April 10, 2014 SnyderTalk: IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups will Probably get Worse Going Forward


“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you.”

Psalm 122: 6


2--SnyderTalk Editorial 4


IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups will Probably get Worse Going Forward

I almost hate to use the word “conservative” in this context, but it certainly applies.  The problem with using that word is that the IRS isn’t really targeting “conservatives”.  It’s targeting groups with missions that are contrary to prevailing and developing government policies. Today, conservative groups happen to be the targets, but in Ronald Reagan’s day, they would have been liberal groups if Reagan had chosen to abuse his authority as president the way that Barack Obama has.

Again, the key is not the political leanings of the groups involved.  The salient point is that the IRS is targeting groups that are willing to stand up against what they see as encroachments by the federal government and attempts by the federal government to restrict their right to speak freely about issues that are important to them.

The best example of this ongoing battle is the intensifying struggle between Christians and the federal government.  According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group that is dedicated to restricting religious freedom,

Churches and other nonprofits are strictly prohibited from engaging in political campaigning. This prohibition stems from the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”).

An organization that qualifies as “tax-exempt” under Section 501(c)(3) is one that devotes its resources to educational, religious, scientific or other charitable activities, and that complies with a number of other rules, including the prohibition on political activity. In exchange for agreeing to fulfill certain public purposes and following the rules for 501(c)(3)s, these organizations do not pay taxes on their income and contributions received by them are tax-deductible by their donors. Churches are recognized as 501(c)(3) organizations, although under the law, they do not have to get specific approval from the IRS to be tax-exempt under 501(c)(3), unlike other charities.

In order to remain tax-exempt under 501(c)(3), churches must abide by strict guidelines that prohibit election activity. The Code states in relevant part that 501(c)(3) organizations cannot “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” I.R.C. Sec. 501(c)(3). Thus, as a 501(c)(3) organization, churches are strictly forbidden from supporting or opposing a candidate for public office. To do so jeopardizes their tax-exempt status. Churches cannot engage in any of the following activities under the federal tax law:

Cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office

Cannot make any communication—either from the pulpit, in a newsletter, or church bulletin—which expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office

Cannot make expenditures on behalf of a candidate for public office or allow any of their resources to be used indirectly for political purposes (e.g., use their phones for a phone bank)

Cannot ask a candidate for public office to sign a pledge or other promise to support a particular issue.

Cannot distribute partisan campaign literature

Cannot display political campaign signs on church property

As the law stands today, they are correct, but how did we reach this point?

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Freedom from Religion Foundation and many other groups including the Democratic Party interpret the 1st Amendment to mean that religion cannot be allowed to intrude on government, but if you read The Federalist Papers and especially “The Federalist 28”, you will discover that the Founding Fathers were not concerned about religion intruding on government.  Far from it: they were concerned about government intruding on religion:

It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority. Projects of usurpation cannot be masked under pretenses so likely to escape the penetration of select bodies of men, as of the people at large. The legislatures will have better means of information. They can discover the danger at a distance; and possessing all the organs of civil power, and the confidence of the people, they can at once adopt a regular plan of opposition, in which they can combine all the resources of the community. They can readily communicate with each other in the different States, and unite their common forces for the protection of their common liberty.

Below are quotes from three of our Founding Fathers that reveal what they thought about religion’s role in our fledgling country:

George Washington: “Religion and Morality are the essential pillars of Civil society.”

John Adams: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin: “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

The origin of the separation of church and state that we hear so much about today is not found in the Constitution.  It’s found in a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists:

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

Jefferson was concerned about the government invading the domain of religion, and not the other way around.  Even so, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and other groups including the Democratic Party are strong advocates for a wall of separation between church and state as though it is somehow wrong for people with certain types of beliefs, particularly Christian convictions, to even share their beliefs with the masses in a political setting.  Clearly, that is diametrically opposed to what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

The wall of separation between church and state morphed over time, and the version of it that we see today entered through the Establishment Clause of the Constitution and became the law of the land thanks primarily to two Supreme Court rulings: Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878) and Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947).

