IRS Settles Lawsuit, Agrees To Enforce Church Electioneering Rules – Soon

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created image of FFRF vs the IRS court caseThe Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) announced on Friday that it and the IRS had settled a federal lawsuit over non-enforcement of restrictions on political activity by tax-exempt religious organizations and churches. The only roadblock to full compliance is a Congressional fishing expedition looking for scandals.
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Hobby Lobby Decision Created Special Religious Rights

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clipart showing a scaleNot only did the recent Burwell v. Hobby Lobby US Supreme Court Decision give corporations religious rights that only individuals had under the 1st amendment, but the decision confirmed the religious have extra-consitutional rights. It’s all because of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was passed in 1993.
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Christian Group Doesn’t Want You To Vote

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image of Ohio Christian Alliance President Chris Long
Ohio Christian Alliance President Chris Long – a failed political candidate who wants to keep you from voting because – RELIGION!!

It is well known that some fundamentalist Christians, like their Muslim counterparts, The Taliban, don’t want democracy. They want to impose biblical law as the law of the land and be able to opt out of any laws that ‘conflict’ with their religious beliefs. The Ohio Christian Alliance is one such group. They want to see photo IDs be mandated for voting in Ohio while making it harder in general to vote. It seems their agenda is really typical undemocratic conservatism covered with fake religious trappings.
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Recent Court Case Opens Door For Nonreligious Inclusion? Maybe… Maybe Not

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City council members praying before a meetingThe recent US Supreme Court decision, Town Of Greece, New York v. Galloway, opened the door to ‘legislative’ prayer that can be said at the beginning of a government meeting or event. Although the court said that government can’t proscribe the content of such prayers, it did give some guidelines on what prayer would pass a constitutional test. Some nonreligious groups are creating programs to offer people who would give nonreligious ‘prayers’. Some conservative governments have taken the court decision as a green light to only allow Christian prayers. This issue is far from being solved.
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Supreme Court Degrades Christianity With Town Of Greece V. Galloway Ruling

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Religion in government is okay if it is genericIn a 5-4 decision on Monday, the US Supreme Court said that the Town of Greece New York could open their town council meetings with a religious prayer. The majority on the court held that legislative prayers were not unconstitutional because they were traditional acts performed at government meetings. We’ve seen this argument before, it has been called Ceremonial Deism and it means a civic religion divorced of any specific religious meaning. I would think that Christians would be very upset that the court considers their religion ‘generic’. Just because Ceremonial Deism has been a tradition doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful.
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Judge Denies Religious School’s Request For Special Treatment

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Logo for Tree of Life Christian SchoolsThe city of Upper Arlington is a land locked suburb of Columbus Ohio. Because of a lack of room for expansion they have passed ordinances to protect their property tax base by controlling how property can be used. Tree of Life Christian Schools purchased a seven building office complex in 2010 and want to consolidate the private schools they run at the location. Schools are one of the land uses prohibited by the city. Tree of Life sued in federal court and a judge ruled that the religious school wasn’t discriminated against.

A federal judge has ruled that Upper Arlington did not discriminate against Tree of Life Christian Schools when it turned down its request to move its schools into a large office complex off Henderson Road.

U.S. District Judge George C. Smith concluded that the ordinance that allows exclusive zoning in certain areas of the city does not treat religious schools differently from other schools.

“Based on the evidence presented, allowing a school, religious or not … would be inconsistent with the purposes of the ORC Office and Research District,” Smith wrote.

Upper Arlington can block Christian schools from site, judge rules

Tree of Life’s argument is that because it teaches religion, it is also a church, which is an allowed use. The judge rejected that argument.

Churches don’t pay property taxes. The need to maintain or increase such taxes, which fund city operations and the public schools, was the reason for the special zoning of the complex area in the first place.

I’m sure the city never imagined that a religious group would be able to buy the largest office complex in the city. The down payment was about $1.2 million with a mortgage for the $6 million purchase price.

Basically the church is operating like a corporation yet wants the special treatment given to churches. If I was a business owner, I would be upset.

Of course the school plans to appeal. They have a lot of money riding on the final decision.