Judge Dismisses Atheists' Challenge to IRS

By Associated Press | 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A federal judge in Kentucky has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an atheist group challenging tax exemptions for churches and religious groups in the federal tax code.

U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled that American Atheists Inc. was speculating about being potentially injured by the tax code or treated differently from other organizations because it's never sought to be classified as a religious organization and the attendant tax benefits.

The New Jersey-based American Atheists sued the IRS in federal court in northern Kentucky in 2013 saying the tax-exempt status granted to religious organizations is discriminatory and should be ruled unconstitutional.

Bertelsman found that the regulations for tax-exempt organizations don't favor any group over another.

American Atheists President Dave Silverman says the organization will appeal.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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