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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Annie Laurie Gaylor
The Internal Revenue Services has been getting it from both sides over tax breaks it grants to religious organizations and clergy, and for not enforcing a ban on electioneering by churches.
The leader of an atheist group reportedly is incensed that the U.S. government has granted it a tax exemption, citing allowances for religious organizations — and she's even angrier at learning that she's considered a minister under the Internal Revenue Service code.
Atheists are outraged that a Bible sits right next to the mayor's desk, inside a Pinellas Park City Council chamber, and they're demanding its removal.
An atheist group is pointing fingers at the school board for a South Carolina valedictorian who ripped up his prepared remarks at a graduation ceremony and instead recited the Lord's Prayer.
Santa Monica officials snuffed the city's controversial life-sized nativity display this year rather than referee the religious rumble, prompting churches that have set up a 14-scene Christian diorama for decades to sue over freedom of speech violations.
An atheist organization is suing the Internal Revenue Service for failing to take action against churches that the group says have violated the tax code for nonprofits by engaging in politics.
The Wisconsin group challenging the constitutionality of a cross on a war memorial in Rhode Island says it expects to prevail without the type of long legal battle that unfolded over a prayer banner ordered removed this year from a public high school.
A statue of Jesus on U.S. Forest Service land in the mountains over a Montana ski resort faces potential eviction amid an argument over the separation of church and state.
A theists don't want Texas Gov. Rick Perry to have a prayer day this summer. On Wednesday, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asked a federal judge to block "The Response," an event where Christians would gather in Houston to turn to God for direction and unity for an aggrieved nation. The anti-God brigade insists this is a First Amendment violation, and it will also seek a restraining order to bar Mr. Perry's participation.
A federal appeals court Thursday threw out a ruling that would have prohibited the president from declaring a National Day of Prayer, in a decision that cheered social conservatives and occasioned much wailing and gnashing of teeth by groups advocating a strict separation of church and state.
The Ten Commandments have no place in an Ohio courtroom, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week. The federal judges insisted a poster featuring the Decalogue constituted "an explicit endorsement of religion." Left-wing groups hope similar judicial sentiment prevails in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia, where a lawsuit is in the works to force schools to tear down displays that enjoy support from the local community.
She added: The organization doesn't want the tax exemption if it's based on codes granting allowances to religious groups.
"We are having to tell the government the obvious – we are not a church," she said.