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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Taxing hate groups would put us on a dangerous slippery slope

IRS headquarters
IRS headquarters in Washington in 2014.
(J. David Ake / Associated Press)

To the editor: I am amazed when I read pieces like the one by Eric Franklin Amarante, who thinks hate groups that label themselves “educational” do not deserve a tax break. He needs to be reminded that:

—Freedom of speech is not about the speech you agree with, but rather the speech you disagree with, no matter how hateful, despicable or just plain wrong it is.

—Trusting the government and its bureaucrats with the ability to decide what is or is not “appropriate speech,” outside that which incites violence, is a very steep and slippery slope that our founding fathers and the Supreme Court have never intended the country to go down.

—Further empowering the Internal Revenue Service, a bureaucracy never known for its nuanced approaches in dealing with citizens, to determine what “research” constitutes “education” would most certainly endanger free thought, the critical basis of free speech.

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—Seeking to use the power of government and the law to make unpleasantness go away is a fool’s errand and puts us on the road to becoming a totalitarian state.

Stephen Fredrick, Newport Beach


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