In addition to Tea Party and conservative non-profit political organizations, it now appears that mainstream Christian religious non-profit organizations were targets of the Internal Revenue Service.
Today, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association sent a letter to President Barack Obama alleging that the famous Christian leader was also a target.
Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Graham, alleges that the IRS targeted BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse due to the effort the association undertook in expressing its views about the gay marriage amendment vote in 2012. BGEA is permitted under current campaign finance laws to express its views on public policy issues.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” wrote Franklin Graham in a letter to President Obama. “This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”
RedState.com reports that Mark Demoss, a spokesman for Graham, said the ministry had never been audited by the IRS in its history.
“These certainly appear to be politically motivated since the ministry had run some newspaper ads – not mentioning any candidates – simply urging people to vote for candidates with biblical values,” he said.
DeMoss called the IRS audit “very troubling and said it could have a “chilling effect on people across the country.”
“It would suggest that these audits are not random because the Billy Graham organization and Samaritan’s Purse were notified of the audit on the same day and they are located in different parts of North Carolina,” DeMoss said. “It doesn’t look very good.”
The full letter can be read here: Letter to President Obama from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.