I expected this. I mean, come on. We all expected this. I'm not sure I expected it this week but we all knew it was coming eventually.
Specifically, a federal district court judge who I believe is a Jimmy Carter appointee (I know, right?) has declared that a 60 year old law that allows “a minister of the gospel” to not pay income tax on a specific portion of their compensation is “unconstitutional."
Religion News reports:
A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances is unconstitutional.Doesn't the government choose all the time who to give tax breaks to? It seems to me that politically, both parties would have to at least pretend to be outraged by this but since the judge didn't just say it's just bad but called it "unconstitutional" that kinda' takes things out of the legislator's hands, right?
The exemption applies to an estimated 44,000 ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and others. If the ruling stands, some clergy members could experience an estimated 5 to 10 percent cut in take-home pay.
U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb ruled on Friday (Nov. 22) in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, saying the exemption violates the establishment clause because it “provides a benefit to religious persons and no one else, even though doing so is not necessary to alleviate a special burden on religious exercise.”
There's a stay on this for now while appeals are heard but if it doesn't get overturned, it will become precedent and could effect the entire country.
It seems that the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed the suit. And the Obama administration is defending the law. Don't you feel safe knowing that the Obama administration has your back?