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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  10/15/2019
FRIDAY, DEC 16, 2016  |  18 comments
Atheists File Lawsuit Claiming Tax-Exemptions for Pastors are Unconstitutional
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is filing a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging that a law that allows pastors to receive tax exemptions is unconstitutional.

According to Charisma News, the FFRF is challenging the so-called “clergy housing allowance” which allows pastors to take tax exemptions for housing expenses their churches cover.

The FFRF’s leaders, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker--who are married--are suing the federal government because they allege this part of the tax code is unfair to leaders of non-religious nonprofits.

“FFRF is asking the court to rule the provision unconstitutional because it provides preferential and discriminatory tax benefits to ministers of the gospel. The section "directly benefits ministers and churches, most significantly by lowering a minister's tax burden, while discriminating against the individual plaintiffs, who as the ...


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COMMENTS | show all | add new  
    Sorting Order:  
· Page 1 ·  Found: 18 user comment(s)
News Item12/20/16 10:22 PM
Jeremy | Usofa  Find all comments by Jeremy
Atheists are the most religious people in the world. You have to possess great faith to believe that everything came from nothing.
18

News Item12/17/16 12:29 PM
ate my own bread | here  Find all comments by ate my own bread
With all the deviant whore$ on tv taking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year and turning the whole world into angry atheists or lusters of money by doing so, I don't care anymore about all churches loosing special tax status anymore, it will get rid of probably hundreds of thousands of these con men who are only in the "church" business for money in the first place. The end is near, burn up the tares, they are unworthy of life among the living anyways.
17

News Item12/17/16 2:26 AM
Chris G P | England  Find all comments by Chris G P
even though they will become subject to full normal taxation and lose Gift Aid tax back donation status.
16

News Item12/17/16 2:23 AM
Chris G P | England  Find all comments by Chris G P
Here in Britain, we have a slightly similar, but different system.

Apart from the Church of England (Anglican Church),in England only, which is to a certain extent state regulated, going back to Henry VIIII's reign in 16th century Tudor times, but not now in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, where there are no "state" churches, other churches have a different system.

The non-Anglican churches, in all of Britain, and the Anglican Church in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, have the option to apply as charities.

They are regulated by the Charity Commission, and have a not totally tax free status, but can receive tax back donations, similar to the US 501c3 model, through something called Gift Aid, which taxpayers only can fill in to make a donation, and where the Inland Revenue adds money to the donation as a tax refund.

I do know, however, that there are some small independent evangelical churches, strict Reformed churches, and a few older style independent Pentecostal churches, that refuse such registration.

My feeling is that until recently, i.e., the last ten years or so, it was probably not a bad thing to be registered as a charity, but now with the overwhelming tide of political correctness, churches need to think again about this, and de register, eve

15

News Item12/16/16 7:33 PM
Unprofitable Servant | TN  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
Ignominious Emirakan wrote:
My exact point
Well, in case you had not noticed the article is not about 501c3 incorporation. Not paying taxes due to a tax break is not tax evasion. Churches are considered tax exempt by the IRS whether or not they apply for 501c3 status. That fact does not change to whom they owe their allegiance. Not sure why you would think that churches should be giving the government money they are not required to, you think the government knows better how to spend church funds? You are going on and on about something that isn't even in the story.
14

News Item12/16/16 7:09 PM
Ignominious Emirakan | Moot  Find all comments by Ignominious Emirakan
Unprofitable Servant wrote:
page 2 of the IRS document or page 6
My exact point
[URL=http://media.SermonAudio.com/mediapdf/12810956157.pdf]]]Why it is Evil to become a body of the State[/URL]
As there is NO Valid Biblical reason to sign on to IRS Scheme- those who do lead many astray
"As stated, accepting tax exemption with this dishonest mindset constitutes fraud, and may even qualify as illegal tax evasion. Far more important than that however, is this fact of eternal consequence: the issue is not in how strictly the government is enforcing their contract; the issue is the preachers’ idolatrous willingness to give the government jurisdiction over the Church that only belongs to Jesus! “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16). Again, incorporating a church and applying for tax-exemption involves the same sin as taking the mark of the beast; both acts deny the exclusive lordship of Christ by bowing to the supremacy of the state. The church cannot serve two masters. While God “winks” at the sins we commit in ignorance (Ac. 17:30, 1 Tim. 1:13), the pastors of America must now repent and free their churches..."
13

News Item12/16/16 4:47 PM
Unprofitable Servant | TN  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
Ignominious Emirakan wrote:
To receive tax exemption the corporate “churches” must enter into a treacherous covenant with the IRS to preach public policy and remain silent
Churches that meet the requirements of IRC Section 501(c)(3) are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

The IRS disagrees with you. btw that is on page 2 of the IRS document or page 6 of the pdf document.

Again this section about housing for the pastor isn't even part of the 501c3 code.

