Miranda Blue reports at Right Wing Watch:
We reported in February that Focus on the Family, the influential Religious Right organization founded by James Dobson, is now classified as a church by the IRS, meaning that it does not have to file publicly available tax documents like most nonprofits do. In response to our request, the IRS sent us copies of its correspondence with Focus about the change in its status.
Those documents reveal that the IRS was initially skeptical of Focus’ claims but gave in after Focus’ lawyers insisted that the organization meets most of the tax agency’s criteria for houses of worship and that even questioning their status as a church could violate the First Amendment.
In the letter, the attorneys claimed that Focus’ 600 employees are both its “ministers” and the members of its “congregation” and that the organization’s “chapelteria”—a cafeteria that also hosts regular staff worship services—is its “place of worship.” The organization’s board of directors are its “elders.” It’s president, Jim Daly, is its “head deacon and elder.” Listeners to the organization’s radio programs are “an extension of its congregation.”
Hit the link for more, including their employee conduct rules about “homosexual acts” and transgender identity.”
Liberty Counsel is also now classified as a church and both groups are now exempt from all unemployment benefits rules and much more.