Hate Speech and Tax Exemption

by C.E. Dorsett

The Capital City Alliance of Baton Rouge, LA, has sent a letter to the IRS asking for a review of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart's tax exempt status because of his statement (joke) about killing gay people. I am not sure this is a fight worth pursuing. Pat Robertson claimed vindication after the IRS refused to revoke his tax exempt status. The IRS is does not have the political will to stand up to these people.

While I do not believe the government should subsidize (through tax exemption or grant) any group that practices discrimination or hate speech against anyone, I am not sure we have a choice in the matter right now. It is important to speak out, but it is more important to organize and support liberal Christian groups and to struggle daily to change the hearts and minds of those around us.

Remember, if we immunize our friends and family to this kind of thinking, these people will loose their power (and more importantly, their financial) base. We have to stop the government from subsidizing hate groups through law and rigorous enforcement, but the followers are more important than the leaders.

When we stand up for our rights, these leaders use our actions to prove their arguments against us. They put forward the paranoid arguement that we are trying to outlaw their religion. We have to be clear, they can have their religion, just not a government subsidy.

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