A nationwide atheist group is asking religious leaders to take Jesus’ advice and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s — especially when it comes to taking the federal tax break on their housing.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation
says the housing exemption gives churches an unfair advantage because they can compensate their leaders with tax-free housing. Other nonprofits, such as the foundation, can’t do that. So it’s suing the federal government to outlaw the housing allowance.
A series of controversial billboards recently displayed throughout Metro Detroit is drawing curious stares and criticism from the local faith community.
The seven billboards read “Imagine No Religion” and “Praise Darwin: Evolve Beyond Belief” with a stained-glass window motif. They are sponsored by the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, a nonprofit group that touts itself as the largest free thought association in the nation.
The billboards, at various Detroit locations, are part of a monthlong campaign aimed at provoking debate about the role religion plays in daily life and public policy, said Annie Laurie Gaylord, co-president of the foundation.
But many in the local religious community consider the billboards offensive.
Alongside a Nativity scene at the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington, a sign put up by an atheist
organization celebrates the winter solstice. But it’s the rest of the sign that has some residents and Christian organizations calling atheists Scrooges for attacking the celebration of Jesus Christ
“Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds,” the sign says in part.
Denver’s secularists wanting freedom from religion have taken over one corner in the public square to make the point.
They’ve emblazoned a billboard six blocks from the state Capitol with the message, inscribed over faux stained glass, “Imagine No Religion.”