Once again, a U.S. court has colluded with the Freedom From Religion Foundation to attack non-atheistic religions.
Wisconsin District Court Judge Barbara Crabb has ruled that provisions in Internal Revenue Code Section 107 are unconstitutional.
Those provisions allow a minister — pastors, rabbis, imams, etc. — to exclude from gross income any housing allowance given to him by his employer as part of compensation.
The atheists filed the suit under the theory that the IRS code somehow meant the government was establishing a religion, which is forbidden under the Constitution. They complained that as a “nonreligion,” they were excluded.
They were embarrassed when the government turned around and ruled that atheism is a religion and its “ministers” would also be eligible for the housing allowance exemption if they applied.
Despite that, the FFRF was apparently able to gull Judge Crabb into siding with them.
Crabb’s ruling is wrong, of course. The exemption doesn’t have to do with establishing a religion, but it is merely one aspect of a larger rule that the IRS allows housing exemptions for any job where the employee is required to be housed at or near the job site as a condition of employment. Depending on exact circumstances, that could possibly apply to anyone from a personal caregiver to a forest ranger. Clergy, since they must tend to their flocks 24-7, normally must live at or near the place of worship.
Being wrong is no guarantee a bad ruling will be overturned, however. If Judge Crabb’s ruling stands, it will hit clergy in the pocketbooks. With rare exceptions, clergy are not highly paid to begin with, and such a tax change could have a dire effect on places of worship that will no longer be able to afford to pay a minister enough to live on.
It’s not the first evil-minded lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and it certainly won’t be the last.
The FFRF’s whole raison d’etre is to cut out all religions, but most especially Christianity and Judaism, from public life and then punish them financially and legally until they disappear or go underground.
A reasonable person might ask, But doesn’t that hurt atheism as well, seeing how it too is a religion?
But the FFRF and other atheist groups long ago began calling themselves a “nonreligion,” a slick bit of doublespeak that has served them well in the courts. And it doesn’t hurt, either, that there is an unusual number of atheists working in most media outlets.
Posing as outsiders to religion, yet with a toe far enough inside religious circles that they can still claim offense to their religious sensibilities, atheists have over the past several decades made steady progress toward their real goal of establishing a state religion of atheism.
The United States is inching along the path trod in the not-too-distant past by the Soviet Union, Red China and every other socialist dictatorship.
The FFRF is a nonprofit group, which means they get tax breaks from the IRS that help them to fund their courtroom incursions against other nonprofit religious groups.
In other words, to use the FFRF’s own argument against it, your taxes are paying for the legal establishment of the atheist religion in violation of the Constitution.
All religions believe their outlook is the correct one, so it’s not surprising when you hear ministers talking smack about the religion next door. But FFRF’s actions go far beyond proselytizing and venture regularly into threat, legal intimidation and coercion. If the Tea Party ever behaved like the FFRF, it would be up on racketeering charges before you could blink.
The FFRF is a hate group, little better than the Ku Klux Klan, and that only because they’ve stopped short of violence. But why resort to violence when you’ve got the government’s tacit endorsement?
Honest atheists are welcome at the table with the rest of America’s religions. We can share public space, debate the merits of our views, maybe even work together to help the needy.
But the FFRF and the evil people behind it need to be stopped before it’s too late.