Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
Random header image... Refresh for more!
Make a blogger happy, come back. Sign up for email post alerts!

God and the IRS

Recently, the IRS entered into a secret agreement with a group calling itself the “Freedom from Religion Foundation.” This resulted from a federal lawsuit filed by the group, ostensibly to stop churches from advocating from the pulpit for or against political candidates. Because of the agreement, the group agreed to drop the lawsuit.


Being free from religion is not a particularly tough thing to do. It doesn’t even take much effort. These days it’s not like religion is all over the place, like Justin Beiber. I would be a major contributor to a “Freedom from Beiber Foundation.” In exchange for dropping the suit, the IRS will “monitor” 99 churches for politically based content in their sermons. Apparently, monitoring 100 churches would be overreaching by the federal government. And what constitutes political content?  Well, to paraphrase former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (when describing his obscenity threshold), the IRS will know it when it hears it.

One needn’t go to church or even have any religious convictions to see this for what it is: another attempt by the IRS to chill speech of which it disapproves. It sure has gotten a lot of practice at that lately. And it seems that a number of IRS investigators will no longer be working Monday through Friday. For the IRS, Sunday is no longer a day of rest.

If you are one of the 99 churches, get ready for something like this:

IRS Investigator Wilson: Are you the guy in charge here?

Pastor Thompson: I am the pastor of this congregation, yes. What can I do for you?

Investigator Wilson: My name is Wilson. I’m an investigator from the IRS – Homily Division. A homily is a form of religious discourse that is intended primarily for spiritual edification.

Pastor Thompson: I’m aware of what a homily is. I use homilies quite often.

Investigator Wilson: And that’s the problem. We have reports that you have been telling people how to vote.

Pastor Thompson: I am a man of God; I don’t tell people how to vote.

Investigator Wilson: We’ll see about that. Just last week, we understand you mentioned Paul in your sermon. We believe that was a reference to Congressman Paul Ryan.

Pastor Thompson: I was talking about the Apostle Paul. You know, from the Bible.

Investigator Wilson: Don’t try to confuse the issue. I know this is a church, why are you trying to bring the Bible into this?

Pastor Thompson: Huh?

Investigator Wilson: We’ve also had reports that you repeatedly talk about Jesus. You seem to like to pronounce it Gee-sus, not Hey-suess, the more common pronunciation. Are you using some kind of code to dodge the IRS? We don’t like codes, unless it’s the tax code. That’s a joke we use around the office. Cracks up the new guys.

Pastor Thompson: It doesn’t seem you like churches much either. And I don’t use codes. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

Investigator Wilson: I think you’re just being coy. You could be in a heap of trouble. I was reviewing your sermon from two weeks ago. You titled it “Do the Right Thing.” We believe that to be highly inflammatory and political – especially, the part about personal responsibility. This is America; there is no place for that. Did you see the IRS take responsibility for targeting conservative groups? Of course not!

Pastor Thompson: I’m at a bit of a loss. What is your point?

Investigator Wilson: First, as an agent for the IRS, it is not necessary for me to have a point. Second, stop talking about politics. God does not belong in politics!

Pastor Thompson: But he still belongs in church, right?

Investigator Wilson: We’ll get back to you on that.

Curtice Mang is the author of the two books, including the new book, The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad, and the Odorous. He can be contacted at, where one can also purchase his books; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at

1 comment

1 Marcia { 08.30.14 at 8:30 pm }

Wonderful dialog, but it’s difficult to laugh and cry at the same time.


Leave a Comment