Except when we want to know the content of your prayers.
Mary Katherine Ham:
A pro-life legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom, released audio today of a 2012 phone call between an IRS agent and the head of a Texas pregnancy counseling group. During the phone call, IRS agent Sherry Wan is heard lecturing Ania Joseph about how she can't have a tax exemption and also push her religious beliefs-- a bit of advice that would be quite interesting to every church in America.
Via The Blaze, here's part of the exchange. The group in question, Pro-Life Revolution, waited more than two years for its tax exemption:
Wan lectured Joseph on the group's mission and told the pro-life leader that she needs to "know [her] boundaries."
"You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on somebody else," Wan told Joseph in a nearly 10-minute phone conversation.
"I just have a question, Sherry," Joseph interjected. "Is handing a brochure to somebody forcing somebody to do something they don't want to do?"
Wan explained her position.
"You convince them. But when you take a lot of action, [unintelligible] other people. For example, when you, you know, go to, you know, the abortion clinic, and you found them [unintelligible], we don't want, you know, to come against them," the agent said.
"You can't take all kinds of confrontation activities and also put something on a website and ask people to take action against the abortion clinic. That's not, that's not really educational."
I'm beginning to think that the IRS gets these people when they are in school. They scour playgrounds across America looking for the meanest, most aggressive bullies they can find. They then whisk them off to a secret training facility and, when they're good and ready, they loose them on the unsuspecting American public.
That may be a little fanciful. More likely, the culture of intimidation permeates the entire agency and agents absorb it and practice it.
And under no circumstances are they to read the Constitution. That would be disastrous.