A group of Republican Congress members and state senators are demanding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) repeal its decision on Christians Engaged's tax-exempt status.
The IRS had denied the Christian nonprofit's request for tax-exempt status earlier this month because its values and the promotion of those values are "typically affiliated with the Republican party and candidates."
Now a group of Congress members and senators, including Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have sent a letter to the IRS in an attempt to "express extreme concern" about the situation.
The politicians demanded in the letter that those responsible for the "blatantly biased, discriminatory and flawed reasoning" be removed from their offices.
The letter put forth the reasoning behind the IRS' decision, detailing how encouraging Americans to educate themselves on the political process and the guidance of this education with resources, training and mentorship groups from a biblical perspective are unfit for a "nonprofit, tax-exempt organization."
Yet the senators vehemently disagree.
In fact, they argue, "Among the issues that the IRS determined to be 'associated with political party platforms' were 'the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and biblical justice.' These issues have always been at the core of Christian belief and classifying them as inherently political is patently absurd."
They also draw on President Biden's past experience of campaigning alongside church leaders during his presidential race as evidence that the contribution churches and faith-based organizations give outside of political party affiliation is not only useful, but necessary, for Americans to make well-rounded voting decisions.
"The IRS must objectively analyze applications for tax-exempt status and cannot allow political biases to creep into its decisions," the group asserted. "We urge you to immediately review Christians Engaged's application ... status personally and terminate the IRS staff involved in the flawed and politically motivated reasoning behind the determination."
After sending the letter Friday, June 25, one of the signers, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, released a statement personally advocating for the IRS to repeal its decision, calling the action an "overt attack on religious liberty by a tyrannical federal government."
Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., holds the same viewpoint. Lamborn claimed this attempt to silence the voice of Christians Engaged "sends a chilling warning that Americans' First Amendment rights are under siege. We cannot allow any political bias at the IRS."
He echoes the words of Lea Patterson, counsel for First Liberty Counsel Institute, who is representing Christians Engaged. She said at the time of the denial, "Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat. The IRS violated its own regulations in denying tax exempt status because Christians Engaged teaches biblical values."
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