12

News Item12/16/16 4:03 PM
Ignominious Emirakan | Adams  Find all comments by Ignominious Emirakan
To receive tax exemption the corporate “churches” must enter into a treacherous covenant with the IRS to preach public policy and remain silent on all issues before the legislature. This “new covenant” for the corporate church, otherwise known as Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)3, reads as follows:
Sec. 501. Exemption from Tax on Corporations, Certain Trusts, etc...
(c). List of Exempt Organizations...
(3). Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes or to foster national or international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda
or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in, (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

IRC 501(c)3 = Body of the State.

Not the same as Non-taxable

11

News Item12/16/16 1:56 PM
Unprofitable Servant | TN  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
KoineGreek wrote:
That is a very good point, Youth in Asia. Perhaps it is better not to accept government funding. Many Christian colleges like Patrick Henry College have found that they are allowed to operate under biblical principles if they refuse government funding.
That is an excellent thing for Patrick Henry College. They should stop taking government funding.

This is not what this article is about. The pastors are not getting any money from the government, they are simply having to pay less of their money to it. The only way for this to be getting money from the government is to assume that all money is the governments in the first place.

Also, this is not part of the 501c3 section of the IRS code, so 501c3 comments while may be helpful, are also not relevant to the article including mine.

10

News Item12/16/16 1:09 PM
Pastor Jon | Florida  Find all comments by Pastor Jon
Unprofitable servant
First, the IRS considers all churches as 501c3 whether or not they apply and churches are automatically tax exempt. It is not a contract between the government and the church."

Amen

9

News Item12/16/16 12:46 PM
KoineGreek | US  Find all comments by KoineGreek
That is a very good point, Youth in Asia. Perhaps it is better not to accept government funding. Many Christian colleges like Patrick Henry College have found that they are allowed to operate under biblical principles if they refuse government funding.
8

News Item12/16/16 12:18 PM
John Yurich USA | USA  Find all comments by John Yurich USA
What part of the First Amendment that states no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion do those stupid atheists not comprehend?
7

News Item12/16/16 12:15 PM
Unprofitable Servant | TN  Find all comments by Unprofitable Servant
First, the IRS considers all churches as 501c3 whether or not they apply and churches are automatically tax exempt. It is not a contract between the government and the church. One the greatest reasons churches shouldn't apply.

According to the IRS

"A minister's housing allowance (sometimes called a parsonage allowance or a rental allowance) is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes but not for self-employment tax purposes."

Okay, if you take a standard or itemized deduction on your income tax, are you saying that the government now can tell what to say and how to think because you took a tax deduction? If you buy clothes and school supplies on tax free state holidays are you now subjecting what you opinions you express to the state?

A tax deduction is simply keeping more of the money you have earned and not giving it to the government. That is good stewardship if you ask me. That is not surrendering of your rights because you do so.

6

News Item12/16/16 9:52 AM
penned  Find all comments by penned
when you look at these people's pictures they are weak people, morally and emotionally and spiritually.

it's amazing we've let them get such a foothold.

here the church outnumbers them by the millions.

quite the thing to see.

pietism = false teaching of Romans 13.

5

News Item12/16/16 9:29 AM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
From the news:
"The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is filing a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging that a law that allows pastors to receive tax exemptions is unconstitutional.

From the Constitution:
Amendment I. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances"

What part of "no law" prohibiting the free exercise thereof does the ignorant FFRF fail to understand?

4

News Item12/16/16 6:50 AM
Ignominious Emirakan | Duality  Find all comments by Ignominious Emirakan
[URL=http://media.SermonAudio.com/mediapdf/12810956157.pdf]]]SA's Sam Adams on 501c3 fake churches-2 lords?[/URL]
treacherous apostasy has taken place in the churches of America to which most Christians are totally oblivious, but which almost every church in America has fallen prey to. Though the New Testament Church has been called out to be the faithful bride of her one and only husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, she has betrayed her espoused head. The Apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth, “For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2-3). But sadly, just as Old Testament Israel was unfaithful to her husband and went “whoring” after other gods, so have the churches in America for the most part corrupted themselves, and as the Apostle feared, have indeed been beguiled by the Serpent as was Eve. Like the church at Ephesus they have left their first love, and joined themselves in an adulterous affair with another head, the civil government, otherwise known as the state, and have thereby been legally neutralized
3

News Item12/16/16 1:56 AM
Youth in Asia | Asia  Find all comments by Youth in Asia
I haven't listened to all of it, but Pastor Jason Cooley has a sermon series on 501c3 series: tinysa.com/sermon/916152338333

I think his point is that Churches should have zero involvement with any government support, since they are from the devil and will place demands and pressure on said church.

2

News Item12/16/16 1:26 AM
KoineGreek | US  Find all comments by KoineGreek
I'm sorry... But take one of those Atheists, and tell them to live for a week off of the sallary some of these pastors at small churches receive, and they will very quickly agree that pastors need some tax exemptions!
1
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