Four Religious Liberty Threats to Look Out for Under Biden Administration By Tré Goins-Phillips for Faith Wire
As Shakespeare once wrote, “What’s past is prologue,” and that seems increasingly true under the coming administration of former Vice President Joe Biden.
It appears the looming Biden administration will be a greatest hits album from the left: a return to the career diplomats and advisers who, under former President Barack Obama, created the climate for outgoing President Donald Trump.
For weeks now, so many have been saying there’s no need for concern on the religious liberty front, arguing Biden has no intention of stopping Americans from going to church or synagogue. And on it’s face, that certainly appears to be the case. But that’s not the problem. The fear isn’t that there will be immediately obvious assaults on religious freedom. Rather, there is a disquieting sense Biden will — as he’s forecasted — embrace the covert religious liberty assaults that were a hallmark of Obama’s two terms in the White House.
While the Obama administration certainly didn’t hide its myriad intrusions on religious practice and conviction, it enjoyed a legacy media that downplayed or outright denied the existence of such encroachments.
Here are just a handful of the ways the Obama-Biden administration overstepped its bounds on Americans’ religious liberties:
IRS TARGETED CONSERVATIVE, CHRISTIAN GROUPS
When reports of the IRS scandal first arose nearly eight years ago, Terry Moran, a senior national correspondent for ABC News, described it as “a truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration.” While the press initially pursued the federal agency’s intentional targeting of politically conservative and Christian groups as a big deal, reporters quickly moved to downplay the issue once Obama called it a “phony scandal.”
Under the Obama presidency, it was revealed in 2013, the IRS maliciously targeted conservative and Christian groups seeking tax-exempt status by slow-walking their applications or overburdening them with onerous questions, even demanding one pro-life group provide the government with the contents of its prayers — an action now-former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen later admitted was “totally inappropriate.”
The Rev. Franklin Graham, who runs both the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said the IRS targeted both of the nonprofit groups he leads. In a 2013 letter to then-President Obama, Graham said he doesn’t believe the burdensome audits by the IRS were “a coincidence — or justifiable,” given revelations the agency had reportedly singled out groups with the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names.