Alliance Defending Freedom has released a transcript and audio of a phone conversation an IRS agent placed to a non-profit organization that provides support to women in abusive pregnancy situations. In the recorded phone conversation, the agent lectures the president of the organization about forcing its religion and beliefs on others and inaccurately explains that the group must remain neutral on issues such as abortion.

Agent Sherry Wan (:06-:41) – “…so you have your right. You have your freedom. You have your religious rights. You have a right to believe what you believe. You have the right to think about what you should do, what is right for you to do. OK. And, but, however, this freedom also [unintelligible] to other people. Other people also have the freedom. You know, for the personal view, maybe I go with you. However, I have to [unintelligible] the Internal Revenue Service. I have to stick with the law. Because, you know, we have to keep it neutral.

Client Ania Joseph (:41-:44) – I understand that you have to stick with the law.

Agent (:44-1:17) – Yeah, you have the religious freedom; the freedom of speech. And other people also have the civil rights; human rights. You cannot, you know, use your religious belief to tell other people you don’t have a belief, so I don’t believe you need the right to do this, start confrontation, protesting, uh, prot, uh, protest. [unintelligible] You don’t apply for tax
exemption

In a country of 300 million people it is inevitable that many of them will be ignorant not only about the law, but about basic rights and freedoms. But when such people rise to positions of government authority, there’s a serious problem. “The power to tax is the power to destroy,” says Erik Stanley, the ADF attorney representing the pro-life group. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We cannot allow the IRS to ruthlessly dictate against legitimate non-profits simply because it does not approve of the organization’s mission. It must be held accountable.”