Independent voices from the TWT Communities
An atheist organization is suing the Internal Revenue Service for failing to take action against churches that the group says have violated the tax code for nonprofits by engaging in politics.
More than 1,600 pastors — up from 33 five years ago — risked their tax-exempt status to preach politics on "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" this month, challenging the 1954 tax law that prohibits nonprofits from politicking.
A South Dakota minister says he wants to do for religious freedom what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did for civil rights.
Erik Stanley, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said a lawsuit is exactly what his group was looking for when it launched the Pulpit Freedom Sunday initiative in 2008 to challenge the Johnson Amendment, the part of the tax code that requires nonprofit groups not to engage in political speech as a condition of that status.
"I think the lawsuit itself really borders on frivolous. I don't know how the FFRF can claim they've been harmed by the IRS' refusal to enforce the Johnson Amendment," Mr. Stanley said. "But, on the chance it does, then we will seek to protect those churches."