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Ken Lucier, Moorhead, Published October 05 2013

Letter: IRS does not have the authority

A Los Angeles Times editorial (Forum, Sept. 14) opined that the IRS inconsistently enforces a 1954 tax statute that ostensibly eliminated rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the ecclesiastic community thus being held hostage to the state. The plain and simple language of the Constitution can easily be understood by any fifth-grader. The basic question is, by what legitimate authority would the IRS have to do this?

Simply, there is none. The very first sentence of the First Amendment to the Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law (emphasis added) respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” as well as freedom of speech. Congress apparently did in 1954. Any law so passed as repugnant to our primary law is a clear violation, void and unenforceable. Furthermore, the very first sentence of the Constitution, Article I Section 1, states as clearly, “ALL legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States.” Not ambiguous at all in either case. No such judicial or legislative powers exist.

Suggesting a regulation based on a tax code statute is superior to the U.S. Constitution giving any authority to the IRS to stifle any church from engaging in any political activity is not based on reason or fact and is a common myth promulgated by many. Additionally, the judicial branch has no authority to make color of law by interpretation.

We the people simply have not herein granted such authority to stifle churches in these ways. Any fifth-grader knows.