IRS Scandal: Billy Graham

Billy Graham and the Pope

 

 

Among non-Catholic Christian leaders, there is none that I respect more than Billy Graham.  My sainted mother, and if there was ever a woman more Catholic than the pope it was she, used to watch his crusades on television back in the Sixties.  To me, he has always been a voice crying out in a dark world for Christ.  Lacking the True Faith, he has still been a force for good in this world.  Now retired from day to day management of his organization, he still commands near universal respect in this country.  It therefore takes a special type of stupid to want to pick a fight with him.  That is the cue for the minions of the IRS under the current administration.

In a Tuesday (May 14) letter to President Obama, Graham said the two organizations he leads were notified last September that the IRS would review their records for the 2010 tax year.

The IRS inquiry, he noted, occurred months after the BGEA ran ads in April 2012 supporting a North Carolina amendment that banned same-sex marriage, which passed in May. The BGEA also ran ads last fall urging voters to consider candidates who make decisions based on “biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”

Graham noted that the ads were bought with designated funds given by ministry donors for that purpose.

Go here to Religion News Service to read the rest.  Here is the text of the letter of Franklin Graham:

May 14, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President
The White House
1600 Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As an American, the recent admission by the Internal Revenue Sen/ice (IRS) that it had targeted not–for–profit organizations with “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names for audits is chilling. However, I write today to inform you this profiling by the IRS was not limited to conservative political organizations; indeed, it extended to religious charities–Jewish and Christian–as well.

Last April, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, headquartered in North Carolina, ran full-page ads statewide supporting the Marriage Amendment in North Carolina. We believe marriage between a man and a woman to be a moral, biblical value to be upheld. And last fall, our ministry ran newspaper ads nationally encouraging voters to “cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles
and support the nation of Israel.” The ad concluded with these words: “Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me (Billy Graham) that America will remain one nation under God.” (These ads were purchased with designated funds given by friends of our ministry for this purpose.)

To my surprise, on September 6, 2012, both Samaritan’s Purse (headquartered in Boone, NC) and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (headquartered in Charlotte, NC) received notification from the IRS that a review would be conducted for tax year ending 2010. An IRS agent arrived October 15, 2012, to conduct a review of Samaritan’s Purse; and an agent arrived on October 29, 2012, to conduct a review of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In light of what the IRS admitted to on Friday, May 10, 2013, and subsequent revelations from other sources, I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence–or justifiable. Yesterday you said, ”If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that’s outrageous, it is contrary to our Mr. President, the IRS has already publicly acknowledged it operated in a less than neutral and non-partisan way. We also now know that the target of their improper actions was much wider than political or Tea Party organizations. Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of America’s history–repressive government rule?

After the election, we did receive official notice that our organizations continue to quality for exemption from Federal income tax, and that our returns were accepted as filed. Unfortunately, while these audits not only wasted taxpayer money, they wasted money contributed by donors for ministry purposes, as we had to spend precious resources servicing the IRS agents in our offices.   I am bringing this to your attention
because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us. This is morally wrong and some would call it “un-American.”

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham

 
cc: Vice President Joe Biden

I thought the copy to moron Biden was a nice touch.  What the Graham organization was doing is called issues advocacy and is entirely permissible under IRS regulations.  That is why the Church can call for Catholics to keep certain issues in mind when voting.  It is hard, considering current revelations, not to conclude that the IRS was engaging in a clumsy attempt at intimidation prior to the presidential election last year.  Other groups and individuals are coming forward with similar claims of harassment after speaking out.  I think this scandal could well be the biggest one to hit Washington in the past four decades and I suspect we are still just scratching the surface of what went on between the IRS and the Obama administration.  Stay tuned.

13 Responses to IRS Scandal: Billy Graham

  • Lucius Sergius Catalina is President.

    :-(

    If ever there was a Protestant who would qualify for canonization, it is Billy Graham, and if he isn’t going to make it to Heaven (regardless of his Protestantism), then none of us have a chance.

  • Mary De Voe says:

    “If ever there was a Protestant who would qualify for canonization, it is Billy Graham, and if he isn’t going to make it to Heaven (regardless of his Protestantism), then none of us have a chance.”
    I am not going without Billy Graham and Paul W. Primavera.

  • I think Billy Ghram, is a very good Evangelistic Protestant, even the Pentacostal Protestants who gang up on us Catholics, cannot even defeat him! I grew up with Baptist grandparents who rag on Catholics, so I became a Byzantine Catholic, (more influence in their Byzantine Liturgy practices than the Roman Rite by the way), and I found more hope, faith, and love of my Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ! God Bless All! :)

  • Jeanne Rohl says:

    My take on Billy Graham and the recent IRS revelations. All my life Billy Graham ministries was apparent to me through my Protestant grandparents. Up until the last few years Billy Graham served I think all of the Presidents during my life. As an integral pro life organizer from the onset of the abortion ruling that ministry never came right out and witnessed to the horrifying effects that abortion on demand would have on this nation and throughout the world. I once was invited to speak at a protestant church in our area by some of its members and they were denied their request because “we come to church to listen to scripture. Then we make our own decisions in conscience.” (well the catholic church sort of has done that too) Anyway I feel that this thinking on the part of the mainline protestant churches gave the picture of “if you think it’s right for you than that is your business”. We have had no guidance or true leadership from the rank and file Shepherds for a long long time. Billy Graham ministries because of their influence could have and should have had an enormous effect on their followers. They have been targeted lately, as FINALLY they have spoken out on some of these “social issues”, which has left them in the crosshairs(just as the conservative Catholic and fundamentalist) of the progressive anti life anti family agenda movers. Never had no problems up til then.

  • I love Billy Graham and I have a vast amount of respect for him and his ministry. However, Jeanne Rohl is correct. I collect various study Bibles – Orthodox, Roman and Protestant. I must have close to a hundred by now. One of the ones I bought is a study Bible put out by the BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association). Of course I looked up what it said about abortion. And it says exactly what Jeanne stated: “Scripture isn’t explicit about abortion. We encourage women to prayerfully consider this decision with their pastor” or something along those lines.

    Now I am not damning BGEA. But Protestants lack focus and coherence when it comes to these issues. They always have and always will. Indeed, I am convinced that Anglicanism out of Canterbury began going downhill fast when the 1930 Lambeth Conference sanctioned the use of contraception.

  • philip says:

    B.G. “Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of Americas history- repressive government rule?”

    Great question!

  • Stilbelieve says:

    While this does not detract from this article, the letter to Obama was signed by his son, Franklin Graham. I forwarded it to several Catholic bishops as being from Billy Graham. Billy Graham went to be with God May 19, 2013.

  • Stilbelieve says:

    lol. Well, while the posted letter in this article is “signed” by Franklin Graham, and a Wikipedia site said Billy went to the Lord God May,19 this year, another Catholic site just posted that Billy is still with us. So, so be it. I never heard from the media what I would have expected if Billy had died, so I’m going with this “newest” news.

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