Evangelical partisan preacher Greg Locke announced yesterday that he would voluntarily abandon his church’s tax-exempt status after he was sued by Americans United For Separation of Church and State.
“I got an attorney, and I dissolved our stinkin’ 501(c)(3) status in this church. Cuz the government ain’t gone tell me what I can, and what I can’t say, so IRS, we don’t need your stupid tax-exempt status. I renounce 501c3 communism in this church,” Locke said.
The Tennessee Holler tweeted footage of Locke’s unhinged rant:
WATCH: “IRS – we don’t need your stupid tax exempt status! I renounce 501c3 communism!” 🙃😵💫
MAGA grifter Greg Locke says he dissolved his tax-exempt org voluntarily 🤔after calls for IRS to strip it due to him threatening more insurrection and saying Christians can’t be Dems. pic.twitter.com/tkjYZ0ybqF
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 23, 2022
In a letter to the IRS, Americans United For Separation of Church and State explained their reasoning for filing the suit against Locke and his ministry, the Global Vision Bible Church:
“As you know, 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches, are tax-exempt, but a requirement of that tax-exemption is that they not ‘[d]irectly or indirectly  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.’ 26 CFR § 1.501(c)(3)-1”
In a sermon at the Global Vision Baptist Church he heads, Locke told the congregation that he didn’t want anyone around his church “if you vote Democrat.”
“If you vote Democrat, I don’t even want you around this church. You can get out. You can get out, you demon. You cannot be Christian and vote Democrat in this nation. I don’t care how mad that makes you. You can get as pissed off as you want to. You cannot be a Christian and vote Democrat in this nation…You cannot be a Democrat and a Christian. you cannot. Somebody say Amen. The rest of you get out. Get out! Get out in the name of Jesus!” the fire and brimstone-spouting preacher testified.
But Locke wouldn’t stop at attacking the IRS and Democrats, taking his rant a step further and attacking fellow Evangelical pastor, Kenneth Copeland. Locke called the man who beliefnet Christianity has listed as America’s richest pastor a “demon” and “false prophet,” claiming that Copeland got his $760 million fortune “off of naive Christians,” while failing to provide a characterization of his own flock.
Podcaster Hemant Mehta tweeted a video of Locke’s angry, hate-filled rant:
Christian hate-preacher Greg Locke condemned scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland during his service today.
Locke dared Copeland to sue him, then proceeded to call him a member of a "Masonic Satanic cult." pic.twitter.com/pYOf2AHmeR
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) May 22, 2022
As the pastor of the Global Vision Bible Church, Locke has been a proponent of the “Big Lie” – the conspiracy theory that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen and which led to the January 6th insurrection. He also blames former President Barack Obama for “all of America’s current problems.”
The IRS should be happy that Locke decided to give up his church’s tax-exempt status since it saves the agency the trouble and expense of costly litigation to strip Locke’s political organization masquerading as a religious assembly of the taxation benefits that churches normally receive.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick