM PDT by GirlShortstop (Every person has a duty to seek and serve the truth. Abp Charles J. Chaput, OFMCap)
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To: NYer
That's all irrelevant when it comes to yukking it up and breaking bread with His Eminence Cardinal Naive.

6 posted on 05/20/2013 6:38:55 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: NYer

The respective Congressional committees should invite Dr. Hendershott and the heads of NOM and the pro-life groups in question to come before them to tell their stories. The committees need to be unrelenting in their effort to reach to the depths of this scandal, which may be one of the most serious in U.S. history.


Amen and.........AMEN!

7 posted on 05/20/2013 6:54:48 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: NYer; All

Protest Obama’s IRS at your local IRS Office or Post Office at Noon, May 21, TOMORROW.

Gadsden Flags are optional.

Details on Michelle Malkin’s blog.

8 posted on 05/20/2013 7:01:34 AM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: NYer

Also Catholic

9 posted on 05/20/2013 7:02:06 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

This can be avoided if all Catholics would just vote for Obama instead of just 52% of them.

Perhaps Catholics can get a tax break, not be searched at the airports, be exempted from Obamacare and be allowed insider trading.

10 posted on 05/20/2013 7:03:34 AM PDT by 353FMG ( I do not say whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: 353FMG

I hope that has a sarcasm tag on it.

11 posted on 05/20/2013 7:10:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

12 posted on 05/20/2013 7:18:23 AM PDT by Travis McGee (
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To: A.A. Cunningham

For now, but trouble is ahead.

13 posted on 05/20/2013 8:21:54 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

Pretty obvious what is going on, they’re getting bolder and bolder.

Christian persecution, coming your way in the USA.

14 posted on 05/20/2013 8:23:03 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Graewoulf



15 posted on 05/20/2013 8:29:39 AM PDT by AlexisHeavyMetal1981 (x)
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To: Biggirl
Nonsense. Dolan is a coward.

Card. Dolan ‘would not suggest’ pro-abort Gov. Cuomo not a Catholic ‘in good standing’: archdiocese

by John Jalsevac
Fri May 17, 2013 11:42 EST

NEW YORK, May 16, 2013 ( – After New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared to suggest during a radio interview this week that he may not view pro-abortion Governor Andrew Cuomo as a Catholic “in good standing,” the archdiocese has issued a statement saying that this is not the case, and that Dolan's remark was misunderstood.

“Cardinal Dolan would not, and did not, suggest the governor might not be a Catholic in good standing going forward,” archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said in a statement originally sent to the New York Times, and forwarded to LifeSiteNews.

Dolan made the remark during a discussion about Gov. Cuomo’s intention to propose a law to make abortion less regulated and more accessible. Cuomo announced the initiative during his State of the State address in January, in which he pledged to “protect a woman’s freedom of choice” by enacting a “Reproductive Health Act."

The governor added, repeating three times, “Because it is her body, it is her choice. Because it's her body, it's her choice. Because it's her body, it's her choice.”

During this week’s radio interview, the host of the show, Fred Dicker, asked Cardinal Dolan how Cuomo “could be a leader on an issue that the Church fundamentally feels so strongly about," namely abortion, and “still be considered a Catholic in good standing?”

“Well, I don’t mind telling you that’s one of the things the governor and I talk about,” Cardinal Dolan responded. “And look, he and I have very grave differences. And this is one of them.”

The cardinal added that while he doesn’t like to “blab on the radio” about private conversations about matters of conscience, “I don’t mind telling you…that’s something that I talk turkey with him about, and leave it at that.”

The remark was interpreted by the New York Times as suggesting that the cardinal has reservations about whether Gov. Cuomo, who was also the leading advocate of New York’s 2011 gay “marriage” law, is a Catholic in good standing.

The archdiocese moved quickly to quell this interpretation.

According to spokesman Zwilling, when the cardinal said he has “grave differences” and “talks turkey” with the governor, he was talking about the governor’s position on abortion, and not about whether the governor is a Catholic in good standing or not.

“The Cardinal was very clear throughout…that he and the governor have very different positions on abortion, and he has been forthright with the governor on the matter, in public and in private,” said Zwilling. “But he has not made any statement about the Governor’s faith or standing in the Church.” asked Zwilling if Cardinal Dolan would be willing to consider telling Governor Cuomo that he must change his views on abortion or, in accordance with Canon 915 and Vatican pronouncements, be denied Communion. (See below.) The archdiocesan spokesman, however, demurred from answering the question, instead referring LSN to the statement provided to the Times.

Cardinal Dolan: ‘Gov. Cuomo wants to work very closely with the pro-life movement’

Throughout the interview with Fred Dicker, Cardinal Dolan emphasized his positive personal relationship with the governor, and expressed his hopes that the governor would not, in fact, expand abortion in the state.

“I appreciate a lot of things about Governor Cuomo. He and I get along well. And I’m grateful that he keeps in touch,” said the cardinal, adding that while he disagrees with the governor on abortion, he has enjoyed working with him on issues like gun control and immigration.

