As reported by NBC News, the Internal Revenue Service is apologizing for inappropriately singling out and scrutinizing organizations applying for tax-exempt status with names including the words “tea party” or “patriot.” IRS executive Lois Lerner said in a conference in Washington that the policy was implemented by “low-level workers” in Cincinnati, and she apologized for it but insisted that the practice was instituted to ease processing and was not due to any political bias.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling for President Barack Obama’s administration to conduct a review of the IRS, calling the review practices “thuggish.”
“Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough,” McConnell’s statement read. “Today, I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views.”
Fox News wrote in a report this week that several high-profile religious organizations claim they were among those the IRS targeted, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, and the 180-year-old Baptist newspaper Biblical Recorder. President of both Samaritan’s Purse and the BGEA Franklin Graham wrote a strongly worded letter to President Obama complaining of the IRS’s treatment of their organizations.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” wrote Graham in the letter. “This is is morally wrong and unethical — indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’ … I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence — or justifiable.”
Biblical Recorder editor Allan Blume seems to agree. “It raised some red flags and made me wonder why we were being targeted for an audit when we have been around since 1833 and have never been audited before,” Blume told Fox News. “Putting it all together made me wonder. … There seems to be a very anti-Christian bias that has flowed into a lot of government agencies – oppression literally against Christian organizations and groups. It makes you wonder what’s going on.”