Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Ghost of CRAAP Meets the Real IRS

Bill Owens - CAAP
CAAP's Bill Owens (circa 2014) demonstrates that he can count as high as four.
The Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) was established as a front group of National Organization for Marriage. William Owens and his wife Deborah Owens were both being paid by NOM.

Bill Owens' William Owens Ministry was paid $35,000/year and Deborah Owens' (now deleted) LinkedIn profile listed her as National Organization for Marriage “Church Outreach Coordinator.”

CAAP was formed as part of NOM's strategy to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
CAAP has come to the attention of the IRS (I simply cannot imagine how). This, in turn, has come to the attention of Brian S. Brown. According to an email from Brown titled: EMEREGENCY: IRS Targets Black Pastors Group
Just before the 2020 presidential election, the Internal Revenue Service targeted my very good friends at the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) with politically-motivated discrimination, threatening to revoke their tax-exempt status. According to the IRS, they have determined that CAAP “attacked a presidential candidate and urged its followers to elect conservatives.” CAAP, headed by Rev. William Owens and his wife Deborah Owens, is a conservative Christian nonprofit group that has frequently spoken out about what it considers the betrayal of the African American community by the Democrat party and leading Democrat political figures, including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
CAAP is organized as a 501(c)3 entity which means that contributions are tax deductible. The rules are simple: A 501(c)3 is prohibited from engaging in politics.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.
I'll wager that you all know where this is headed:
WE AT NOM ARE HELPING REVEREND OWENS AND CAAP FIGHT BACK. And I'm hoping for you to help too.
[…]
Make a generous donation to the CAAP Defense Fund to help the Owenses in their struggle against this blatant ideological discrimination!
The fine print:
Your gift to The CAAP Defense Fund, a project of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity (EIN 20-7472471), is fully tax-deductible. No goods or services were received in exchange for your donation.
It's anyone's guess how that money might be spent. It is probably a futile pursuit. Even were that not the case, how would NOM intervene? If Brian S. Brown was serious about helping he might have asked John Eastman to draft the letter to the IRS. Corporate officers should keep their distance.

CAAP sent a laughable letter to the Service claiming that the IRS is infringing on their religious rights under the First Amendment. They further claim that the restriction is unconstitutional. They refer the IRS to National Organization for Marriage v. United States. Represented by John Eastman, NOM lost that lawsuit. They took a net loss of $650,000.

The rule has been in effect since 1934 and was further clarified in the Johnson Amendment of 1954. One of the objectives is to prohibit political contributions from being tax deductible. Despite some noise from Trump, that seems perfectly reasonable.

The National Council of Nonprofits opposes the repeal of the Johnson Amendment. See: Losing the Johnson Amendment Would Destroy the Unique Political Role of Nonprofits.

Related content:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be civil and do NOT link to anti-gay sites!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.