Does our chief tax extorting agency view conservatives less favorably than pedophile clergy and those who protect them? With a nearly $20 million settlement awarded to victims of abuse in Chicago that raised questions of what church officials did to stop a pedophile priest, we should ask whether our legacy of hands-off religious tolerance has reached the same level of absurdity as what happened at the Internal Revenue Service.
The scandal over how our government punished conservatives with the tax code begs the question of why we aren’t punishing churches that retain pedophile clergy by revoking their tax exempt status. Money crosses all political, religious, and ethical boundaries. If we want to ensure that religious institutions and their officials purge the ranks of offenders who are known or suspected of abusing the flock, their finances are the place to target.
Abusing the prerogative to tax is big government at its most evil. The Obama administration has used the tax code as a weapon from the very first day. The White House is now proposing a new fair share tax and financial crisis responsibility fee in the 2014 budget, labels that answer the question of who the guilty are and who deserves to be punished. While the administration accuses Republicans of backing tax loopholes for the rich that force middle class Americans to make up the difference, the government doles out tax exemptions to churches that should lose them with interest when they are found to be harboring pedophile clergy.
Institutionalized child sex abuse should be dealt with harshly. We should also punish a conspiracy by a government agency to wield the tax code to crack down on conservative political views. Religion is protected in the U.S., but our legacy of freedom of thought and speech is no less sacrosanct. Does our government really want to send the message that it is less tolerant of conservatives than pedophiles?