GreenvilleOnline reports that the fundamentalist Christian college, has finally regained its non-profit status 34 years after losing it:
Bob Jones University destroyed its taxation exemption following a 13-year struggle with the IRS over or perhaps a universityвЂ™s policies against interracial relationship precluded it being a non-taxable spiritual institution that is educational. The university didnвЂ™t acknowledge any black colored pupils until 1971, 17 years after Brown vs. Board of Education. After that it wouldnвЂ™t acknowledge any pupils have been in a marriage that is mixed-race developed guidelines to prohibit pupils from interracial relationship.
Bob Jones, in Greenville, sc, is a distinct segment college. Certainly, you might have just been aware of it if youвЂ™re from a Christian fundamentalist back ground or closely follow that subculture. However the tale of just exactly how Bob Jones destroyed its non-profit status provides prompt understanding of the modern right that is religious.
Bob Jones didnвЂ™t lose status that is non-profit. Nor ended up being it an outlier during the time. Although its discriminatory policies preceded desegregation, historian Randall Balmer has noted so it destroyed its status that is non-profit due President NixonвЂ™s crackdown on alleged вЂњsegregation academies.вЂќ (the type of segregation academies: Jerry FalwellвЂ™s Lynchburg Christian class.) Bob Jones received many warnings from the government that is federal ignored all of them, but once the IRS finally rescinded its status the spiritual right reacted with outrage, as Balmer recounts:
As Elmer L. Rumminger, longtime administrator at Bob Jones University, explained in a job interview, the IRS actions against their college вЂњalerted the Christian college community by what might happen with federal government disturbanceвЂќ when you look at the affairs of evangelical organizations. вЂњThat ended up being actually the issue that is major got us all involved.вЂќ
Bob Jones finished its ban merely a 17 years agoвЂ”right before then-President George W. Bush visited campus. The father moves in not-so-mysterious methods.
Although Bob JonesвЂ™s ban is history, it left an important imprimatur regarding the spiritual right. Evangelicals nevertheless worry secular disturbance with sacred affairs. ItвЂ™s embedded deeply into the motionвЂ™s rhetoric and priorities that are political. It motivates their opposition to anti-discrimination conditions and their fear-mongering that is ongoing about First Amendment liberties of Christian schools. Simply yesterday, the Alliance Defending FreedomвЂ™s Casey Mattox urged your house Judiciary Committee to get rid of Christian universities from a general public Department of Education listing of organizations that have gotten exemptions from Title IX. And who are able to forget that 80 per cent of white evangelicals simply voted for the openly racist Donald Trump?
Bob JonesвЂ™s crusade to discriminate nevertheless haunts the spiritual right, even though the movementвЂ™s modern leaders are reluctant to admit it.
The Supreme CourtвЂ™s ruling
The Supreme Court sought to balance the values of freedom of religion and related First Amendment concerns with federal law and public policy prohibiting racial discrimination in its review of the cases. The court traced the past reputation for income tax exemptions for charitable organizations, quoting from the landmark 1861 choice in Perin v. Carey:
It offers now become a recognised concept of American legislation, that courts of chancery will maintain and protectвЂ¦a giftвЂ¦to public charitable uses, offered exactly the same is in line with neighborhood laws and regulations and general public policy.
The Supreme CourtвЂ™s analysis in Bob Jones unveiled the next facts that are key. First, tax-exempt organizations must provide a general public function through methods that don’t break general public policy. The court remarked that Bob Jones UniversityвЂ™s admission policy demonstrably discriminated against African Us americans in a violation that is direct of policy. 2nd, under IRC conditions, sectarian organizations can’t be tax-exempt if their religious doctrines trigger violations of law. Third, the IRS didn’t go beyond its authority in doubting taxation exemptions to Bob Jones University and Goldsboro Christian Schools. Indeed, the court reasoned that the IRSвЂ™s ruling ended up being totally in line with past declarations through the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of federal government. Fourth, the governmentвЂ™s curiosity about eliminating racial discrimination outweighs a private institutionвЂ™s workout of their spiritual philosophy. Demonstrably, the court maintained, the spiritual passions of Bob Jones University had been contrary to the passions and legal rights associated with the government while the average man or woman.
In amount, the Supreme CourtвЂ™s opinion in Bob Jones is short for the idea that because nonprofit, private universities and schools that enforce discriminatory admission policies predicated on religious doctrine don’t be eligible for income tax exemptions, efforts to such organizations aren’t deductible as charitable contributions inside the concept of this Internal sales Code. In 2000 Bob Jones University acknowledged it was indeed incorrect in maybe perhaps not admitting African students that are american lifted its ban on interracial relationship.