Tuesday, September 25, 2012

AU Calls For IRS To Investigate Colorado Christian Organization

Americans United announced last week that it has filed a complaint (full text of letter) with the Internal Revenue Service asking it to investigate the Ridgway, Colorado based Ridgway Christian Center for violating tax code limitations on non-profit organizations. The letter points to a magazine distributed by Ridgway (a project of Praise Him Ministries) to Colorado residents:
Please note the cover of the publication. It is dated Fall 2012 and contains a photo of a series of American flags. The headline reads, “Honor God! Love your country! VOTE REPUBLICAN!”
Inside the publication, Victoria Hearst, founder and president of the ministry, writes a long article challenging the right of the Internal Revenue Service to prohibit tax exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. The articles relies heavily on material produced the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), an Arizona-based organization that every year sponsors an event called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” during which pastors are urged to openly violate the law by endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit.