Mac Hammond is the founder and pastor of what's called the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
The Religion News Blog reports that the IRS is investigating Mr. Hammond for possible violations of the law in connection with "favorable compensation and loan dealings" given to him by the church.
You might assume, being good Christians and all, that Mr. Hammond and his congregation would gladly invite the IRS to look over their books because they would never do anything illegal or of a shysterly nature.
Hah! Not so. The church has "resisted" IRS demands to open its books for an audit!
The IRS took the church to court. A US District Court judge "ordered Living Word representatives to appear and explain their refusal to comply with the IRS." You might also wonder why a church would need an attorney, considering that it would never violate the law.
But it does have an attorney and said lawyer responded to an IRS summons saying the church would not "comply until 'an appropriate high-level IRS official' using 'reasonable belief' requested information."
Documents obtained by the Minnesota Independent over a year and a half ago reveal some rather fascinating facts: "Hammond owned two airplanes, one bought from Living Word for $1.06 million on credit supplied by Living Word. He leased the planes back to the church at a total annual rate of more than $893,000. The church asserted that 'the aircraft are imporant to the efficient management of its ministry at the present time.' Living Word also rented a hangar to store the planes, and it paid for the expenses of the planes as well."
Hammond, being a good Christian and devoted follower of Jesus Christ and an exemplary pastor, said that the IRS investigation was "politically motivated," and it desired "to descredit, defame and intimidate ministries and preachers of what has been called the 'prosperity gospel.'"
Well, of course. You knew that. That's the main job of the IRS - intimidating ministries and preachers of the prosperity gospel!
Which means, also, of course, according to Mac Hammond, servant of Jesus, that the people "behind these attacks [are] enemies of the gospel."
I'll bet that if you checked the IRS training manual, you would find a whole section on "How to be an effective enemy of the gospel."
Mac Hammond is full of crap, obviously, and due to his reluctance to open his books for auditing, is probably a crook.
So what's new?
[And why would a fundy preacher in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota need two airplanes, anyway?]