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Biden’s Treasury Department Threatens Free Speech and Religious Liberty

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's surveillance of private transactions based on political and religious beliefs raise serious concerns about civil liberties.

The recent revelations about the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) targeting transactions with political or religious implications is a deeply troubling sign of government overreach and a blatant disregard for the fundamental rights of American citizens. As a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department, FinCEN’s mandate is to identify and combat financial crimes like money laundering. However, recent actions suggest a dangerous shift towards monitoring and potentially punishing individuals for their constitutionally protected political and religious expressions.

According to a letter from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), FinCEN has been urging major financial institutions to scrutinize private transactions for charges that may be linked to protected political and religious activities. The guidance distributed after the events of January 6, 2021, highlights vague and overly broad “typologies” that include generic political terms like “Trump” and “MAGA.” More concerning is the inclusion of categories such as the purchase of books, including religious texts, and media subscriptions that contain what they refer to as ‘extremist views.’ This kind of sweeping surveillance is not just an overstep; it’s a direct threat to the freedoms that lie at the heart of our democracy.

The implications of this policy are profound and far-reaching. By labeling ordinary political discourse and religious practice as potential indicators of extremism, FinCEN is essentially criminalizing a large swath of American citizens’ everyday activities. This chilling effect on free speech and religious freedom cannot be overstated. The idea that buying a book or expressing support for a political figure can flag you as a person of interest is not only absurd but goes against the very principles this country was founded upon.

Nor is FinCEN the only agency violating the Constitutional rights of citizens; the FBI’s recent actions raise further alarms. The FBI’s use of the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) ratings to target ‘radical, traditional’ Catholics as potential sources of domestic extremism is a clear indication of political bias infiltrating law enforcement activities. This practice echoes the worrying trend of social media platforms censoring political opinions at the behest of government officials, which a federal judge recently ruled as unconstitutional.

In a country where the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and religion, such actions by FinCEN and the FBI are not just inappropriate; they are potentially unlawful. They represent a dangerous expansion of government power into the private lives of citizens based on their political beliefs and religious practices.

As conservatives, we must stand against these Orwellian tactics and defend the liberties enshrined in our Constitution. The role of agencies like FinCEN should be to protect Americans from real financial crimes, not to police their political views or religious beliefs. It’s time to bring transparency and accountability to these agencies and ensure that they operate within the bounds of the law and respect for individual rights. The integrity of our democratic institutions depends on it.

Robert Chernin

Robert Chernin

Robert B. Chernin has brought his years of political consulting and commentary back to radio. As a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser and political confidant, Robert has a unique perspective with insights not heard anyway else. Robert has consulted on federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Robert co-founded and served as president of the Electoral Science Institute, a non-profit organization that utilizes behavioral science to increase voter participation and awareness. Robert can be heard on multiple radio stations and viewed on the “Of the People” podcast where you get your podcasts.