The Freedom from Religion Foundation is taking the IRS to court over their failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and other religious organizations.
The IRS has previously admitted to suspending tax audits for churches and some claim that the IRS has been turning a blind eye to the situation since 2009.
Over 1,500 clergy violated the electioneering restrictions on Sunday, October 7th, 2012 according to the legal complaint. The news release also includes other recent complaint examples:
- Green Bay Bishop David L. Ricken, who wrote an article on diocesan letterhead inserted in all parish bulletins about voting and choosing the president and other offices. Ricken warned that if Catholics vote for a party or candidate who supports abortion rights or marriage equality, “you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.” (Read full FFRF letter to IRS.)
- Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, who, in an April homily, sharply criticized President Obama, referencing the 2012 presidential election, saying Obama was “following a similar path” as Hitler and Stalin. Jenky said “every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences. . .” (Read full FFRF letter to IRS.)
- Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., who wrote a Nov. 1 article, “Official guidelines for forming a Catholic conscience in the Diocese of Madison,” published in the Catholic Herald, spelling out “non-negotiable” political areas. “No Catholic may, in good conscience, vote for ‘pro-choice’ candidates [or] . . . for candidates who promote ‘same-sex marriage.’ ” (Read full FFRF letter to IRS.)
The full news release can be read here.