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Freedom From Religion Foundation files suit against IRS enforcement


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison has filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service.

The group said the federal tax enforcers violated the U.S. Constitution, by letting tax-exempt religious groups and churches get involved in political campaigns.

The Madison plaintiffs specifically mentioned the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which ran full-page ads in newspapers across the country on the two Sundays before the elections.

Those ads – which appeared in Wisconsin papers large and small – urged voters to consider religious values when going to the polls.

The lawsuit also mentioned that Illinois Bishop Daniel Jenky required a political letter to be read in churches the weekend before the presidential contest.

By not enforcing the ban on electioneering by religious groups, the Madison foundation said the government gave preferential treatment not given to other non-profits groups – like the foundation itself.

Earlier this week, FFRF questioned the tax-exempt staus of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese after a letter suggesting parisioners should vote a certain way or their souls could be in jeopardy. 

In the message, the church referred to five issues the Church finds "intrinsically evil" such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research and gay marriage. 

The IRS has not commented.