Skip to comments.IRS Receives Complaint Against Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Posted on 11/14/2012 9:29:04 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A secular group has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, alleging that the ministry's activity during the election season violates its tax exempt status.
Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based organization, argued in its filed report that BGEA's "vote biblical values" ad campaign violated the IRS' rules on religious groups and political campaigning. "BGEA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has run full-page ads publicizing Billy Graham's call for the electorate to 'vote biblical values,'" said FFRF in a statement last week. "The ads have appeared in several 'swing state' newspapers in preparation for tomorrow's heated presidential election. Throughout the month of October, BGEA published articles favorable to Romney, which included a statement by Billy Graham."
Brent Rinehart of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association provided The Christian Post with an official statement regarding the "Biblical Values" ad campaign. "The ads intentionally do not mention any candidate, political party, or contest, urging instead for readers to cast votes for candidates-at all levels-based on their support for biblical values," reads the statement in part.
Rob Boston, senior policy analyst for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told The Christian Post that he believes FFRF had a good case against the BGEA.
"I believe a strong case can be made that the Graham ministry violated federal law. IRS guidelines allow churches and ministries to engage in issue advocacy, they warn against tying such advocacy to a candidate," said Boston.
"IRS rules make it clear that a church or ministry can endorse a candidate even without mentioning his or her name."
Boston also told CP that while every election year has its share of complaints over "church politicking," complaints for the 2012 election season "skyrocketed."
"I have been monitoring this issue for Americans United since 1996, and I've never seen a year like this one before. Complaints are way up," said Boston. "Even allowing for duplications of reports, the number of incidents of church politicking has really skyrocketed this year."
Boston attributed this sizable uptick in complaints to the mobilization efforts of groups like Family Research Council and the American Family Association, as well as increased activities on the part of Catholic clergy. For its part, Americans United has filed a complaint against Church in the Valley in Leakey, Texas, which had a controversial marquee sign message that read "Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The capitalist, not the communist!"
According to Boston, his organization filed the complaint in October and at present he has not heard anything new, but that is likely due to the "strict confidentiality rules" of IRS investigations.
While some organizations hope to have the IRS punish those who may have violated their rules on church politicking, other groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom have denounced them.
In the month before the election, the ADF had its nationwide annual event "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," wherein hundreds of clergy spoke from the pulpit about political issues, in an apparent violation of IRS rules.
While participants often record their sermons and send them to the IRS, the government organization rarely takes action in response.
During the 2012 election season, both Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham spoke positively of Republican challenger Mitt Romney and critically of President Barack Obama.
Our First Amendment enemies are emboldened.
We’re living in a parallel universe. For them to ignore what almost every “black” church and preacher did from the pulpit for our pencil necked, illegal Kenyan impostor in chief is to suggest that they’re in a parallel universe.
Bad enough that the election was stolen right under the Stupid Party’s nose, but to have to listen to this tripe is disgusting.
And here’s a bit of religion for them: Go to Hell!
You fight back by pointing out the racial discrimination and take it to your friendly media, other churches and their flocks.
The only way to win with these bastards is an eye for an eye. Turning the other cheek doesn’t work because we know what they are made of. This Nation was founded on Christian principles. Christians needs to wake up
No different then Jesse Jackson or Jeremiah Wright! Someone needs to finally stand up to this stuff!
“Turning the other cheek doesnt work because we know what they are made of.”
Maybe somewhat off topic, but I’ve long battled with the ‘turning the other cheek’. It’s been explained that Jesus told his disciples that this applies only when they were preaching the Gospel.
While Scripture is unclear (to me) as to whether or not this is what Jesus actually meant, it seems that it very well could be, and I tend to belive that is what Jesus meant.
America has just voted judgement on itself.
SO they are admitting that Obozo is NOT a Christian......, not has any values worth voting for. GOSH, gee whiz, wish I had know that/s
Yes. Promote biblical values and everyone, even O's supporters, know its a vote against him. You don't even have to mention him by name.
Throw a shoe over the fence, and the dog that yelps is the dog you hit.
Spin it any way you want, we all heard the booing when they tried to include God's name in the DNC party platform, meaningless as it would have been. Three times they loudly rejected any effort to include God's name. Everyone heard it and something close to half of America voted for them anyway.
The muzzie boy is playing with fire!
rofl. Yes we all heard the DNC loud and clear.
I saw the Billy Graham ad in my local paper and it clinched it for me.
He said I should vote for biblical values, so I knew I couldn’t vote for Romney OR Obama.
Virgil Goode got my vote.
Therefore, the BGEA ad did influence me.
What you said, but I had made up my mind before the BGEA ad, I had to vote for Biblical values and that meant not voting for either Romney or Obama.
Regarding this, while I disagree with how the BGEA handled it - like removing their entire list of cults - I don’t think it was a violation.
You are correct... there was no clear endorsement of anyone in the ad.