Marcus and Joni Lamb’s Bedford-based media empire is a television operation. It says so right in the name: “Daystar Television Network.” And, according to Daystar, the broadcast home of T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and other lesser-known televangelists is nothing more and nothing less than a “faith-based network dedicated to spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week — all around the globe, through all media formats possible.”
But did you know Daystar’s also a church?
That comes from the highest authority in the land: the Internal Revenue Service, which affords the Lambs’ $233-million business all the protections afforded every brick-and-mortar house of worship, including tax-exempt status. The Lambs also don’t have to tell the government where their money comes from or where it goes.
That’s according to a lengthy All Things Considered story that aired this evening on National Public Radio, which dug through court docs to find depositions, transcripts and other filings, likely stemming from this tawdry 2010 case, that reveal how the Lambs do their business — and why the IRS isn’t terribly interested in making them prove it.
The IRS has a laundry list of criteria required for something to be a church — Sunday school, say, and a “definite and distinct ecclesiastical government.” Maybe it skates by on what the IRS calls “The Concept of a Congregation as an Important Criterion.” Or maybe, says the NPR piece, the IRS just doesn’t care.
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SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News