It should be no surprise to readers of the left leaning Des Moines Register, that it has endorsed Grassley's investigation of six evangelical ministries. Not only does it endorse the investigation, but it is pushing Grassley to take it a step further by issuing subpoenas to collect the information he has requested from these Christian ministries. The investigation has been well documented on Grassley Watch, but for those of you new to story let's quickly recap.
- Grassley read news reports of possible excessive compensation for ministers and other accusations about nonprofit tax law violations
- Grassley, based on media reports and rumor, launched an investigation in the Senate Finance Committee of six ministries that preach the prosperity gospel
- Many conservative and religious groups have expressed concern over the separation of church and state
- 2 ministries have fully cooperated with Grassley
- 4 have provided some information to the committee
- 2 have refused to cooperate, with one insisting he would go to prison before cooperating in the investigation.
The Des Moines Register has said that Senator Grassley "should put on some shoulder pads and push harder" on ministries that are not fully cooperating into his investigation. It further calls Kenneth Copeland, a minister that refuses to cooperate, "especially arrogant" and demands that the senator continues his investigation. But of greatest concern is the fact that the Des Moines Register, in its own special arrogance, has claimed that concerns raised about Grassley's infringement on the separation of church and state to be "rubbish." Rubbish? This country was founded by immigrants that witnessed the influence of government on religion and the corruption it brought to both. The founders established this principal to protect our right to worship, our right to privacy, our right to not have government intrusion in every facet of our lives.
Grassley Watch does not condone the gospel preached by these six ministries, nor does it claim that the ministries are always acting in the best interest of its members. We are simply concerned that Grassley HAS crossed the line from a simple tax investigation to the state intruding into church activities. The separation of church and state is essential to the health and well being of our society and Americans should not stand for any intrusion of the government into church business. If a tax investigation is warranted, it should be conducted by the Internal Revenue Service as is allowed by law. I would also note that Copeland has agreed to fully cooperate with an IRS investigation if they should choose to conduct one.
Greg Forbes,Editor, grassleywatch.com
Originally posted 07/15/08 on Grassley Watch