Federal judge rules housing allowance for ministers unconstitutional

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Federal judge rules housing allowance for ministers unconstitutional

Why do pastors receive a tax exemption for housing?

By Joe Carter — Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission — November 25, 2013

http://erlc.com/article/why-do-pastors-receive-a-tax-exemption-for-housing

A federal judge recently ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances is unconstitutional. In her ruling U.S. District Court Judge Crabb claims that, “Some might view a rule against preferential treatment as exhibiting hostility toward religion, but equality should never be mistaken for hostility.”

Despite the judge’s claim, appealing to “equality” is not enough to make the action non-hostile nor is it in line with previous court decisions. Not only has the Supreme Court previously stated that the Establishment Clause prohibits hostility against religion as much as it prohibits the establishment of a state religion, it has also noted that its “precedents plainly contemplate that on occasion some advancement of religion will result…

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