In Reynolds v. U.S., the court determined that since “the word ‘religion’ is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning, and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted.”  The justices latched onto Jefferson’s statement in his letter to the Danbury Baptists to make their ruling “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.”

The justices in Reynolds v. U.S. completely misinterpreted Jefferson’s statement and applied their misunderstanding to the law as though Jefferson’s short letter was as authoritative as the Constitution itself—not “almost” as authoritative.

About 70 years later in Everson v. Board of Education, the justices ruled on the centrality of the “separation clause” citing Jefferson’s letter as well: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

There you have it in a nutshell: a total misunderstanding of a brief statement made by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists led the Supreme Court of the United States to restrict the religious freedom of every U.S. citizen, and that encroachment led to another one which was even more restrictive.

Today, so-called “liberals” trumpet their belief that Christian values have no place in the body politic, and they base their argument on the letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, although I doubt that many of them have a clue that they are doing so.  Be that as it may, at this moment, they have a sympathetic ear in the White House.  I think that in time the facts will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Barack Obama directed the IRS to clamp down on conservative groups including conservative Christian groups.

I expect things to get much worse as we go forward because we now have rulings on homosexual rights and “contraception/abortion rights” that place Christians squarely in the crosshairs of the IRS, and we have powerful and growing lobbies in both camps.  If you think that the recent targeting of conservative groups by the IRS was an abuse of power, just wait until the revenuers begin to target churches that preach against homosexuality and abortion on demand.  There is a distinct possibility that preachers will be viewed as disseminators of political hate speech and deemed to be breakers of the law.  If I’m right, churches that are found guilty of those “crimes” should consider themselves blessed if they simply lose their tax exempt status.  Some preachers will probably be sent to jail if what they say is deemed to be “incendiary hate speech”.

Don’t think that it can’t happen.  In fact, I expect that we’ll see lots of churches rethinking the wisdom of their tax exempt status.  The IRS can use that status to regulate speech, and if preachers are true to the Bible, they’ll have a difficult time avoiding a head-on collision with the federal government.

The same is true for blogs like SnyderTalk.  If they are tax exempt, they will have to adhere to strict government guidelines/restrictions.  That’s the reason why donations to SnyderTalk are not tax deductible, and they never will be.  I refuse to allow the federal government to use the tax code to limit my 1st Amendment rights.

I’m reminded of an old saying: things have never been so bad that they can’t get worse.  Regrettably for Christians in the United States, I think that is a prophetic statement.






13--Perspectives 2


Michael Wilner: Israel: PA Violated International Treaties It Applied to Join—Israel’s envoy to the UN Ron Prosor accused the Palestinian Authority on Sunday of violating the protocols of the international organizations and conventions which it has applied to join. “Had the Palestinians bothered to read the applications to the various conventions they seek to join, they would understand that they are in blatant violation of the majority of their articles,” Prosor said. “They tend to forget the surprising concept that joining international treaties also includes obligations.” For example, “I remind Abbas that when he sends journalists to jail, he actually violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Khaled Abu Toameh: What’s Behind Abbas’s Renewed Courtship of Hamas?— For Abbas, the issue of reconciliation with Hamas is yet another legitimate weapon to scare the Israelis and the US into submitting to his demands and preconditions. It now remains to be seen whether the US Administration will take the bait.

Dennis Ross: U.S. Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse—Secretary of State John Kerry was able to get the Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct bilateral talks last summer, but they were not productive. His efforts produced the most serious, detailed discussions on the core issues since 2000, yet the gaps remained real. After Kerry briefed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the framework principles he was readying, Palestinians publicly indicated that Abbas was not prepared to accept them.

Zalman Shoval: A predictable collapse— Just as former U.S. President Bill Clinton exposed the true face of Yasser Arafat at Camp David, we must thank Secretary of State John Kerry for exposing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ rejectionist colors. Even though the American spokespersons have since gone back to waxing about “the negative steps taken by both sides,” their initial reaction to the diplomatic crisis left no doubt that they too thought the crux of the responsibility fell on the Palestinians.

