CV NEWS FEED // Some Republicans have condemned a Democratic congressman’s suggestion of stripping the Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status as punishment if pro-abortion politicians are denied Communion.
Congressman Jared Huffman, D-CA, suggested using the IRS to punish the Church after the U.S. bishops voted to proceed with the drafting of a teaching document on how to properly prepare for receiving Communion.
“If they’re going to politically weaponize religion by ‘rebuking’ Democrats who support women’s reproductive choice, then a ‘rebuke’ of their tax-exempt status may be in order,” Huffman tweeted.
Sens. Ben Sasse, R-NE, and Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, and Reps. Jim Banks, R-IN, and Doug Lamborn, R-CO, all denounced Huffman’s remark in comments to The Daily Wire.
“Who is Jared Huffman and — more importantly — who does he think he is?” said Sasse:
In America, the federal government gets to say squat about how Jews celebrate Passover, how Muslims celebrate Ramadan, or how Christians celebrate Communion. Power-hungry politicians can’t weaponize tax-exempt status to enforce theology. This is none of the government’s business.
“It’s up to President Biden to reconcile his political beliefs with his faith as a Catholic. That is between him and the Catholic Church,” said Blackburn. “But it is beyond inappropriate for members of Congress to use their position in government to punish the Church for a sincere belief in the sanctity of life.”
“It seems that many Democrats were surprised to learn that the Catholic Church has strong pro-life views,” said Banks:
The more contempt the Democrat Party has for Christianity, the more hostile it becomes to religious liberty. The Left sees its values as incompatible with religious faith, and it’s frightening. Unfortunately for Rep. Huffman, our founders were wise enough to enshrine freedom of religion in the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court has been backing them up recently, too.
Lamborn accused House Democrats of “attempting to scare churches into silence,” which he said was “unconscionable:”
Religious organizations should have an absolute right to express their First Amendment rights without fear of persecution from the IRS or federal government. Rep. Huffman’s threat to remove the USCCB’s tax-exempt status must be refuted. Religious institutions deserve our respect, and they deserve the freedom to express their beliefs.
A number of others also rebuked Huffman on social media, including non-Catholics.
“Pretty sure China does the same thing to religion. ‘You preach what we allow you to preach or else,’” tweeted Twitter user NexusOfFire.
“And, how is this not the government interfering with the church acting according to church doctrine?” tweeted Karen Jewel. “I would suggest that this would indeed be a violation of the First Amendment, most egregiously.”
“Here is the State quite literally threatening religious leaders to do what they ask or face consequences,” tweeted Sameera Khan, a Muslim.