Audio: IRS agent tells pro-life group, “Keep your faith to yourself.”
posted at 10:01 pm on June 10, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham
A pro-life legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom, released audio today of a 2012 phone call between an IRS agent and the head of a Texas pregnancy counseling group. During the phone call, IRS agent Sherry Wan is heard lecturing Ania Joseph about how she can’t have a tax exemption and also push her religious beliefs— a bit of advice that would be quite interesting to every church in America.
Via The Blaze, here’s part of the exchange. The group in question, Pro-Life Revolution, waited more than two years for its tax exemption:
Wan lectured Joseph on the group’s mission and told the pro-life leader that she needs to “know [her] boundaries.”
“You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on somebody else,” Wan told Joseph in a nearly 10-minute phone conversation.
“I just have a question, Sherry,” Joseph interjected. “Is handing a brochure to somebody forcing somebody to do something they don’t want to do?”
Wan explained her position.
“You convince them. But when you take a lot of action, [unintelligible] other people. For example, when you, you know, go to, you know, the abortion clinic, and you found them [unintelligible], we don’t want, you know, to come against them,” the agent said.
“You can’t take all kinds of confrontation activities and also put something on a website and ask people to take action against the abortion clinic. That’s not, that’s not really educational.”
The whole transcript is here.
Update: Just a thought. I’m glad Joseph already has legal counsel, for when the government tries to go after her for unlawfully taping a conversation that makes them look bad. I’m pretty sure that’s a statute, right?
Update: To clarify on the legality question, an Alliance Defending Freedom representative informs me, the recording is completely legal, “in Texas (her location), in Ohio (the IRS office location), and for federal purposes (contact with an IRS agent being a federal thing) recording of a call in this manner requires one-party consent.”