Author: Baptist.org Editorial Team

Florida Baptists to deploy in ‘second wave’ response to Hurricane Isaac … – Florida Baptist Witness

Opposing Views Florida Baptists to deploy in 'second wave' response to Hurricane Isaac …Florida Baptist WitnessJACKSONVILLE (FBW)-While hordes of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers closest to Louisiana and Mississippi will work through Labor Day weekend to help those displaced by massive flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac, Florida Baptist Disaster …SOUTHERN BAPTISTS TO HELP ISAAC VICTIMSKOKC all 47 news...

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Challenge to clergy tax break clears hurdle

A ministerial housing allowance provision that saves U.S. ministers an estimated $1.2 billion annually in tax exemptions is unfair to other taxpayers not entitled to the same benefit, according to a 2011 lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. By Bob Allen A Wisconsin judge has given a green light to a lawsuit challenging a federal law that exempts clergy from paying income taxes on the fair rental value of their homes. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled Aug. 29 that the Madison, Wis.,-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of a 1954 law that grants certain tax benefits to “ministers of the gospel.” The same group dropped a similar lawsuit in 2011 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in another case that individuals can sue the government only if they are affected directly by a law and not just because they are taxpayers. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which “advocates for the separation of church and state and educates on matters of non-theism,” responded by changing its salary structure to include housing allowances, which employees cannot claim on their tax returns because they are not members of the clergy. The plaintiffs contend that the law violates the First Amendment ban on establishing religion and the Fifth Amendment guaranteeing equal protection under the law. A press release called it “pure discrimination” for the government...

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