Cardinal Dolan also said that the governor “has been very up front with me that he wants to work very closely with the pro-life community to provide alternatives to abortion,” something the cardinal said is “refreshing.”

Since announcing his intention in January to pass a Reproductive Health Act as part of a broader Women’s Equality Act, Governor Cuomo has been coy about what, exactly, his bill will propose. Originally pro-life groups, including the state’s conference of Catholic bishops, had identified Cuomo’s bill with the same Reproductive Health Act that has languished for several years in the New York legislature. That bill would dramatically expand abortion access, including late-term abortion, and has been described as “the most sweeping abortion legislation in the country.”

In the intervening months, however, the governor has appeared to backpedal, suggesting that the bill may only protect the “status quo” on abortion by codifying federal abortion law in state law.

Cardinal Dolan said the governor has made similar promises to him. “He’s told me what he’s said publicly, that as of now he has not decided on the details of the Act, and that when it is revealed we won’t find it as alarming as some of the rumors are,” said the cardinal.

The cardinal also said that of the 10 points mentioned by Cuomo as part of his Women’s Equality Act, the Church agrees with him on nine of the points. “It’s just this one about expansion of abortion that really gives us pause and makes us say, ‘please, that’s the last thing this state needs,’” the cardinal said.

Asked by Dicker if the cardinal wasn’t perhaps being too trusting by taking Gov. Cuomo at his word that he doesn’t intend to expand abortion, the cardinal admitted that “a lot of people are saying that to me.”

“They’re saying, ‘Dolan you’re too trusting.’ I say, look, the governor and I have worked closely together on other issues. I’ve applauded a lot of the things that he’s done…We’ve been with him and appreciated what he’s done. So, I guess I tend to be a trusting person by nature," he said. “I guess I want to believe that he means it when he says he’s not going to expand what’s already a terribly harmful liberal abortion culture, and that he wants to work hard on alternatives to abortion.”

Cardinal Dolan: ‘It’s not all that good to trust politicians sometimes’

Cardinal Dolan has accused himself of being too trusting of New York politicians in the past.

In the aftermath of the legalization of gay “marriage” in New York, Cardinal Dolan admitted to EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo that the state’s bishops hadn’t really launched an offensive against the bill because they had been assured by “political allies” that the bill was dead in the water.

“So, we had political allies who said, ‘Bishops, keep your ammo dry. You don’t have to pull out all the stops, speak on principle, speak up against this bill, but don’t really worry, because it’s not going to go anywhere,’” said Dolan.

The chief champion and moving force behind the gay ‘marriage’ bill at the time was Governor Cuomo.

During debate over the bill, the governor had accused those who opposed it of being “un-American” and saying, in effect, “I want to discriminate.”

After the bill passed Cuomo was widely accused by Republicans and other advocates of traditional marriage of using coercive and deceptive tactics, including pushing for last minute changes to Senate rules, to ram the bill through the legislature.

During the Arroyo interview, the cardinal was asked if the bishops had learned anything from the experience.

“It sort of taught us that it’s not all that good to trust politicians sometimes,” Dolan said. “And I think some of us bishops think we were being deceived. And I think that could be, shame on us for believing them.”

Cuomo should be denied communion: canon law expert, pro-life leaders

This isn’t the first time that the question of Gov. Cuomo’s status as a Catholic has been the source of public debate, and newspaper headlines.

In February 2011, Vatican canon law legal consultant Ed Peters made headlines when he said that Cuomo should be denied Holy Communion because of his public support for abortion, as well as the fact that he was living openly with his mistress.

Peters based his argument on Canon 915, which states that those “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Other pro-life leaders have also asked that Governor Cuomo be denied Communion. In this they would appear to have strong support from the Vatican in the form of a letter written to the U.S. bishops in 2004 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), in his capacity as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

In that letter, Cardinal Ratzinger had attempted to end debate about whether pro-abortion Catholic public figures should be denied Communion, telling the bishops that those politicians who have been warned by their pastors to change their views on abortion, “must” be denied the Eucharist. asked Zwilling if Cardinal Dolan would be willing to consider taking this step with Governor Cuomo. The archdiocesan spokesman, however, did not answer the question and instead referred LSN to the statement provided to the Times.

16 posted on 05/20/2013 8:52:41 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Ann Barnhardt on Cardinal Dolan:
Dolan is a fraud, an intellectual lightweight and basically the John Edwards of the episcopacy. In other words, he is a total phony, and anyone with a brain knows it within a matter of nanoseconds of the guy opening his mouth.

17 posted on 05/20/2013 9:31:20 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: AlexisHeavyMetal1981

Bring a Brown Bag Lunch.

18 posted on 05/20/2013 10:59:41 AM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: Salvation

Read my Tagline.

19 posted on 05/20/2013 3:30:26 PM PDT by 353FMG ( I do not say whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: 353FMG

I totally missed the tagline. Thanks.

20 posted on 05/20/2013 4:03:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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