Right Wing: ‘Obama Using IRS to Silence Christians’
The Obama administration has launched a plan to ‘silence Christians‘ according to the latest rumor spreading through conservative groups. The ‘sinister scheme’ aims to ‘eliminate Obama’s enemies’ and is based on proposed changes to IRS regulations regarding 501(c)4 organizations that would limit their influence in the political process.
The new regulations are intended to better regulate so-called ‘dark money’ that passes from donor through a 501(c)4 in order for the donor to remain anonymous. Yet, the new rules will ultimately impact all 501(c)4 organizations equally, hitting not only shady Ken Rove-type groups that have growing political capital in elections, but also long-standing progressive social welfare groups like the Sierra Club and the ACLU.
Cathy Duvall, the Sierra Club’s director of strategic partnerships, joined a chorus of progressive organizations that worry that the new rules will harm “efforts that have nothing to do with politics, from our ability to communicate with our members about clean air and water to our efforts to educate the public about toxic pollution.”
The Religious Right, however, is convinced that the IRS regulations is really an attack on them and is a thinly veiled effort by Obama to silence Christian and conservative voices in politics.
“The IRS is proposing regulations that will give them the authority to invent rules that could ultimately shut down conservative organizations like AFA, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the Tea Party,” a petition on the American Family Association (AFA) site reads.
Attorney for the AFA Patrick Vaughn also warned that if the new regulations are allowed to pass, “eventually, these rules could filter down to churches, simply at the whim of the IRS, basically silencing conservatives and Christians for exercising their patriotic and civic freedoms.”
Insisting that enacting the proposed IRS rules may eventually lead to banning ‘even books’ by the Obama administration, Ken Blackwell of the right-wing advocacy group, Family Research Council said the real reason for the new IRS code was to stamp out Obama’s conservative political enemies.
What the IRS is doing here [is] limiting how much groups can speak about Obama’s policies or promote alternative policies about healthcare, free markets, traditional values, or national defense,” Blackwell wrote. “Obama and his supporters can use the enormous platform of their public offices to promote whatever they want without limit. If the president gives a speech, the media will cover it.”
Yet, ironically, Matthew Clark of the conservative ACLJ seemed to relish in the harm the new regulations will do to progressive groups. “Thankfully, this time some groups on the Left are starting to see just how invasive and damaging to free speech (everyone’s free speech) this proposed rule would be,” he wrote in a blog.
His nod to progressive social welfare groups, though, did not change his view that conservatives are the target of Obama’s rules. The “new rules are clearly an attempt to legitimize the targeting of conservative groups, giving color of law to the Obama Administration’s mission to silence conservative viewpoints in the social welfare arena,” Clark stressed.
Photo Credit: Joshua Doubek