Tax Exemption

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

As part of the final push to enact tax reform before the end of the year, a proposed tax code change that would permit churches and other non-profit organizations to engage in partisan political campaigning has been dropped from the House and Senate reconciliation version of 2017 tax bill. Although the House version of the bill had included a repeal of the controversial Johnson Amendment, the Senate version kept it intact. Proponents of the repeal have argued for the right of pastors to speak freely about candidates from the pulpit, and opponents claim it would provide a "dark money" tax-exempt way to launder otherwise non-tax deductible campaign donations.

 
 

Tax-exemption of clergy housing violates Establishment Clause rules Federal judge

Tax-exemption of clergy housing violates Establishment Clause rules Federal judge

Last Friday a federal judge in Wisconsin issued a ruling that a federal statute that exempts housing for members of the clergy from taxation violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

 
 

US House votes to defund IRS investigations of church political endorsements

US House votes to defund IRS investigations of church political endorsements

  esterday, by a margin of 211 to 198, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly voted to defund IRS investigations of church political endorsements as part of a massive spending bill. On the bottom of page 21 of the text of the 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill, the drafters included the following language: SEC. 116. None of the funds […]

 
 

The Theology of the Tax Exemption

The Theology of the Tax Exemption

By Jason Hines, PhD, JD – Has Christianity in America become so materialistic that we conflate our freedom to worship with our ability to save a dollar?

 
 

Free Exercise After Obergefell: Warnings from the Dissent

Free Exercise After Obergefell:  Warnings from the Dissent

Statements of Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito on free exercise of religion in light of the same-sex marriage decision.

 
 

Bill Would Ban Gov't Discrimination Based on Religious Views of Marriage

Dark sky over the US Capitol building dome in Washington DC.

Bills have been introduced in both houses of the U.S. Congress that would prohibit the Federal government from discriminating against individuals, associations, and businesses that act in accordance with their religious beliefs about marriage.

 
 

7th Circuit Rules Challengers to Ministerial Housing Exemption Lacked Standing

7th Circuit Rules Challengers to Ministerial Housing Exemption Lacked Standing

On November 13, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an atheist group challenging a tax-exempt housing benefit only available to clergy lacked standing to bring the suit because members of the atheist group could not demonstrate that they had suffered an injury as a result of the clergy tax-exemption.

 
 

Standing to Sue at Issue In 7th Cir. Hearing on Ministerial Housing Allowance

Standing to Sue at Issue In 7th Cir. Hearing on Ministerial Housing Allowance

On September 10, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) v. Lew. The judges focused on whether FFRF had standing to bring the case.

 
 

Campaigning for Candidates from the Pulpit is a Bad Idea

Campaigning for Candidates from the Pulpit is a Bad Idea

As it now stands, churches and charities are welcome to speak truth to power on the issues that matter – from opposing human trafficking, to lobbying for workplace accommodation for religious employees, to pursuing justice. Religious organizations just cannot support or oppose particular candidates or political parties. This is a good thing.

 
 

ANALYSIS: Bishops Claim Religious Liberty Under Assault

The Church can assert its right speak in the the public square, but it should not assume power it does not have in order to force the rest of society to follow its lead.