Republicans demand heads roll at IRS over denial of tax-exempt status for GOP-leaning 'Christians Engaged'
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) (Screen cap)

Rep. Chip Roy is leading the charge among right-wing Republicans protesting an IRS determination that a right-wing group called "Christians Engaged" is too partisan to receive tax-exempt status.

Roy trotted out some strong red-meat rhetoric for the occasion:

"The recent determination on Christians Engaged's tax-exempt status further exposed the corruption and liberal bias running rampant at the IRS," Roy said at the website "This discriminatory action against a Christian nonprofit is an overt attack on religious liberty by a tyrannical federal government."

Roy fired off an angry letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, co-signed by 14 other Republicans in Congress -- ranging from Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio Mike Lee to Reps. Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert and Andy Biggs. It included this demand:

"We urge you to personally review this determination and personally remove the individual or individuals responsible for the blatantly biased, discriminatory and flawed reasoning that led to the discrimination."

On June 20, the IRS told Christians Engaged that the group's focus on getting its followers to vote crossed the line between religion and politics. Here's how it was reported at

"Specifically, you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations," read a letter from IRS Exempt Organizations Director Stephen Martin to Christians Engaged, a nonprofit group seeking tax-exempt status. "The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican Party] and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3)."

And there was this:

"The IRS pointed to the group's leadership, which has members that have been heavily involved in Republican political activities in previous years. The rejection letter also accuses the organization of engaging in "prohibited political campaign intervention" and operating "for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the [Republican] party."

Christians Engaged has appealed the determination.

"Christians Engaged, which bills itself as educational, Christian, and nonpartisan, says its goal is to "awaken, motivate, and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ to pray for our nation and our elected officials regularly, vote in every election to impact our culture, and engage our hearts in some forms of political education or activism for the furtherance of our nation," reported.

"The group promises to teach Christians how to "civically engage as part of their religious practice" but makes clear that it does not promote a specific party or candidate."

On its website, Christians Engaged lists as its president Bunny Pounds, a Republican activist who was defeated by Rep. Lance Gooden in the 2018 Republican primary in Texas' 5th congressional district. She previously operated the Republican consulting and fund-raising firm Bunni Pounds and Associates.

Roy stated that "Religious institutions should not be punished for their fundamental Judeo-Christian values."

The Christians Engaged website doesn't have a "Judeo-Christian" tab, but it does have an "Engage" tab under which one finds this language:

"If Christians, (people who are truly born again and whose lives have been redeemed by God for "good works") are not involved in politics, only the lost and ungodly will be in charge."