The inappropriate questions from the Obama IRS to conservative non-profits began earlier than previously reported, according to Iowa-based pro-life group Coalition for Life of Iowa. On June 22, 2009, the IRS sent a letter to the group requesting examples of how the group prayed at meetings. “Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood, are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3),” the letter says. “Organizations exempt under 501(c)(3) may present opinions with scientific or medical facts. Please explain in detail the activities at these prayer meetings. Also, please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups as compared with the other activities of the organization.”
The group responded by informing the IRS that such questions were “unnecessary and in violation of constitutional principles.”
Acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller said that he could not say that such questions were inappropriate. “It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either,” said Miller.
Nothing bars 501(c)(3) educational groups from involvement with religion.