The Internal Revue Service indicated earlier this year that it has the proper mechanism in place to investigate houses of worship that break the law by engaging in partisan politicking. But recent comments by the tax agency’s top official indicate there’s still some confusion about this issue.
A document has come to light giving some indication that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be preparing to enforce the “no-politicking” rule against houses of worship.
A letter from the IRS was made public by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which announced recently that it has withdrawn a lawsuit over the IRS’s failure to investigate churches accused of partisan politicking. The group made that decision after the tax agency convinced the organization that it has resolved a procedural issue that prevented church audits.
Four days a week in Warren, Mich., volunteers pray with local residents. But the prayers aren’t happening at a church. Instead, they’re taking place in city hall, at a “prayer station” established for exactly this purpose.
Originally created by members of the Tabernacle Church, a local Pentecostal denomination, Warren’s “prayer station” endured with little controversy for years. In 2009, volunteers explained their mission to the Los Angeles Times.
Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have filed suit against the city of Warren, Mich., over its rejection of a proposed “reason station” in its city hall. The station was proposed by Douglas Marshall, a Warren resident who identifies as an atheist, after Warren approved a Christian “prayer station” in the same building.
Have you heard the latest? The Internal Revenue Service has entered into a secret deal with an atheist group to monitor pastors all over America and squelch their political speech!
That’s the latest paranoid fantasy from the Religious Right. The truth, as is often the case, is much more mundane.
Before we get to the meat of things, some background: A lot of us in the separation of church and state community have been frustrated over the blatant partisan political activity that some churches (on the right and the left) engage in.
It seems football players at Clemson University must pass a religious test in order to play for the school’s team.
Clemson, a public school in South Carolina, has been accused of allowing its football coaches to indoctrinate their players in Christianity.
If you have any contact with a public high school, you probably know that students can form an array of clubs that meet during non-instructional time.
My son, who is in 10th grade, reports a dizzying list of student-run clubs at his school, covering every possible interest. Along with some friends, my son joined the anime club and was for a time involved in a “duct tape club.” (Don’t ask.)
There are also many religious clubs at the school. Jewish students have a club, as do Muslim students. There are several Christian clubs.
How can this be? It’s a public school.
Earlier this week, FoxNews.com published a column by Religious Right attorney Kelly Shackelford accusing Americans United and other groups of ignoring the allegedly overwhelming evidence that there is a “war on Christmas.”
In his column, Shackelford mentioned several incidents that he insists are proof of this war. Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we?
It’s no secret that faith is a big part of football in certain regions of the United States, but a Tennessee newspaper has just shed some light on the extent to which prayer is intertwined with many public school football programs.
In a poll conducted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, all 32 coaches at public schools in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia who responded to the survey identify as Christian and said they support team prayer in some form.