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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Texas School District Challenged for Allowing Crosses and Bible Verses in Classrooms and Selling Religious Shirts

How many church/state violations does one public school district need to make before even other Christians start saying they’ve gone too far…?

Well, let’s see what’s happening in the Mt Vernon Independent School District in Texas.

There are religious messages on the walls, like this one from Ronald Reagan:



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A Glowing Profile of a High School Football Coach Leads to Potential Lawsuit Over Church/State Violation

Last week, The Anniston Star newspaper ran a profile of Anniston High School football coach Eddie Bullock. It included this passage showing how he brought the team together after a tough loss:



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