Author Topic: Newsview :IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors  (Read 126 times)

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IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors

Tax agency and FFRF announce settlement, but Milwaukee church disputes the lawsuit's dismissal.

   The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has agreed to investigate the political activity of churches after reaching a settlement with an atheist legal group. But a court has yet to decide whether or not to close the case.

   The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the IRS jointly asked a Wisconsin federal court last week to dismiss a 2012 lawsuit, FFRF v. Koskinen. The FFRF had alleged that the IRS failed to have a policy in place for investigating political activity at tax-exempt churches and religious organizations, nor did the agency enforce its 501(c)(3) codes against electioneering.

   Meanwhile, more than 1,600 churches have deliberately broke the existing law since 2008, endorsing political candidates from their pulpits during Pulpit Freedom Sunday events organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The next "showdown" will be October 5.

   "This is a victory, and we're pleased with this development in which the IRS has proved to our satisfaction that it now has in place a protocol to enforce its own anti-electioneering provisions," said FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor in a press release.

   However, the case has not yet been closed. Father Patrick Malone of Holy Cross Anglican Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had been granted permission to intervene on the side of the IRS, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (which represents Malone) has asked the court to dismiss the case but "with prejudice." In other words, Becket argues the FFRF should not be able to sue the IRS again on this particular issue, while the FFRF argues that it should be able to do so.

   Regardless of the court's final decision, the IRS won't be free to investigate churches until a moratorium ...Continue reading...

Source: IRS to Atheists: Okay, We'll Investigate Pulpit Freedom Sunday Pastors




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