Leftist Democrats in Washington, D.C., are once again blatantly attacking religion.
As some members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have pushed for President Joe Biden to be denied communion due to his support of legalizing abortion and making it more readily available, several politicians are threatening the church with retribution.
California Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman tweeted Friday that if the USCCB decided to “politically weaponize religion,” then “a ‘rebuke’ of their tax-exempt status may be in order.”
Yes, you read that right.
Thankfully, the First Amendment and its legacy both protect religions from the sort of “rebuke” Huffman alluded to. According to the Freedom Forum Institute, churches receive special exemptions from the Internal Revenue Service as part of a “First Amendment-based concern” to avoid violating their rights to free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Churches are designated as charitable organizations under the law, generally giving them tax-exempt status. As churches largely exist to care for the people in their communities and often do engage in extensive charity and outreach — hosting food drives, caring for the homeless, raising money for the needy and some even providing free medical services, among countless other ministries — it makes sense that they are usually exempt from paying taxes on the money they incur.
It’s also not as though this stance from the Catholic Church is anything new.
Catechism 2272 of the Catholic Church says, “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.” The church, by its governing documents, is certainly permitted to deny Biden communion, and under established tax laws, it seems the United States government shouldn’t be able to interfere.
Nevertheless, Huffman and politicians like him are pushing for action.
And he’s not alone. Many Twitter users voiced their agreement with Huffman, with one replying, “It is long past time for them to stop receiving tax exempt status.”