Hezi Sternlicht: The price of peace, literally— One of the radical leftist organizations has launched a campaign employing a variety of gimmicks and which ultimately intends to give each Israeli $1,175 if we would only just choose in favor of “peace.” The fliers include no information about who is funding this organization, and its press release included no information other than “the heads of the social protest movement” would be the stars. This is not surprising, seeing as how these stars, at least the ones who haven’t already slipped into the Knesset, make a living off of foreign government funds.

Chuck Freilich: Why Palestinians Must Recognize Israel as a Jewish State—The Jews are unique in that they are both a religious group and a people, a nation, with a right of self-determination. The Jews’ right to a nation-state was recognized by the League of Nations and United Nations. Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and it is high time that the Palestinians reconcile themselves to this. Israel does not need Palestinian recognition to define itself. What it does need is for the Palestinians to irrevocably recognize the legitimacy of its Jewish character. Only when the Palestinians can bring themselves to do so will Israel be confident that they are truly ready for peace and an end to the conflict. Israel, the Palestinians note, did not ask Egypt and Jordan to recognize its Jewish character. This is true, the difference being that, unlike the Palestinians, they did not claim all of Israel as their own. Most Israelis believe that the negotiations with the Palestinians are not really over the West Bank, but over the Palestinians’ ongoing refusal to accept the legitimacy of Israel’s right to exist even within the 1948 borders.

Ben-Dror Yemini: John Kerry ruined what John Kerry built— These negotiations were serious. Much more serious than one would think. John Kerry did the impossible. Almost. When one day the story of what took place behind the curtain is told, the Israeli right will accuse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of surrender. And the radical right will accuse him of treason. When the negotiations started last August, the odds of success were one to a thousand. But a few weeks ago, they were one to five. The framework started coming together. Even Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his support. Chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni wouldn’t have stayed there one second if she wasn’t fully coordinated and backed by Netanyahu.

Michael Curtis: French Railroad Should be on the Track to Reconciliation— The American Thinker article published on April 2, 2014 and titled “The French Trains were on the Wrong Track” occasioned some comments from readers interested in complete historical accuracy that deserve a reply. The article did not discuss the guilt or innocence of the French Société des Chemins de fer (SNCF) in transporting 76,000 Jews, of whom 3,000 returned, from internment camps in France to the border town of Novéant from where they were sent to their deaths in extermination camps. The article was written after the death of a 93-year-old man living in Maryland who had escaped from a French train deporting him. He had called for compensation to be given the victims or families who had suffered the fate he had escaped.  Surely goodness and mercy should have been shown to this man.

Ruthie Blum: Ensuring an Iranian bomb— Another round of talks in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany) is taking place this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, negotiations to reach a final deal by July 20 will pick up where the “expert-level” meetings that ended Saturday night left off. As tiresome as it has become to restate the obvious, no good can come of these or any other discussions with representatives of the Islamic republic. But this isn’t stopping the West from engaging in the ongoing charade, whose only purpose is to be persuaded by Tehran that its nuclear program is peaceful in nature.

Lilach Shoval, Daniel Siryoti, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff: Report: Assad used chemical weapons again— Israel Radio reported on Monday that Israel has evidence backing Syrian opposition claims that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad used nonlethal chemical weapons last month. The report quoted an unidentified senior Israeli defense official as saying there was an attack on March 27, using a ‘neutralizing chemical weapon,’ in Harasta, a suburb east of Damascus. Reports of a second attack at another location were not verified by the official. The report was broadcast shortly after Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon met with the Israeli media. Ya’alon told reporters that the means of producing chemical weapons had been destroyed as well as most of the ammunition.






