IRS denies Christian charity nonprofit status, says Bible teachings “typically affiliated” with Republican Party

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GARLAND, TX- Breitbart News reports that a Texas non-profit organization, Christians Engaged, has had its tax-exempt status denied by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which claims “the Bible’s teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican party and candidates.”

That’s funny—we didn’t realize the Republican Party existed back when The Bible was written.

 

Christians Engaged is described as an “educational, Christian and non-partisan organization,” which operates out of Garland, Texas. The organization’s three main goals are:

To awaken, motivate and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ; to pray for our nation and our elected officials regularly; to vote in every election to impact our culture, and engage our hearts in some forms of political education or activism for the furtherance of our nation.

According to the organization’s appeal letter to the IRS, the organization said it works to show Christians how to “civically engage as part of their religious practice” but does not promote specific parties or candidates or earn money for political causes.”

Christians Engaged first applied for 501 (c)(3) status in late 2019.

This past May, they received a rejection letter from Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin, in which he said the group “engage[s] in prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican] party.

Kind of like AARP or Planned Parenthood, both of which have 501(c)(3) status and both of which are shills for the Democratic Party, right?

Martin wrote in his letter that the group doesn’t meet requirements for tax exempt status because biblical causes tend to favor the Republican Party:

Specifically you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations. The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican Party] and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRS Section 501(c)(3).

In their appeal letter to the IRS, the First Liberty Institute, which is representing the group, said Martin’s decision mischaracterizes the nature of the non-profit and infringes on first amendment liberties.

“From its religious perspective, Christians Engaged provides nonpartisan religious and civic education, focusing on encouraging and educating Christians to be civically engaged as a part of their religious practice,” according to the appeal letter.

Lea Patterson, an attorney representing Christians Engaged called the IRS decision “strange” and claimed the government entity is discriminating based on religion.

“If the IRS going forward thinks that Bible teaching is Republican-affiliated, then that could endanger the tax-exempt status of many religious organizations—including potentially churches, which obviously teach the Bible with some frequency,” Patterson told Breitbart.

In a stretch of “biblical” proportions, the IRS claims the leadership of Christians Engaged is or has been heavily involved in Republican organizations in the past, but the organization pointed out those affiliations are separate and do not impact the organizations.

For example, President Bunni Pounds is former congressional candidate, a 15-year political consultant, as well as a motivational speaker. Meanwhile vice president Trayce Bradford is the former president of Texas Eagle forum, a statewide pro-family advocacy group, a former prayer leader and an organizer for Promise Keepers.

“We just want to encourage more people to vote and participate in the political process. How can anyone be against that?” Pounds said in a release.

Patterson pointed out the hypocrisy of the IRS, noting that the agency approved 501(c)(3) status for a number of other organizations which behave in the same manner as Christians Engaged; most notably approving a nonprofit Michelle Obama started called Civic Nation, whose “When We All Vote” initiative says its mission is:

[T]o change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to register new voters across the country and advance civic education for the entire family and voters of every age to build an informed electorate for today and generations to come. We empower our supporters and volunteers to take action through voting, advocating for their rights, and holding their elected officials accountable.

“Denying tax-exempt status for Christians Engaged while recognizing the exempt status of other organizations who encourage civic engagement from different viewpoints demonstrates the IRS’s impermissible viewpoint discrimination,” Patterson wrote in the appeal letter.

The letter also noted the hypocrisy of the IRS, noting that where the letter says Biblical values are exclusively Republican, they dismiss Joe Biden, who is often described as being a “devout Catholic” and bases “his political ideology on his religious beliefs.”

So what of an organization like the AARP? Affiliates of that group donate almost exclusively to Democrats. Last year for example, they donated $56,923 to Joe Biden, over $10,000 to Pete Buttigieg, $8677 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $7,667 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

They also donated $5,894 to far-left Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia, and $5444 to even farther-left Senator Raphael Warnock, also of Georgia.

In total, by a margin of nearly eight to one, AARP supported Democratic candidates, according to OpenSecrets.org. ,$86538 to $11262.

And what of Planned Parenthood? Once again, according to OpenSecrets.org, in the 2018 election cycle, the organization spent $4,917,566 on Democrats, $35 on Republicans.

Yet, the IRS apparently calls affiliates of the AARP and affiliates of Planned Parenthood non-profit organizations. And they CLEARLY have a political agenda.

The appeals process with the IRS may take several months, therefore Christians Engaged will have to wait until that appeals process plays itself out. If for some reason the appeal is denied, it is possible the parties could end up in federal court.

“Our client’s hope is that they get approved and recognized as a 501(c)(3),” Patterson said.

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While Christian organizations have the IRS busting their chops, you have race huckster Al Sharpton running a virtual money laundering scheme through his non-profit and all you hear are crickets. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

HARLEM, NY- According to recent tax filings obtained by the New York Post, Rev. Al Sharpton’s charity kept a lot of money within the family, reportedly paying more than $80,000 to his relatives during 2019.

The charity, the National Action Network (NAN), allegedly paid Sharpton’s 33-year-old daughter Ashley Sharpton $63,250 last year to do “social media” work and “consulting”. The charity also paid out $13,750 to Sharpton’s niece, Nikki Sharpton, 45, for “special-event” work in NAN’s Atlanta bureau. 

Sharpton’s eldest daughter, Dominique, 34, who has been the organization’s membership director since 2008, is not listed as receiving any compensation in the tax filings. However, in 2018, she received a $95,000 payout in a lawsuit settlement with the city after she claimed she suffered a sprained ankle by walking on cracked pavement in Soho.

