A church in the D.C.-area is coming to the defense of an unusual source, the IRS.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation is suing the IRS on behalf of Nonbelief Relief, Inc., which argues it is unconstitutional for the government to allow churches to be tax-exempt and be exempt for submitting information to the federal agency.
According to the atheists, that's a violation of the Establishment Clause because it prefers churches over other non-profits.
Jeremiah Galus, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, says New Macedonia Baptist Church learned about the lawsuit and realized the "practical effect" of the atheists' demands.
"If the plaintiff were to succeed," says Galus, "the church would be required to submit annual information returns, which is a costly, time-intensive and really exhaustive process, and they'd have to do that on an annual basis."
So even though the IRS is the named defendant, New Macedonia and other churches in the district would be required to comply.
So the church took action and now ADF is representing the congregation.
"The government still needs to decide how it's going to respond to the lawsuit," says Galus. "We're waiting on court dates."