An atheist group that lost its battle in the courts has decided to give up its demand for churches to face new taxes that were estimated to have been in the $1 billion range.
The fight focused on the longstanding tax exemption for housing allowances for clergy including pastors, rabbis and imams, and the Becket Fund, whose lawyers waged the war, confirmed the ‚Äúatheist group‚ÄĚ gave up this week by declining to appeal its latest court loss to the Supreme Court.
‚ÄúThis is a victory for all houses of worship that serve needy communities across the country,‚ÄĚ Pastor Chris Butler of Chicago Embassy Church said in a statement released by Beckett. ‚ÄúI am grateful that my church can still be a home for South Side Chicago‚Äôs at-risk youth, single mothers, unemployed, homeless, addicted, victims of gang violence and others on the streets.‚ÄĚ
He leads a predominantly African-American congregation that ministers ...