Billy Graham has appeared on Gallup's list of most admired men and women 55 times since 1955, more than any other person in the world. He's been a spiritual adviser to a number of United States presidents, going back to Dwight Eisenhower.
So when we learned that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, it was a shocker. The Graham report followed earlier allegations that the IRS admitted focusing attention on Tea Party and Patriot organizations.
These latest bizarro world reports remind us of the verses from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah which warns about calling evil good, and good evil. For five years now, this White House has been growing a culture reflective of Chicago hardball politics. Good people and patriotic groups have been targeted simply because of their opposing views to the Obama administration.
The Tea Party movement has been a thorn to the liberals' agenda. For years the left has been attempting to paint these patriotic Americans as radical right wing zealots. In truth, the movement is comprised of loyal citizens bold enough to stand for the United States Constitution. From the inception, their aim has been to check out-of-control government spending and taxes, reducing the national debt and the federal budget deficit.
It's obvious that with their political futures threatened, liberal Democrats would be agitated.
This week, Franklin Graham sent a letter to President Barack Obama, complaining about the IRS targeting of conservative groups and alleging that the audits of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse were politically motivated. He said the ministry was contacted by the IRS in April of 2012 after it ran newspaper ads in that state encouraging support for an amendment against same-sex marriage.
The group also bought newspaper ads in November encouraging Christians to vote for candidates who support Israel and "base their decisions on biblical principles." Graham said the ads were purchased by funds donated by friends of the ministry. Mark DeMoss, a ministry spokesman, agreed that the IRS targeting appeared to be politically motivated since the the newspaper ads did not mention any candidates but simply urging people to vote for candidates with biblical values.
"I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us," Graham wrote to Obama. "I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence - or justifiable."
Graham noted that the audit cost the ministries money.
"Unfortunately, while these audits not only wasted taxpayer money, they wasted money contributed by donors for ministry purposes, as we had to spend precious resources servicing the IRS agents in our offices," Graham wrote.
Allan Blume, editor of the Biblical Recorder, the newspaper of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention which was also targeted, feels there also seems to be a very oppressive anti-Christian bias in other government agencies.
"It makes you wonder what's going on" he said.
With this administration reeling from scandal on three different fronts, it also makes us wonder just how far up the chain of command the trail of blame will lead.
By Jim Zbick