Tag: Church and State

C Street house target of clergy’s IRS complaint

tax exempt Three times now, including a complaint they plan to file today against the secretive C Street Center in Washington, D.C., the activist pastors have challenged the tax-exempt status of religious organizations they believe have improperly dabbled in partisan politics.

Their numbers fluctuate, but their mission is always the same: protect the divide between church and state.

Freedom from Religion Foundation files suit to end tax break for ministers

tax exempt 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.

More Bible verses than ever at football games

Religious signs at football games A school district in Georgia, USA, recently decided that cheerleaders could not longer display banners with Bible verses at school football games — one of those ‘Church and State’ issues.

Result? More bible banners than ever, now displayed by fans in the stands instead of cheerleaders on the field.

While constitutional experts agree with the new policy, and many locals understand why it is being applied, the fans are using their right to free speech.

U.S. Supreme Court turns down Summum sect’s demand for religious display

Summum The justices today unanimously overturned a ruling that required Pleasant Grove, Utah, to give equal access to Summum, a church that wants to display its “seven aphorisms.”

Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito said the Pleasant Grove monument represented “government speech,” exempting it from having to give private groups equal access under the Constitution’s free-speech clause.

Tiny sect believes God gave Moses Seven Aphorisms before giving the Ten Commandments

Summum Followers of Summum believe that Moses received two sets of tablets on Mount Sinai and that the Ten Commandments were on the second set. The aphorisms were on the first one.

The tiny sect — whose founder says says he learned the aphorisms during a series of telepathic encounters with divine beings he called Summa Individuals — wants them displayed in a public park.

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court will hear their arguments.

Protests agains the Mormon Church; plus: Why the Mormons fight against Gay Marriage

Protest against Mormon Church A couple thousand people gathered outside the Capitol in Sacramento this afternoon to rally for the legalization of same-sex marriages just days after voters imposed a constitutional ban.

The gathering follows several similar events around the Bay Area and California. Earlier today, more than 400 people gathered outside the distinctive Mormon Temple in Oakland to protest the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints‘ support of Proposition 8.

When Church Autonomy Is Tyranny

Ignorance is the enemy of liberty. That truth has never been so forcefully made as it has been with the rescue of the hundreds of children from the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints compound in Eldorado, Texas. As the clergy abuse crisis within the Roman Catholic Church has proved, Americans are all too willing to ignore evidence of child abuse when it occurs in the context of religious organizations.