Group Files IRS Complaint Against Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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An IRS complaint from a secular organization alleges that the BGEA violated its tax-exempt status during this election season.

According to an article in The Christian Post, the Internal Revenue Service has received a complaint against the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for allegedly violating its tax-exempt status with its “vote biblical values” campaign during the election season. The complaint was filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and although the ads never mention any candidate or party, the complaint insists that the BGEA’s call to vote for candidates with biblical values and articles published in various “swing state” newspapers implied support of Mitt Romney.

A senior policy analyst for Americans United for Separation of Church and State told CP that he believes “a strong case can be made that the Graham ministry violated federal law” and that complaints against church politicking are “skyrocketing” this year. The analyst also commented that “IRS rules make it clear that a church or ministry can endorse a candidate without mentioning his or her name.”

After the election, the BGEA published the following message: “Now with the votes counted, it is important to remember that whether we are personally pleased with the outcome or not, God wants us to pray for those chosen to be our leaders.” The BGEA has issued a statement denying the allegations.

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