POLITICSNEWS IRS Denies Tax Exemption to Christian Group, Associates Bible With GOP

Internal Revenue Service Headquarters (IRS) Building in Washington on March 8, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

A top Internal Revenue Service official told a Christian group that “Bible teachings are typically affiliated” with the Republican Party as a rationale for denying its application for tax-exempt status. 

The Texas-based Christians Engaged filed an appeal on Wednesday to the IRS’ denial, objecting to the tax agency’s assertion that it is partisan. 

In a May 18 denial letter, IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen A. Martin said Christians Engaged is involved in “prohibited political campaign intervention” and “operate[s] for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican Party].”

A “legend” at the top of the letter shows nine letters of the alphabet being used as shorthand to represent something. In this letter’s example, oddly, “D” represented “Republican.” 

“Specifically, you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental, including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations,” Martin wrote. “The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the D party and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under lRS Section 50I(c)(3).” 

Christians Engaged first applied for tax-exempt status in late 2019. First Liberty Institute, a religious freedom public interest law firm, is representing the Christian group in its appeal. 

“We just want to encourage more people to vote and participate in the political process,” Christians Engaged President Bunni Pounds said in a statement. “How can anyone be against that?”

The IRS’ characterization of the Bible might be inconsistent with that of Democratic President Joe Biden, said Lea Patterson, counsel for First Liberty Institute. 

“The IRS states in an official letter that Biblical values are exclusively Republican. That might be news to President Biden, who is often described as basing his political ideology on his religious beliefs,” Patterson said in a statement. 

Patterson appeared to make a vague reference to the tax-exempt unit that was at the center of the IRS targeting scandal during the Obama administration. The ruling also comes amid Biden’s push for an $80 billion expansion of the IRS over 10 years, and the latter could be complicated if the tax agency appears to be more politicized. 

“Only a politicized IRS could see Americans who pray for their nation, vote in every election, and work to engage others in the political process as a threat,” Patterson said. “The IRS violated its own regulations in denying tax-exempt status because Christians Engaged teaches biblical values.”

In its administrative appeal, Patterson contends the IRS made three legal errors: 

By finding that Christians Engaged does not meet the operational test, Director Martin errs in three ways: 1) he invents a nonexistent requirement that exempt organizations be neutral on public policy issues; 2) he incorrectly concludes that Christians Engaged primarily serves private, nonexempt purposes, rather than public, exempt purposes because he thinks its beliefs overlap with the Republican Party’s policy positions; and 3) he violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech, and Free Exercise, and Establishment clauses by engaging in both viewpoint discrimination and religious discrimination.

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9 THINGS YOU ARE DOING TO DESTROY YOUR FEET

Why shoes could be responsible for your back pain

By Jenks-Western Jenks-Western in Featured, Health 

We don’t like to think of our feet as fragile. As a matter of fact, we know that our feet are amazingly good at taking a beating. However, too much of a beating, and too long with the wrong kind of treatment can lead to pain, and chronic injury. For a strong, healthy foundation for years to come, stop doing these things that destroy your feet.

THE TOP 9 THINGS YOU ARE DOING TO DESTROY YOUR FEET

You Go Barefoot: We get it. You like the freedom. Going barefoot occasionally is a great way to let your feet breathe and stretch. But going barefoot constantly is a recipe for disaster. Without proper arch support, your arches will flatten over time, causing flat feet, and the painful injury of plantar fasciitis.

You Wear High Heels: High heels are literally everything that is wrong for your feet. Narrow toeboxes, zero arch support, and forced unnatural position for your foot and ankle. High heels completely change your natural walking gait, and can even shorten your calf muscles, and damage your lower back. As with everything, wearing your heels for a hot date here and there is one thing, but wearing them daily to work is a bad idea.

You Wear Flip Flops: Flip flops might seem the perfect answer to wanting to experience the freedom of being barefoot while still wearing shoes, but they’re simply not. Flip flops damage your feet by not offering any arch support, and there is little to no cushion to help preserve your heel fat pad— the natural cushion below your heel. Over time, this flattens, and your heel bone begins to grind into your tissue, causing pain. Plus, you are more prone to clumsiness and tripping in flip flop shoes.

You Don’t Exercise: Weight gain and simply remaining inactive is one of the worst things you can do for your feet. Extra weight contributes to flattened arches and plantar fasciitis. Getting up and getting busy can go a long way in not only preserving your body’s full health, but also your foot health through healthy weight maintenance.

You Smoke: Smoking causes blockages in the arteries, which in turn causes bad circulation. Bad circulation contributes to painful nerve damage, and your feet are often the first place to be affected. By quitting your smoking habit, you’ll improve your heart health, lower your risk for lung cancer, and improve your circulation. This means better whole-body health, and healthier feet to boot.

You Wear Shoes That Are Too Narrow: Stuffing your toes into a toebox that is too narrow is the first step to chronic toe injuries and deformations such as Morton’s Neuroma, Hammertoe, and bunions. These can be painful and are often difficult or impossible to correct.

You Wear Shoes That Are Too Wide: Many people have grown accustomed to wearing shoes that are too big for their feet. This originates largely from our childhoods when our mothers would buy shoes just a little too big so we could “grow into them”. Unfortunately for us as adults, that means that shoes that fit correctly (with a good snug heel and just a quarter-inch between the toe and the front of the shoe) feel restrictive and too tight. You might think that it doesn’t matter as long as you are comfortable, but this is not true. Shoes that are too big pose a myriad of problems such as:

  • Any arch support is placed on the wrong part of the foot, causing bruising to the muscles, and an unnatural shape of the foot.
  • Rubbing on the heel as the shoes slip off your heels can cause blisters and calluses.
  • When shoes are too big, you run a higher risk of tripping or clumsiness.

You Don’t Wear Socks: Socks protect your feet from unwanted friction and help your feet breathe by wicking moisture from sweat or outside sources such as rain or snow. They also help protect your skin from debris, like rocks. Not wearing socks can lead to skin abrasions and introduce bacteria and fungi. This often results in cases of athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.

You Don’t Give Your Foot Muscles A Second Thought: Just like your muscles in your arms and back and abs and legs, you foot muscles need exercise and challenge to stay strong and healthy. Doing foot exercises each day, and stretching morning and night can help keep your foot muscles flexible and more resilient to injury.

ONE THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING TO PROTECT YOUR FEET

Day in and day out, the best thing you can do to protect your feet is to wear shoes that offer the right kind of fit, support, and cushion. Doing this daily can help your feet keep their natural shape, and avoid problems associated with a lack of support and ill fitting shoes.

KURU shoes are built on an anatomical last, meaning you automatically get a wider toebox and ideal arch support the first time you put on your shoes. Our KURUSOLE™ with HEELHUGR™ technology flexes with each step to hug your heels and keep your fat pad below your heel where it belongs for a more natural cushion and comfort.

But we did not stop there. Over time, our ULTIMATEINSOLES™ made of space-age foams in the insole of each shoe use your body heat to mold to the exact shape of your foot, so you get a custom fit that is perfect for your feet.

Choose the most comfortable shoes in the world, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Take care of your feet, with KURU.

https://www.kurufootwear.com/blog/9-things-you-are-doing-to-destroy-your-feet