Displaying your ignorance on Fox News isn’t a new or rare thing. But sometimes it’s facepalmingly bad. Like on Saturday’s Fox & Friends, hosted by right-wing
tool talking head, Tucker Carlson.
Tucker got hold of a story involving the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the IRS, both favorite Fox targets. The story was about the FFRF’s lawsuit against the IRS for failing to enforce its own anti-electioneering regulations, allowing churches and other religious entities, to preach politics. Last month, that suit was resolved when the IRS agreed to do a better job of enforcing their own rules. However, since they are currently under assault from the GOP for doing their job in scrutinizing PACs, the enforcement will take a backseat.
This did not sit well with Carlson, who accused the IRS of abetting the FFRF’s “assault on people of faith.” Like any good Fox foot soldier, Carlson is up for bad-mouthing the IRS and the FFRF, displaying a breathtaking ignorance in the process. Tucker told guest J. Christian Adams
That this was an example of “… liberal politicians, liberal groups asking the IRS to crush organizations that they don’t agree with.”
Okay, first of all, no liberal has asked the IRS to “crush organizations.” I dare Carlson to produce any example of such a request. Secondly, some of the groups that complained really didn’t qualify for exempt status. Third, Just as many — if not more — liberal groups were subjected to extra scrutiny. This is the IRS’s job: they make sure that groups who ask for 501 (c) status are actually worthy of it.
But back to Tucker and his guest and their ridiculous claims. Adams, eagerly taking Carlson’s bait, says that this “goes way back in history” and that the left doesn’t like religion. We always go after it, Adams says. The FFRF, he asserts, is trying to “convert theology into politics.” Really? More projection. It’s the churches that have converted theology into politics. The not only converted it, they are making headway. Dominion theology, anyone?
Adams made some pretty dumb remarks. Of course, the paranoia of the radical religious right knows no bounds but this is just stupid:
“They want to turn belief in constitutional principles, belief in God into a political thing. They want to use the IRS to go after people who express their faith from the pulpit and urge action. That’s the important part, they want people who believe to shut up.”
Excuse me, but the Constitution prohibits the government — of which the IRS is a part — of favoring one religion over others, of supporting one religion with government help. This blithering idiot has obviously never actually read the Constitution.
Let’s get something straight: the IRS is legally obligated to enforce the law — and have been for 60 years — which prohibits electioneering and/or endorsement of politicians. In recent years, churches have got off scot-free for intervening in elections. Pastors tell their congregations who and what to vote for or against along with the Sunday sermon. Some of them even brag about it: the Alliance Defending Freedom, even sets aside one Sunday a year to encourage it. It is a flagrant violation of the law and the FFRF was correct to make the IRS enforce it.
But, to Tucker Carlson, J. Christian Adams and their blindly faithful followers, the problem is not that churches are violating the law, it’s the evil IRS and liberals persecuting people of faith. That’s utter nonsense. Liberals are religious, too. Liberals attend church, synagogue, mosque, temple and are just as religious as conservatives. The right, however, seems to think that they have a monopoly on faith. We liberals are religious and we also understand the Establishment Clause. Every American church ought to.
Here’s the segment from Fox & Friends Saturday:
h/t The New Civil Rights Movement. Photo: Screen grab, Fox and Friends.