In addition, NAN gave a $5,000 grant to Sharpton’s wife, Kathy Jordan Sharpton, which was listed on their taxes as “scholarship money.” The Rev. actually separated from his wife back in 2004. The Harlem-based charity:

“Is an activist social justice organization that works with the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to provide a modern civil rights and human rights agenda.”

The charity’s website urges visitors to “donate today” to ensure that NAN “continues fighting for justice.” The charity works to uphold the dream, legacy, and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Reportedly, last year, the charity received $7.8 million in revenue and it spent out $7.5 million. The report said that a quarter of the expenses were devoted to travel and transportation with an astounding $777,623 going to Carey International.

Carey International is a high-end car service, which boasts of its “world-class fleet” and its “certified, professional chauffeurs.”

Allegedly, another $1.2 million went to air, train, and other travel costs. The tax filing noted that either Sharpton or Michael Hardy, the general counsel, flies first class.

In response to the most recent tax filings, NAN spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger said that the car service budget paid for travel across the country that included transporting dignitaries to the group’s annual conference and regional meetings as well as transporting victims to rallies or trials.

She said that Sharpton has his own car and uses the car services “infrequently.” She did not comment on what type of car he drove.

Noerdlinger called 2019 a “banner organizing year in preparation for 2020.” She said that travel increased due of “voter engagement and registration.” She also said that they did a lot of work around the census and construction of NAN tech hubs around the country.

Noerdlinger claimed that the money for Sharpton’s wife went to a scholarship fund through her own church and that NAN contributes to every year. However, no such grants have been listed on the organization’s tax filings in recent years. 

Laurie Styron, the director of CharityWatch, a watchdog group said that compensation to the close family members of an organization’s trustees or key employees must be disclosed on the tax filing. 

Sharpton, 66,  president of NAN , received a 1 percent raise in 2019, raising his yearly pay to $327,570. Prior to that, in 2018, he received an extra $722,948 in addition to his base pay of $324,000. NAN claimed that the extra cash was to make up for the years when he was not fully paid:

“The Harlem-based nonprofit, which Sharpton controls as president and CEO, said the extra cash was to make up for the years from 2004 to 2017 when he didn’t get his full pay. NAN said it hired an executive compensation firm that determined the good reverend was owed $1.252 million, but he was generously willing to take $500,000 less.”

Sharpton, who is an MSNBC host, founded NAN in 1991. His relationship with the group raised some concern in 2018 when tax filings revealed he was selling the rights to his life story to the nonprofit for $531,000. NAN said that it would make money by selling the rights to filmmakers or others.

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Report: Biden cancer charity spent millions on salaries, none on research

November 15th, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC- The New York Post is reporting that a cancer charity which was founded by Joe Biden spent ZERO money on research while directing most of its contributions to staff salaries, according to federal filings.

Biden founded the Biden Cancer Initiative in 2017 along with his wife, Jill Biden, to “develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes,” according to its IRS mission statement.

However, no grants were given out in its first two years. The organization did disperse millions of dollars towards salaries of those employed by them.

 

Federal tax filings show the charity received $4,809,619 in contributions for FY 2017 and 2018, while spending $3,070,301 on payroll over those two years.

The president of the charity, Gregory Simon, made $429,850 in FY 2018, according to the recent tax filings from the charity.

Simon is a former executive for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and a longtime health care lobbyist who also headed up the Obama administration’s cancer task force. In 2017, Simon earned $224,539, according to tax filings.

Another employee, Danielle Carnival, former chief of staff for the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, Obama’s cancer initiative, took home $258,207 in 2018. These are concerning revelations.

The Daily Mail reported that in addition to Simon and Carnival, the Director of Communications the Director of Science Policy and the Director of engagement also received six figure salaries.

The Post said that the Biden charity spent $56,738 on conferences and $59,356 on travel in 2018, while the travel expenditure in 2019 exploded to nearly three-quarters of a million dollars, $742,953 on conferences and $97,149 on travel expenditures.

So, how much did the charity spend on grants? Zero.

Simon attempted to explain it by claiming that the intent of the charity was not to give out grants, but rather to find ways to accelerate treatment for all regardless of their economic or cultural background. This sounds similar to St. Jude’s, an outstanding cancer facility for children, except St. Jude’s spends its money on research and treatment.

It also sounds a bit confusing.

When Biden was vice president under Obama, he headed up the Cancer Moonshot Task Force after his son Beau had died of brain cancer in 2015. When Biden left office, the “charity” was said to be continuing efforts to provide “urgent” solutions to treating cancer, which was outlined in the 2017 press release announcing the charity’s launch.

The board of directors consists of leading oncologists and celebrities who have survived cancer.

In 2019, when Biden decided to run for president, the charity “paused” its operations.

While the organization is still officially active, the IRS reported, Simon said in a 2019 interview that with the Bidens absent from the “charity,” it had lost some of its “edge.”

“Today, we are suspending activities given our unique circumstances. We remain personally committed to the cause, but at this time will have to pause efforts,” Simon said.

“We tried to power through, but it became increasingly difficult to get the traction we needed to complete our mission,” Simon told the AP in July 2019.

The Post said they attempted to reach out to both Simon and Biden for comment last week, however were unable to make contact.

The Daily Mail said that while the “charity” took in several millions of dollars in direct funding, much of its money came from indirect pledges.

The money didn’t go directly to the nonprofit but was “managed by the participating companies and organizations to fund their research and work.”

Biden’s nonprofit used his position as former vice president to promote the partnerships, the Mail said.

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