IRS being sued for ignoring tax-exempt churches' political activities
The IRS is facing a lawsuit over its failure to enforce the church electioneering ban that's been in place since 1954. The Internal Revenue Code prohibits tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations - including churches - from intervening or participating in political campaigns on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate.
But, many churches are ignoring that law. In an annual event called “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” pastors from more than 1,000 churches have challenged the regulation by preaching about political topics. The group did this leading up to the 2012 election as well - with many pastors flat out endorsing Mitt Romney for President in their daily sermons.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the IRS for its “policy of non-enforcement of the electioneering restrictions” when it comes to churches and religious organizations. So - isn't this the real IRS scandal? Should churches and pastors be allowed to openly preach politics? According to IRS regulations - "501(c)(4) [organizations] provide for exemption from federal income tax of civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare." Somehow, the word “exclusively” is being left out of enforcement, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation says that must change.