For the right wing, ain't no party like a pity party and now that the IRS has been accused of targeting conservative groups, the religious right is joining the fun with their newest whine that they, too, were treated unfairly. The reality is "muddled;" but given that Fox News is the media outlet for the church of the perpetually victimized, it wasn't surprising to see it providing a pulpit for the latest installment of the gospel according to victimized faith communities, such as Billy Graham's outfit which would never do any politicking in the guise of being a "charity." Right? Anyway, on this morning's Fox & Friends, official Fox priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris, whose on air condemnations of Pres. Obama and recommendations to not vote Democratic, could be considered pushing a political agenda, validated the concerns of those religious groups who claim unfair treatment and in so doing, rendered nicely unto Roger Ailes who sits at the right hand of the godly (?!) GOP!
Tucker Carlson framed the meme with the opening comment about how the IRS, in "targeting" conservative groups, is just the "tip of this repulsive iceberg" because "some religious organizations say that they have been treated unfairly too." Clayton Morris asked "just how dangerous is it to our way of life for a federal agency like the IRS to have targeted faith based groups." He asked the official Fox priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris, how he felt about this matter which "is treading on very dangerous territory." The chyron for the piece reinforced the persecution: "Faith Under Fire, Religious Groups Claim They Were IRS Targets"
Morris warned not to get hysterical about this and say that the government is targeting groups because they're religious; but (and there's always a "but" to Morris' explanations) "we lose trust in our government when we see that they are using ideology as a litmus test." He opined that this causes people to question whether they can trust the government to "respect religion." He expressed concern that a government might feel that religious charities are unnecessary "because government can do all" and that results in government "not helping religious organizations be the best they can be."
Tucker Carlson (an Anglican - not one of those gay and woman friendly liberal Episcopalians) made the unfounded claim that "the Obama administration has made it really clear that Catholic Charities, for example, hold views that they hold repugnant." He added that the Catholic Church's views on abortion and birth control are opposed to the views of the Obama adminstration and "they've given the Church and its organizations a really hard time." Morris said that because government can't take care of all needs, religious charity organizations are important. He did his best jazz hands as he spluttered that if government is going after these groups, "not only is it despicable because it's using ideology but it is also bad for America."
Alisyn Camerota read a partial list of groups who claim that they were targeted: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritans Purse (a Graham operation), Catholics United Education Fund, Christian Voices for Life, Coalition for Life of Iowa, Biblica Recorder, and Z Street. Morris said that the reason why religious groups want tax exempt status is because "we believe that we want to give these people a head start, to do something very important for our country. He suggested that the government is trying to "make you suffer because you're religious, conservative" or, in "the next administration, maybe because you're a liberal." He proffered that this "bad because we need those organizations to get down and to help people who are most in need." He claimed that "we've known for a very long time that religion, when it's religion properly lived, makes us a better people and makes us a stronger country." Clayton Morris chimed in, "nicely put."
What the Foxies didn't mention that, despite having openly supported Mitt Romney, Franklin Graham's two listed groups continue to be tax exempt. And the Coalition of Life of Iowa hardly fits Morris' definition of a charity group because their shtick is standing outside of abortion clinics and harassing those who walk in. And as with Graham, this group eventually got its tax exempt status.
While the IRS shouldn't be targeting any groups for special scrutiny, the bigger issue is the tax exemption policy for those groups that claim to be one thing and are really political operatives. Kinda like Fr. Jonathan Morris? And wanna talk "despicable?" How bout a so called "fair & balanced" "news" network's promotion of a right wing GOP and, frequently, Catholic ideology by a cute, conservative Catholic cleric!
I imagine Father Spanky would REALLY whine then!