Robert Francis O’Rourke’s pledge last week to end the tax exemption for churches that don’t embrace same-sex marriage isn’t just the cry for attention of an also-ran. As the editors noted on Friday, several of his fellow presidential candidates have co-sponsored legislation that would limit religious liberty. (Pete Buttigieg did say on Sunday that he opposed O’Rourke’s proposal, though his comments seemed to suggest that the intersectional pickle of stripping mosques of their tax-exemption was the real problem.)
But the left’s totalitarian goals aren’t confined to religious institutions. Just last month the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing to make the case for stripping the non-profit tax status of organizations labeled as “hate groups” by the disgraced Southern Poverty Law Center. These groups include not just those with a religious orientation, like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, but also secular groups like the Center for Security Policy, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the Center for Immigration Studies (which I head). You can watch the September hearing here, including the tutorial by the sole Republican witness, law professor Eugene Volokh, on the bedrock constitutional principle of viewpoint neutrality: “There is no constitutional right to a tax exemption, but there is a constitutional right not to be discriminated [against] based on viewpoint in the grant or denial of a tax exemption.”
No legislation has been introduced yet, because the Democrats still have voters in Pennsylvania and Michigan to fool a year from now. But you can be sure that if Trump loses, Lois Lerner’s shenanigans will pale in comparison to what a vengeful left will attempt.