9--Jerusalem Post


Netanyahu instructs government ministries to cease cooperation with Palestinians

Kerry hints: Israel to blame for deadlocked peace process

Analysis: ‘Poof, that was sort of the moment’

Teen arrested for throwing rocks at police in Yitzhar

3,300-year-old Egyptian coffin found in Jezreel Valley

IDF ‘cyber-chief’ Moscovitch: Today’s online attackers are gaining on the defenders

Lapid says settlement freeze preferable to prisoner release

China’s ‘lost Jews’ to hold first Seder in Kaifeng

Security source: Soldiers stood idly by as Yitzhar settlers destroyed army post

Abbas concerned Israel will withhold tax revenues to PA in response to unilateral moves



10--Arutz Sheva


Government Cutting Most Ties with Ramallah

Gaza Libel-Buster Runs for President

Tree Anne Frank Wrote About Planted at US Capitol Grounds

‘No Arab Demographic Time Bomb,’ Say Experts

 IDF Discovers Two Pipe Bombs in Jenin

Gaza Terrorists Open Fire on IDF Forces

Assad: Civil War Will be Over by Year’s End

IDF Outpost Destroyed in Yitzhar

Another Former Employee Sues Netanyahu

Morocco: Organization Names Collaborators








Kerry focuses blame on Israel for collapse of talks

Israel ‘gave US the finger’ in peace talks, left-wing MK says

Off the beaten path, Israelis and Palestinians meet

Kerry: Iran could produce nuclear bomb in two months

Brandeis nixes honor for Islam critic after outcry

South African tourist’s organs save 5 Israeli lives

PA UN envoy: Boycott Israeli settlements

Iran sends 30,000 tons of food to bolster Syrian regime

‘Arafat was lying when he condemned terror against Israel’

Germany bans fundraising group over Hezbollah ties



12--Other News


Bodyguard: Arafat Would Lie When Denouncing Killing of Israeli Civilians (VIDEO)

U.S. Senate Bans Iranian UN Ambassador

Chinese Investments in Israel: Opportunity or National Threat?

Former Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Director: We Hid Information from IAEA

Gaps Remain as Israelis, Palestinians Meet in Bid to Rescue Talks

Combat Cameramen Disprove Palestinian Propaganda

29 Muslim Terrorists Accidentally Blow Themselves Up

Germany Pledges to Return Nazi-Looted Art

Report: Russia Has No High Expectations for Upcoming Iran Nuclear Talks

Lebanese PM wants Hezbollah disarmed, out of Syria






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4--Scripture of the Day Yahweh

Malachi 4: 4-6

“Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of Yahweh. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”


5--HNIY Print form 3

His Name is Yahweh explains why the Name of God, Yahweh, is so important.  It’s available in eBook format and in paperback.  It’s also available for free in PDF format.

  • God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This [Yahweh] is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3: 15)
  • “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
  • “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
  • Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8: 58)


6--His Name is Yahweh Audio Presentation 5


The Name Yahweh Sets the Messiah Apart

Click here to download the entire audio presentation for free and with no strings attached.  Share it as often as you want.



14--Blessings from Revelation 2

Blessings in the Book of Revelation is a book that you need to read, especially now.  There are blessings throughout the Scriptures but Revelation is the only book in the Bible actually containing a specific blessing for reading it. It’s repeated twice, once at the beginning and again at the end. This is the reason that I believe Revelation should be the first step toward studying biblical prophecy. Though not easy to do, Revelation can be broken down and understood by anyone, not just the academic elite. So, Revelation’s blessings are for everyone.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.


Other Books by Neil Snyder

  • Stand! is a suspense novel that exposes the lies, corruption, and greed underlying the theory that man-made CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming.  Professor Wes Carlyle and Karen Sterling, his research collaborator, carefully scan the audience for their would-be attacker—a member of the enviro-gestapo who has been following them for days.  Wes spots his man in the back of the room leaning against the wall.  Suddenly, another man in the audience steps forward and moves toward Karen at a menacing pace.  With a vicious stroke, he swings a billy club at her head.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life? deals with a question that every Christian has to consider: what should I do with my life?  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • Falsely Accused is a true story about a young woman who was accused of committing a double homicide.  It’s about a travesty of justice, and it reveals Yahweh intervening in the life of a believer to rescue her from danger in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  Everyone will enjoy the book, but young people in particular need to read it because the mistakes made that led to the problem could have been avoided.  They were the kinds of mistakes that young people are prone to make.  As they say, forewarned is forearmed.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.

15--Concentric Circles 5

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