FFRF Urges IRS to Investigate Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark Theme Park

Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham‘s ministry, is a religious non-profit. That’s why the Creation Museum can require you to sign a “statement of faith” if you want to work there.

Ark Encounter, the Noah’s Ark theme park that’s eligible for millions of dollars in tax rebates, is a for-profit business. They cannot discriminate in hiring.

Sounds simple enough.

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FFRF Files Federal Lawsuit Against Praying School Board in Chino Valley, California

If you attend a meeting of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education (in California), you’d think you were at a church service.

School boards, unlike city councils, are not supposed to have prayer of any sort because children are often present. But these board members never got the memo:

… CVUSD Board of Education President James Na said [at a meeting] “our lives begin in the hospital and end in the church, and urged everyone who does not know Jesus Christ to go and find Him.” Mr. [Andrew] Cruz “closed by reading Psalm 143.”

In fact, there’s a Bible verse read at most meetings:

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Appeals Court Rules Against Atheists, Leaving in Place Tax-Free Housing for Pastors

For years now, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been in a legal battle to end the “Parsonage Exemption” that allows ministers to deduct the cost of rent for their church-owned houses from their taxable income. FFRF believes that this shows preferential treatment by the government for religious leaders.

FFRF’s own board has even paid its co-presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor $15,000 each as part of their housing allowance, but because they don’t qualify as “ministers of the gospel,” the law doesn’t apply to them. That’s one of the ways they’ve tried to prove the law is illegal.

A year ago, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled in favor of the FFRF, writing that the exemption was indeed unconstitutional.

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Indiana Mayor Promotes Prayer Breakfast with City Resources

How do you know when community leaders don’t understand the separation of church and state? When they promote a prayer breakfast on the city’s website: The Freedom From Religion Foundation notes some other violations going on in New Albany, Indiana: The city also put an ad for the prayer breakfast on citizens’ municipal utility bills, [Read More…]

Alabama County Commission Rescinds $3,000 Grant for Baptist Ministry After Atheist Group Threatens Legal Action

Last week, I posted about the Covington Baptist Association in Alabama, which wanted to draw men — manly men — to their church. They were even offered steak to men who attended their gatherings.

While the group is welcome to do all that, the problem was that the Covington County Commission (below) was giving the group $3,000 in taxpayer money to support the ministry.

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